Less Is … More?

lessFor a couple of months now, I’ve been getting used to a much reduced income, despite fairly similar outgoings.

This will only get worse if I fail to move from DLA to PIP, and drastically so.

With this in mind, I’m tightening the belt even more – if my waist was as small as my budget, I’d be a very happy bunny.

So, I’m squeezed from every possible angle. You can only imagine my happiness when I had a letter through stating that my water bill was now £20 a month instead of £25.60 – due no doubt due to the reduction of Teenager showers and endless washing machine loads.

And the thing is, I’m quite comfortable living with less. I’ve lived a fabulously wealthy life and an incredibly poor life over the years and both have their plus points. However, I would definitely say that having oodles of money does not always equate to happiness – far from it.

In these days of straightened times, kindness comes from unexpected quarters. A friend sent me a pizza. Another friend gave me a plant. And my mum popped down today with a bag full of food, plus a sachet of Dreamies for the cat. Knowing I have £40 to last me eight  days, this is a god-send.

In the news today there is a report that people are spending a fifth of their income on rent. I spend over a third. Well over. It’s by far my biggest outgoing. Council tax, at almost £100 a month, is another significant payment. And that’s before the other bills.

Don’t get me wrong, living frugally is depressing, anxiety-ridden and downright horrific. I’m just about coping at the moment, but that’s with DLA in the equation. Take that away and deny me PIP and I’m in a whole other realm.

It’s weird – I work, pay Council Tax, pay my bills on time religiously every month and yet if I lose DLA, I will be in absolute poverty, rather than genteel poverty as per now. What I fail to understand is that the government plans to get 1 million more disabled people into work whilst simultaneously stripping them of the financial means to do so. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t?

Being disabled isn’t cheap and it’s not a lifestyle choice; I certainly didn’t choose to have MS at 37 and for  it to totally change my life’s path. In an alternate reality, I would (after years of low-paid unemployment to be available for my son) now be a fully-qualified teacher/social worker/lecturer. Well, that didn’t work out.

I’m resigned to MS now, but I’m not resigned to being poor.

Plans are afoot …

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8 thoughts on “Less Is … More?

  1. Joan (Devon) says:

    It’s hard, no doubt. You can get a reduction in your council tax with being the sole occupant now the teenager has gone, although I don’t know if it can be temporary.
    You could have a look at some frugal blogs, one I visit every day is Life After Money, which is a good start to being frugal.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there,
      I do get the reduction, but it’s still £100.
      I’m looking at the frugal blogs, like Life After Money. I’m all for it, living with less. It just strikes me as particularly unfair.

      • Joan (Devon) says:

        It is unfair especially as none of it is your doing.
        My brother has always said “Life’s a b–ch and then you die”, which I’m beginning to believe is true.

  2. Thank you for being so frank about your finances. No healthy person would have enough imagination to conjure up a notion of how expensive it is, on so many levels, to live with MS.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I think it’s really important to show the true side of MS, warts and all!
      Yet another challenge of life with MS 🙁 X

  3. Annie says:

    Well said as usual, but stay hopeful because something good may well be round the corner, fingers crossed ?… on a negative notei feel crap lol … so bloody dizzy ? got very little sleep last night and it seems to have had a knock effect on my symptoms today ? tucked up and hoping for a full 8 hours?? until the 630am alarm goes. Early mornings for work are a struggle ? well at least the most depressing (allegedly) day of the year is behind us ? x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      You poor thing 🙁 Hope you got a good sleep and feel much better today. Dizziness is just awful.
      Yep, fingers crossed and a big part of me always stays hopeful! I won’t be giving up without a fight, lol.
      Have a good day – I’m off to work at 7.15. Luckily the boss still picks me up so I can slurp my coffee in peace along the M4 and get the chance to wake up properly!

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