A Year Without Spending – Day 14/15 – Feeling Better & Still not spending

I feel a thousand times better than I did a few days ago, thank god. I’ve not been that ill for a long time, and to be told by the doctors that its a viral illness which cannot be treated is not the best news. I’d be the first person to pop a pill or drink some medicine to make me feel human again, and the fact that the only treatment was to wait and let the virus run it’s course was in itself a bitter pill to swallow.

Enough about that, I’m feeling better and you will be glad to hear I’m still not spending. As stated at the beginning of this experiment, I’m allowed to spend on food & drink, shelter and bills. I wish there was a way that I didn’t have to pay bills, as they see to be coming in thick and fast at the moment. The winter fuel bills are in, and they are phenomenal. I had no idea gas & electricity could cost so much, they certainly never have in the years I’ve been paying them.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Vicki & I moved into a much larger 3 bedroom Victorian house this year. It is at least twice the size of the largest of our previous homes, and is somewhat of a beast to heat. The funny thing is, we have a spare room upstairs set out as a guest room, then a spare spare room which we use for storage. Downstairs we have the office which is huge, and the living room which is massive. So we now have all this space we don’t use, which we paid a premium for, and to compound the problem, we have to heat the damn thing. We have come to the conclusion that the house is too big for the two of us, and intend to move to a smaller place in the summer. This will not only save us a fortune on bills, but will be a lot cheaper to aquire in the first place, which will be a double saving.

So to offset some of these huge bills, we have decided to barter skills and labour for meals. Now I never take money from family for doing odd jobs or favours, however I’ve asked that anyone who needs my assistance (people always ask me to do stuff for them, from DIY to PC repairs and everything in between) repay me with a home cooked meal and some good company. This is a great deal, and I love bartering skills with friends and family.

I always use this bartering when possible. For example when we moved house last time, I traded friends time and muscle and in return I built a website for a friends company. With regards family, I’m dog sitting this weekend, which means I get to use my Grans house whilst looking after the dog and even get a home cooked hot pot thrown into the mix. If you haven’t used bartering yet, give it a try. Perhaps trade a skill you have with a friend with a skill you need. We don’t need to monetise everything!

I’d love to say the not spending is getting to me, and making me angry and full of angst but it really isnt. the only thing I do miss is popping into town for a browse, but staying away from the town is the best way of avoiding temptation. I’m still trying to source a camera to do the year without spending podcast for the site, but it’s prooving harder than I thought. I need a minidv camera on loan from anyone, if anyone has one they don’t use please do let me know.

Well I can’t beleive I’m now two weeks in. Just 50 weeks to go 🙂

John Large

My name is John Large. I am a Web Developer, E-commerce site owner & all round geek. My areas of interest include hardware hacking, digital privacy & security, social media & computer hardware. I’m also a minimalist in the making, interested in the Tiny House movement & the experience economy along with a strong interest in sustainability & renewable energy. When I’m not tapping on a keyboard or swiping a smart phone I can be found sampling great coffee, travelling the world with my wife Vicki (who writes over at Let’s Talk Beauty) & generally trying to live my life as unconventionally as possible.

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