Last day of the year folks, and I for one can’t wait to see the end of it.
I woke up this morning thinking of times past, and for some reason my mind went back to my finances in 1981.
Recently divorced, I invested £1,800 in a five year fixed interest bond, and the £161.50 per annum was paid directly into my bank account every August. It was sufficient to pay my car insurance, MOT and road tax for the year, with a few bob left over.
How times have changed! Today, if I had the same amount in a savings account, I would receive £4.50 in interest for a full year. My car insurance was just under £200 in 2020, an MOT is £50, and our road tax £20, so it doesn’t come close to covering even one of those things. Ho hum.
Thankfully we are in a position to keep our little car on the road, which is a blessing when we need to shop as we can go further afield without having to be concerned about public transport or carrying the larger things. The irony is that, although that’s 17 miles away and may not be considered local, we have a legitimate excuse to travel as there are no banks here, and the nearest branch of ours is 17 or 20 miles away, as is the building society. So far, we have not had to resort to on-line ordering and home deliveries, but that may well come if circumstances change.
As we slam the door loudly on 2020, I am hoping 2021 will be better for everyone. Not just with the potential for being vaccinated, but appreciating what is most important in our lives, or perhaps who. Hubby and I will celebrate our Pearl Wedding anniversary in May.
We are luckier than most, and try so very hard not to take each other for granted. Many of our friends will be starting the new year as single people rather than half of a couple. For those on the estate here, that will be so difficult after 40, 50 and even 60 years of marriage.
Hopefully too families will grow closer despite the distances between them, and who knows, maybe old fashioned letters will once again become popular and hit the mat.
There is something about a personal letter, the fact that someone has taken the time to sit down and write it, purchased a stamp, then walked down to the post box to put it in the mail so that it can begin its journey to the addressee. Currently, a first class stamp costs 76p and second class 65p. IMO it’s one of the few things that is still value for money when you consider how far it may have to travel, and the time frame concerned for arrival. Covid aside, that was always pretty reasonable.
As a child, all of my present labels had to be kept so that I would write the necessary Thank You letters after Christmas or my birthday. Mum paid for the stamps then (only sixpence so the equivalent of 2½p today), but I would sit at the table with pad and pen to do it. It was no hardship at all, and letter writing has stuck, even many decades afterwards.
Maybe 2021 will see a change back to some of the ‘old ways’, and instead of sitting in front of a TV or computer game, card or board games become the norm after the evening meal, conversation resumes, and we begin to learn more about ourselves and each other, perhaps even developing new interests that don’t involve batteries or technology.
I hope your New Year starts off on a positive note. If you toast in 2021 at Midnight, may you be with those you love and care for. If like us, you plan to retire early, sleep well and awaken to not only a new day, but a New Year, stepping forward rather than looking back.
Above all, look after each other, take care, be kind, and keep safe.