Well everything came together in the end! We have now been living in our static caravan for 3 months and love it! We wake up every morning to no traffic/neighbours noise - just the sound of the sea..
We took the decision to down-size to live more simply and have some money as a wee cushion and to enjoy some holidays but I am still being as frugal as I can as we want to be able to pay all our bills and manage without touching the capital unless necessary - I am working 3 days a week and OH (although a casual worker) is working 2 days every week at the moment so things are ticking along....
One of my budgeting problems is going to be gas and electric - in our old flat I paid it by direct debit of £108 per month - here we get an electric bill twice a year from the site and gas bottles are £65 each but lord knows how long one will last - we are still on our first bottle. W have gas central heating but only put it on for a while in the morning and boost it at night and use an oil filled radiator on low to keep it from getting too cold - its a new caravan with residential standard insulation but at the end of the day we are still living in basically a tin can!. We do cook at lot and because its bottled gas we are becoming a lot more aware of ways to save on the gas - I only ever use the oven if I can have something on all 3 shelves. I always use steamer pans (sometimes I have 3 steamers on one pan!) and we are using the slow cooker a lot more. So I am still budgeting the same amount every month and after a year will see how it matches up.
Housekeeping - the problem is we only have a 3 drawer freezer and I was used to a huge freezer in my old shed -I relied a lot of buying reduced bargains and freezing them but now we cant (also dd has been on a gluten free diet and is feeling so much better but its working out rather expensive) We have a plastic shed outside the van (to house the washing machine) and are thinking about buying a small freezer to out out there too but not too sure how it would fare in the winter. I have noticed we seem to be throwing out food which I have never done before but I am still not back into making menus etc cos we have had so much to do. Although we are sticking to our budget I always feel I can do better...
We only got our washing machine a few weeks back - we are not allowed to have washing lines so have caravan drying racks on my decking but stuff does not dry like a good old washing line. THere is a launderette on site so I have been using their tumble dryer (£2 a shot which is well worth it as it saves the inside of the van being full of wet washing)
Our treats have been 2 new (second hand) cars - OHs car died the day we moved so defintly a need not a want! And a bus trip holiday to Oxford, the Cotswolds and Bletchley Park which was great but exhausting.
Christmas is going to be a challenge too - I have always bought in the Jan sales and picked up barginas during the year but we do not have the room to store excess stuff so will have to re-think presents and probably give vouchers which will be more costly.
The storage aspect is definlty a challenge and making decisions about buying wants not needs a lot easier as we dont have a lot of room for unnescessary stuff!
When we sold our flat we agreed the moving day was this Friday coming...turns out there all sorts of problems their end which is holding up papework...our solicitor is still confident it will be Friday but I can see us actually signing the missives with all our stuff in the van - aaarrrrgh!
So we have been in limbo but I have decided to start packing up properly. As we are downsizing so much we dont have a huge amount but it needs boxed up. We are getting rid of all our furniture as we dont need it in the caravan and even that is proving difficult - I have advertised stuff free to take away - nobody wants it - we can no longer take things in a trailer to our local re-cycling so what are we going to do with two couches, a double bed and a dinning table with 6 chairs??? Our local recycling charity wont take them as they dont have fire retardant labels - grrrrr. OH has now decided to take a grinder to them to cut them up into reasonable chunks and we will make many car journeys to the tip! I'm going to have one last push trying to get somone to take them - I seriously hate waste!
Everytime someone comes for a visit they leave with something!!!
And I am back!
Been a busy year - I now have 2 grandbabies who I love to bits, have had 2 funerals, 1 wedding, been off work for the last 6 months with a knee problem, managed to put back 2 stone 10 lbs of the 4 1/2 stone I had lost, OH had got a job 2 days a week and I have gone from full time to part time...busy busy busy!
One of the effects of being stuck in this flat unable to walk has been we decided to sell up to release capital(been talking about if for years) and today have accepted an offer! So we are moving from a 3 bedroomed fairly large flat to a.........static caravan! Its brand new and you can live in it all year round and still fairly pricey but we have talked it over and it what we want to do.
We have been majorly de-cluttering (thank heaven for Marie Kondo!) and selling everything that wasnt nailed down. If everything goes to plan we will be moving mid July fingers crossed...
Really looking forward to living in a much smaller space with much less stuff - its been a long road getting rid of stuff - goes against the grain not to keep every last bit "just in case" but we are not getting any younger and need somewhere easier to maintain.
So it will be a complete lifestyle change and I'm up for the challenge! So will keep you posted on how things are progressing.....