Wednesday 28 February 2018

Dream a little dream

Readers of my main blog will know that February was not a good month here at Frugal Follies.  I had the worst cold that I can ever remember having and it has left me feeling very weary.  I just don't bounce back as well as I used to!

Most of the month has been spent either in bed or my arm chair.  The new feeding station for the birds has been a great boon as I can see it through my sitting room window.  I keep it very well supplied with various seeds and mealworms and, although it's not the busiest bird table I've ever had, the starlings have entertained my with their squabbles and I've enjoyed watching the blue tits working out how to get what they want.

But that is outside my window.  Inside. the house needs a lot of attention and even more I need to give myself a little bit of TLC.  And so I have been dreaming a little dream of actually getting my life back.  It really feels that way - all I have been able to think about is how ill I feel!

So March is going to be a one-thing-a-day sort of a month.  "Trundling through life", my main blog, is going to be about looking after myself and seeking joy but here life will be a little more purposeful.  I'm not promising anything big, just one thing every day.  Maybe write a letter, or tidy a drawer, or visit someone who rarely gets a visit.  They may not be the most exciting posts I ever make but they could be the key to my well-being. 

Monday 5 February 2018

Proud? Ashamed? Which?

I tackled the Dyson!  I feel proud about that.  It wasn't easy.  (Can you tell that I'm talking myself up?)

When I got it up on the table there were three screws which needed removing in order to get the soleplate off.  Two came out easily.  One didn't.  

Feeling resourceful I looked on line and found that the technical name for my problem is "a screw with a stripped head".  If nothing else this experience has expanded my vocabulary.  Sole plate.  Screw with stripped head.  

The recommended method for removing said screws is to get a large rubber band and lay it over the screw in the hope that the rubber will fill the gaps and allow extraction.

So I way-laid the postie.  Fortunately I feed him ice lollies in the summer so we get on very well.  He gave me a band and one extra for luck.  

Even my lucky band didn't work.  The screw remained firmly in place.  I was feeling like a helpless woman, a feeling which I deeply resent.

I also worked out how to use my new camera!
But then I had an idea and raided my crafting stuff for some long nose pliers.  Using those I managed to grip the screw and turn it.  Off came the soleplate and from then on it was a doddle to clear the blockage.  I've ordered new screws which will be delivered tomorrow.  I hope I still feel proud when I can finally use The Thing.

Because I also feel ashamed at how much I managed to get out of my blocked machine.

Saturday 3 February 2018

Fulfilling Dreams

I had to take early retirement (on the grounds of ill health) when I was fifty eight and I wasn't a happy bunny.  My early retirement income was inadequate and I didn't like not earning my living.  Things had to change.

It's now eight years since I retired and other pensions have now kicked in so I have an adequate pension income and, strictly speaking, no longer need to earn.  However, for me, that is only half the story.  I like the feeling of earning, I still have dreams to fulfil and over the years I've found ways to supplement my income.

I've written about two of those ways here - surveys and comping (entering competitions).  Surveys are very tedious to be honest, but I spend quite a lot of time on my own and with my feet up, so I've got time to do them.  The hourly rate is very poor.  I'm quite quick at doing them but I am screened out of the vast majority which I start and I reckon I get about £2 an hour overall.  Still, it's £2 which I wouldn't otherwise have.

Comping is very hard to quantify as, of course, it's largely down to luck.  As far as earning an income is concerned it's not really a good idea.  However, the prizes I win give me a bit of fun, they replenish the birthday present drawer and sometimes I am able to sell prizes on E Bay.

My biggest source of non pension income is when I fill in when no regular clergy are available.  The pay rate isn't huge but no-one ever went into Christian ministry for the money, I hope!  I get a huge buzz from doing the work and the fees pay for treats.

My earning potential isn't huge but it means that I can continue to fulfil a few dreams even in retirement.

Friday 2 February 2018

A Freebie - well, sort of.

I do loads of market research surveys.  They are not a method of earning extra income which I would recommend to everyone but I live alone so no-one is wanting my conversation and I need to keep my feet up quite a bit so online surveys are  OK for me.  The companies pay me in cash or Amazon vouchers and that makes a small but significant supplement to my pensions

Once I had been doing on-line surveys for a year or two I started to get invitations to do other things.  One of the "other things" is that I'm on a scanning panel.  This means that whenever I've been shopping I scan the bar codes for all my purchases (scanner provided) and send the information to the research company. It can be a bit of a faff to do it straight after going shopping but heigh ho, it's not really difficult.

In return for my efforts I get points which can be used to buy quite a wide range of goods.   I've been accruing points for about a year and I decided to use some of them to buy a camera -and it's arrived today.  Amazon lists it at £89.95 so suddenly that faffing around with a scanner feels a bit more worthwhile.

And maybe I can start putting a few more photos on my blogs.

Thursday 1 February 2018

Fun Filled Frugal Flinging February

I do like a bit of alliteration!

But it is February.

I need to be careful with the cash.

And the house needs to lose weight.

And I want to have fun.

So that's the agenda for the month.  

My first frugal challenge is to try and avoid flinging my vacuum cleaner.  This is one of the areas where I miss Jack, my gardener, handyman and friend who is currently waiting for a knee replacement.  I have a twenty year old Dyson DC01.  The DC01 was the original upright vacuum cleaner which Dyson made, and mine has been a real workhorse.  It's had to have its wheels replaced as I once had a wonderful cleaning lady who was very rough with vacuum cleaners and Dyson suffered.  It occasionally gets blocked because I expect too much of it.   However, Jack has always ticked me off and then sorted the problems.  It's now no longer cleaning, just re-arranging the dirt.

Now it's down to me.  I've found Youtube videos and I've found instructions on line.

I may be some time.  But I may save some money.