People keep on asking me what will I do when things start getting better. Will we have more money to spend on groceries? I don’t think we will.
The aim has always been to get us to a position where we can pay our mortgage in full. To do that we need to stick to our grocery budget and be very careful about what we spend and do with our money. We took on the mortgage (when I was working full time granted) and we have a responsibility to the bank to pay that back. It is our debt.
Here’s the thing. Standing charges and stealth charges are now beginning to have a direct impact on more families shopping budgets than previously. I’m going to list some of ours below so you can have a read because we are all affected by many of these charges.
- Refuse Standing Charge: €110 plus €9.35 per bin lift, there is no other refuse collector in my area so we have no choice if we want our refuse collected, we have to pay this charge. Say we get it lifted every second week, that’s an additional €243 approximately so €354 per annum in total.
- TV Licence: €160 per annum.
- Water Charges: €240 estimated per household per annum.
- Property Tax: €157 per annum.
- Prescription Charges: Either €25 per month per family with a medical card OR €144 per month for a family without.
Some of the charges above I would have allowed for on a weekly basis but have increased significantly in the past 10 years or so. Others are new charges that didn’t exist 10 years ago and I now have to allow for them. In this household there are always the fixed amounts for light, heat, insurance, transport costs for himself to get to/from work and obviously the mortgage as well. Bear in mind as well that some taxation has increased and lowered the income coming back into the house and also child benefit (€130 per child at the moment) has decreased over the past few years as well. Car tax, fuel for the car, light, heat and insurance have all increased over the past 10 years too.
With the squeeze on disposable income from the increased household charges, and the news that grocery inflation is on the increase, the summer is going to be a time of stress for many. I’m already trying to plan for back to school and set some money aside every week. I know I’m certainly not alone in doing this. This news about grocery inflation is not really news to me. I’ve been noticing a steady increase in grocery costs over the past couple of years, along with package sizes getting smaller.
If you notice above, the title says “when things get better”. That’s because I really believe that they are going in the right direction and that it will happen. There is no “if” in my direction anymore. That can only be a good thing.
I’m confident I’m not the only person with the weight of the charges and cost of living on their mind.
What charges/living costs have you worried?