In Times of Need – October 2009

At the risk of sounding old (which I am) and a nag bag (that too) I often find myself thinking of the old days. I don’t say the “good old days” as some of the memories are horrific to say the least. I remember the food rationing, and the petrol rationing, not that the petrol rationing made a lot of difference as most families did not have cars, and most mothers did not know how to drive. Mostly they were too busy washing by hand, often once a week, sometimes heating the water first, and the joy if you actually had a hand wringer. Do I want to return to those days, most definitely not? The long drops with the squares of newspaper hanging on a nail, bathing once a week in a galvanised bath, one after the other with the cleanest in first and the dirtiest in last. I seem to recall walking everywhere, the bonus being that whether we liked it or not,  we were definitely fit and not fat.
I can almost hear you asking if there is a point to all of this. My point is that over the last few years in my role as a budget adviser I have seen more and more people struggling, and perhaps in times of need it is necessary to look at ways to cut back. Power costs have risen, and shorter showers, turning the heaters off particularly on sunny days, hot water bottles instead of heaters in the bedroom, can all make a huge difference. Maybe a change to both shopping and the way we choose our meals could also help. Often food is used as a reward or a treat, which can be costly. It is possible to cook in bulk, and with careful planning, freezing and use of the microwave considerable savings in power can be made. On tonight’s news there was huge coverage of bad weather, snow and power cuts, the thought of no heating at all in freezing weather upsets me as much as the next person, but it does help us to understand that it is amazing how resilient we all can be. To kick start your budget, and even to help with your bills, make an appointment to see your local Budget Service
Pearl Pavitt
Public Relations Officer
Rotorua Budget Advisory Service

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