This week, me and Ailsa have been doing a second round of baby budgeting. The impending arrival of junior is very exciting, but for a couple of dinkys, the sudden dent into our disposable income is pretty stark.
I’ve often talked about a good thrifty game, especially when I was keeping track of the value of my allotment harvests. This blog has regularly carried a slant towards the money-saving side of things, and whilst this is definitely not the main driver for growing my own, frugality has always played a big part in my posts.
Not Always So Frugal…
Despite this, I must confess I’d often chuck money at the plot to fix problems. For example, I bought expensive netting to keep the cabbage white away, put up a brand new shed rather than repair the old one, and purchased an expensive vertical growing kit when I could probably have installed some cheap second-hand shelving for a fraction of the cost.
I would often take short cuts too. I bought new gooseberry bushes when I could have used cuttings from my existing ones.
Not that all this is necessarily a bad thing. Spending cash on stuff you love is fun. I like my plot to look attractive as well as functional. There’s no point driving all the joy out of your hobby in an effort to make it as cost-effective as possible. There are some stunning examples of allotments and vegetable gardens in books and on the web, and it’s not like I’m spending the money on sex, drugs, and rock and roll*.
(*this is what I say to Ailsa when I want a new bike. She rarely goes for it).
The Times They Are a-Changin’
Things are going to have to change though, especially for the first year of junior’s life. Having contemplated this, I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve become quite inspired by a throwaway comment on a message board that I stumbled across this week. ‘I try not to let my allotment cost me more than a fiver a month,’ said the poster.
If I could have a hobby that I love and only cost me £5 a month, I’d be over the moon. That’s certainly a lot cheaper than my other passion, cycling.
A Fiver a Month Spending Limit
So, I’m going to have a go at the £5 a month limit this year. I know that I won’t always be able to keep to it – I want some asparagus and I need to fix some panes in my greenhouse, and every grower wants to attempt something different each year.
I am going to use it as a guide though, and motivation to try and find innovative cost-effective solutions to problems. Succeed(ish) and I reckon I’ll get even more satisfaction from my plot.
I can’t promise architectural masterpieces on a vegopolis scale, but I’ll be blogging about my thrifty adventures all the same, and no doubt asking for help too. If you’ve got any ideas I’d love to hear them.
I’ll also be blogging about the disasters – if I’m DIYing, they’ll be plenty.