This week hasn’t been too bad, so far. It won’t go down in history as one of the best weeks ever, but I have known weeks significantly worse than this!
The first positive that happened this week, of course, was I got my second Icesave email! Hurrah! I confess, I did give a mini cheer when I saw the email; it has been long in coming. I promptly raised my claims and hopefully I will have my money early next week. Yipee! No email for Sam yet though so I still have my fingers crossed.
The second positive thing that happened this week was that I did Kettle Bell circuits at the gym for the first time ever! It was so difficult though – a real physical drain (especially following a tough Monday night outing) but I really felt like I have accomplished something afterwards. Yesterday I awoke in a certain amount of pain, to the point where I think I even dreamt about it! Today it is less painful to walk, but all my muscles are feeling more noticably sore. My trainer said that there would be very few women in my gym who are physically capable of doing the circuit though, so that was a definite confidence boost. Hopefully I will be recovered by tomorrow ready for my weekly 30 min erg!
Erm, I’m not sure I know what my next few positive things are – maybe I spoke too soon. On a really basic level, I got to have a yummy veggie burger with chunky chips for tea yesterday, Clare brough bicuits in to work and we finally got ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ from LoveFilm. Also, I have next Friday off to go on my Floatation Tank experience that Sam and I won at the Broxbourne Dinner Dance raffle :o)
VAT also goes down from Monday – 17.5% to 15% for 13 months. It has caused a bit of a hoo-ha at work because they have had to rush a load of price changes through. Aside from that though, things will be cheaper as of next week! There has been a lot of debate surrounding the decision to drop VAT. A lot of people are saying it’s more effort than it’s worth. Initially I was sceptical too, but having given it some more thought, it will help I think. Whilst it only drops the price by about 2.2% overall, every bit helps at the moment. Whatsmore, it’s on EVERYTHING. So, for 13 months, all our weekly shops will be cheaper. Critics are saying that it won’t help anyone and that we’ll just be hit by higher taxes later. That is probably the case, but to be honest, I think people need to be taught the value of money again, and learn how to plan ahead. If you know that VAT will increase about 17.5% in a years time, you just have to budget more wisely. We can’t have everything for free and right now, people need to have some money freed-up.
I’m not convinced that everyone will go out and manically spend just because VAT has dropped. However, I think it is still the shock of what has happened that is causing people not to spend. After years of spending to excess, of course the default reaction is to keep your money close to you. But things such as the Marks & Spencers 20% event just show that given the opportunity to save, people will still spend.
Anyway, enough of this. I have work to do… Oh, and in summary, I think that, yes, it probably is a good week!
Although not thanks to our completely useless hosting company I might add! Sam has modified the api’s to provide me with a file held within my website instead – better performance and it actually works! Well done Sam! :o)
Our flipping website hosting company have been fiddling again. They like to do this – tinker with settings and version etc – without thinking too much about the users. This time they have managed to change something which has broken any page of my site which reads an api file sent to me by Sam. Really unhelpful since that meant my homepage wouldn’t even load. Now, it’s not as though I have lots of visitors or anything, but still… Anyhoo, that is the reasoning behind the cut down homepage. Sam has a possible solution he may work on tomorrow night, so until then it’ll be just music and blogging! Not that I even update those very often…
The FSCS have just announced they hope to return money to Icesave savers within the next few weeks. Apparently I should have an email from them by Friday. Yippee!!
I want Cola Cao. I’m going to make some, con unas tostadas mixta (mantequilla y confitura de melocotón) – ¡que bueno!
My mind has been going at a hundred miles an hour today. It has also been conflicting with itself. The entire walk home I couldn’t stop thinking about everything: work, rowing, money, holidays, the weather… I wasn’t really thinking about any of them properly though and one minute I would be thinking, I want to go running, the next I would be thinking I want to eat a massive curry and just slob out. As it is, I’m making fish and oven chips with pea and plan to do a bit of Wii-Fitting later…
I have, of recent, been hit by the stark realisation the Britain is fast becoming a very self-pitying and depressing nation. Some would probably blame the recent ‘credit crunch’ / looming recession. However, that would just further strengthen my argument. I appreciate that things are stressful for many at the moment, and having still got no closer to getting the bulk of my savings back after Icesave went default, I think I can put myself somewhere in that band. The thing is that Britain almost seem to relish the doom-and-gloom is a kind of sadistic way.
Sometimes it is hard to look on the bright side, but I think because people have become so accustomed to buying whatever they want over the last couple of years, having to go without is hitting many hard. I have to admit that I too am finding it a bit hard as well. I have always been a diligent saver for the very reason that in tougher times I could still afford to buy a few bits and bobs. But since I now don’t have any money to hand other than my salary, things like buying some new winter rowing kit have had to be thrown on the distant back-burner. I’m not getting depressed about it though because that just makes everything seem worse.
As usual, I believe the media have a massive role to play in this. I just want to scream at them "Stop being so bloody negative" and bash their heads against a brick wall. It may get worse again after this initial crisis, but at least governments and companies are now proactively trying to help stabalise things. These periods are never nice, but things will get better with time. It just requires a bit of patience, a bit more diligence and even more vision!
I have managed to really tighten a muscle in my lower back which is causing me much discomfort :o( It first came on during my personal trainer session last week. I thought it would just ease up after a couple of nights sleep but it was still causing me agro during my 30 min erg on Thursday. It never gave me much grief during rowing and on Monday night it actually felt a bit better. Tuesday arrived though and every part of my body was aching – back included!
Anyhoo, during my personal trainer session yesterday we were trying to locate the source and decided it was definitely muscular. When my trainer, Marissa, was stretching me at the end of the session, she prodded my back and OWWW, the pain. It was then rubbed and prodded do death whilst I all but cried slowly in to the floor and I was instructed to go and buy neurofen – the special back kind!
Today when I got up my back was so tender. I’m not sure, because I can’t really see, but I even think there might be bruise!! However, it does feel looser, so fingers crossed that it’s better tomorrow.
So, it seems that I (and much of my family) are now falling victim to the ‘credit crunch’. Yesterday it looked likely that one of the banks where we have savings accounts was going to declare themselves insolvent. Only time will tell what the outcome is. Hopefully we’ll know one way or the other today. At least if a decision has been made you can act appropriately; at the moment there is nothing we can do because all deposits and withdrawals have been stopped.
It’s really frustrating. Yes, I know we are covered for the money but it still requires getting it back, which could take months. It makes me quite angry really that this can happen with your money. It’s not like the majority of people using Icesave are playing the stock market or something risky, these are just normal savings accounts. Where else are the general public supposed to put their money except in a bank? Then the banks don’t take care of it. The final kick in the teeth of course is that most of us joined Icesave for the good interest rate, but if you get interest annually then you won’t see interest for this entire tax year. May as well have just put it in a low paying savings account, or even just buried it in a hole…!
It’s all doom and gloom in the press at the moment. Every time I look at the BBC website, another bank in another country is currently being bailed out by their government. It’s really depressing and it gets me so angry. So much of this has been brought on by people’s greed. It’s not just the general public’s greed though, it’s the businesses and the banks that are the driving force behind it. The banks just kept lending to people with no equity and now people are in debt. The banks kept investing in riskier and risker propositions, to try and make more money, only to now start losing it. Why are people suddenly willing to take such a gamble with money that isn’t theirs??! Perhaps if I wasn’t a saver I would be agreeing with the other camp. However, I am and I have always been diligent with money so it p*sses me off so many others think that it’s beyond them…