It’s difficult these days to even define what money is. It can be coins in our pockets, notes in purses and wallets or numbers on bank account statements. Money can be just bits in a computer or tokens of any kind.
In theory, competition and supply and demand should regulate prices in a free market. In practice that isn’t the case. There are monopolies and cartels. There can be a lack of competition. There can be government interference in the market, such as the government’s ‘help to buy scheme’; that can distort the property market. An increased money supply can also mean increased demand.
When I was younger, there was a lot of industry in the Black Country. Working and making money was hard, but there was was also ‘easy money’. Making beer could be considered a lot easier than working in a foundry or down a mine.
It seems the British economy is growing and we aren’t in recession after all. GDP has increased 0.3%. Well it’s better than nothing. That means spending has increased by 0.3%, that’s combined spending, the government’s and ours. The government is spending less. Are we spending more?
We all need water and food and we need to keep warm in winter. The divide between what we actually need and what we want is getting a little blurred. Do we really need mobile phones, cars and internet? I think we want these things and a lot more, but we don’t need them. We don’t even need television…
I answered my phone this morning. This is unusual for me, I usually leave the calls to go to my answering machine, because of nuisance calls that could be dealt with easily; but aren’t, because they make money for the telecom companies. It was from TalkTalk.
Imagine you had to buy meat at the butchers because no one else sold it. If the prices kept going up, that could be because there was a lack of competition. If there are only two butchers on the High Street and the nearest one apart from those were 50 miles away; they might take advantage of that.
I don’t usually do sky pictures, they’re boring, but this one is unusual and I’m a bit desperate today. If you look carefully you can see the moon breaking through the clouds. We had another week of financial bad news. Both banks that are partly owned by the tax payer posted losses. Not real losses that would send them into administration like so many High Street businesses; these are just millions and billions lost ‘on paper’.
We all wish that we had been born with a silver spoon in our mouths. But the reality for most people is that rather than enjoying inherited wealth, they have to create their own wealth. Many people will never own their own home and for those that are lucky enough to own a home, they spend their life paying off the mortgage. To make it all worse the money we earn is constantly devalued by an expanding money supply.
Food prices keep going up and so we not only have to shop around and look for bargains, we have to do some frugal cooking. Egg and chips is one of my favourite meals. You can get eggs with the little lion on from most supermarkets for about 1.35 for 15. In Aldi, I buy those crinkle cut oven chips for 99p a bag. So I cook a meal for less than 50p.
A few years ago, the refuse collection service where I live was put out to tender. One of those big ‘outsourcing’ companies won the 300 million pound contract. They now collect refuse, a wheelie bin for recycling, a bin for garden waste in summer, a bin for a kitchen waste and a bin that is supposed to be kept in the kitchen for waste too. The staff got a pay cut when it was all reorganised and that wasn’t the only council service to be outsourced.
Imagine for a moment, that you lived in a small village and was fairly self-sufficient, producing your own food. You even produce enough to sell to the Lord of the Manor and the rest of the village.
A lot of people are going to be struggling because of government cuts. The Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, will keep benefit rises to 1% for three years from next April. This will hit a lot of people and save the government a couple of billion a year. That’s a lot of money. Not as much as the 12 billions the Olympics cost, but still a lot of money.
This post was originally published on http://mike10613.wordpress.com on the 4th January 2013.
Big is beautiful to some people. Well, you get paid more for running a city than a town! Near my home there are six shops. There used to be a greengrocers where you could buy fruit and vegetables; that is now a ‘tanning salon’.
The supermarkets where I live are very busy and people are stocking up on food and booze. I have had enquiries about Christmas openings, but most supermarkets don’t seem to have them on their websites yet. Usually they are closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day; except for Asda who usually open on Boxing Day. I’ll do an update if I find out the opening times.
How to save money during your education
Education is considered to be most important part of every individual’s life. The writing techniques, learning skills, teaching technologies, etc. play vital roles in education. Apart from the learning, one may have many responsibilities like repaying student loans, different kinds of bills, expenses and own finances besides the chores.
In the UK, the Chancellor made his Autumn economic statement yesterday. Will the economy get better or worse as a result? It seems we are going to see more austerity and so it will probably get worse. People will have less money to spend and that will be lower sales for retailers and service providers.
The area of Britain where live is known as the Black Country and used to be heavily industrialised. I used to listen to drop forge hammers pounding as a child and looked out of my bedroom window to see factories served by a railway line. They made trucks for trains and the workers were called in to work with a device that sounded like an air raid siren.
Last month, I received an email from Scottish Power with their price rise. Is it simple? Is it hell! There are two unit prices for electricity and two for gas, three out of four will be increasing. Then there are the annual discounts for taking both gas and electricity and the online discount. They are being cut by a total of £11.55. It’s complicated, but the unit price of gas is going up by over 12%. Can it get worse? Yes it can. Now they want over 24% extra!
I have been reading about getting presents for Christmas and many of the suggestions involve parting with serious amounts of money. Many people need to cut back this year. People are supposed to be short of money in a recession, but it seems not everyone needs to cut back. I shall show you before Christmas how to send Christmas Greetings for free, by using a suitable photo with Merry Christmas on it and posting it on Facebook. That’ll save a few bleeding postage stamps.