I am concerned as to things going up quite drastically in some respects and with regard to energy in particular. With us having a spate of good weather recently we have had no need to have the heating on - even when it went cold for a couple of days the house remained reasonably warm.
OH and I got into trouble with the gas and electric bills through no fault of our own as the providers seriously under-estimated what we were using and with OH then losing his job. This was despite us paying £70 per month for gas alone by DD and £40 for electric. We ended up going on to the payment cards to pay off the bills but still be able to use electricity and gas. Fortunately that is now paid off. It was the only way we could do it. We could potentially go back onto main account but we have chosen not to preferring to pay cash and know that the bills are covered. It is probably not the cheapest option but we cannot contemplate another round of debt through no fault of our own and so we feel more secure dealing with it in this fashion.
Bearing in mind that we are not using much gas at the moment apart from hot water and cooking I intend to pop up a sum each month to put us in credit for the winter months. It is always the winter months when we use the most energy and so if we pay it forward as it were it is going to lessen the impact on the household budget and also put us in credit in readiness for the winter months and make sure that we have the means to heat the house comfortably and without fretting as to whether we can afford it or not.
If it was my own house I would have a range cooker/central heating for the house and wood burners. I would actively source these from the off. and extremely good insulation. Not all homes in the countryside have access to gas and so you have to look to alternative forms of energy/heating. The more choice you give yourself the more able you are able to overcome any future difficulties by your own choices and ability to move forward even if issues/difficulties do come your way. A few years back we did not anticipate that OH would be out of a job for over 4 1/2 years and it is very much a case of there but for the grace of god go I. You never quite know what is round the corner but whatever it is you can cope with it one step at a time. After all it is how you cope and deal with things to get you through that is the real lesson and/or challenge to your own personal journey. There is always a means and a way its just sometimes you have to do a bit more digging to work out the best way for you.
Catch you soon.