Changing Times – I can’t believe how much it all costs!

So young and innocent!

When we were younger and more innocent, Roy and I moved into our first place together. Our bills were as follows:

  • Rent – £300
  • Council Tax – £58
  • Water £20 a month over 8 months
  • Electric – £30-£40 a month (key meter)
  • Mobiles – £10 a month (for both of us – we only ever text each other, on our huge phones lol!)
  • Food – £40 a week did all our food /drink / toiletries and cleaning materials

We had no landline, no gas, no internet.

We both smoked, 20 Lambert & Butler were £2.55.

My hourly wage was £3.63 and I worked a minimum of 38hrs a week

Roys take-home pay was £150 a week.

And we wanted for nothing. We had no credit, went out we wanted to, could eat takeaways – whatever. We even managed to put a little away each month.

Now our bills are double, and in some cases triple than what is listed above! We haven’t smoked in years which is probably just as well seeing as they look set to top £7 for 20 before too long, and we don’t drink. Obviously we have extras now such as Sky TV, broadband, and what not -but the difference in the basics is phenomenal! Scary really!

I wonder what the costs of things will be in another 15 years? Can you remember your first home and the costs? I bet they are quite different to what they are now!

Has the internet killed the high-street?

We all known that Britain has been, and still is, in the grasp of some fairly serious money problems. Redundancy, unemployment levels, businesses closing down altogether or moving production abroad seem commonplace amongst the headlines nowadays.

I read a piece today on BBC news about HMV, whom also owns Waterstones, closing 60 of their stores due to lower than expected/hoped for sales and share levels. Next have reported a £22mdrop in sales and blame it on people staying way from stores due to the snow. While I won’t deny that the snow will have had a significgant effect on Xmas shopping on the high-street this winter – I have to wonder if as a nation, we just don’t use physical stores like we did. The internet is expanding daily and what you can’t do online isn’t worth thinking about. With petrol prices going up, rubbish weather and increasingly busy lives it is no wonder that people seem to be preferring to shop online.

Myself, as much as I hate the idea of physical stores going down the pan, have to say that I much prefer online shopping. No venturing out in the bad weather, no queues, no parking, and no petrol to pay – for us it’s a no-brainer. That, and I find it so much cheaper to buy online. It is easier to compare prices, shop around for deals and special offers, get cash-back and there are so many unique internet shops/sites to browse which make shopping pleasurable again. Despite having to pay delivery on most items – this is usually much cheaper than the petrol you pay, the necessary lunch/coffee break/snack when out, and I’m sure it reduces the amount of impulse buying. Thinking about it – I can’t afford to visit the highstreet anymore!

What do you think? Has it become so much easier to buy online, to return and reorder unsuitable items and compare prices, that the high-street is dying out? I hope not, but time will tell.

My question for today is : How have your shopping habits changed over recent years and do you think internet shopping has or will take over?

Link to BBC news and the story that prompted this post.

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