The Allotment Idiot


Sep 9, 2013
The Allotment Idiot

I have a burning question; is having an allotment cool these days or just a sign that I am getting old? 

I like to believe it’s the former and that I am doing my bit, feeding off the fat of the land (if I manage to grow anything that is), joining the ranks of Tom and Barbara (google ‘The Good Life’ if you haven’t got a clue what I’m on about) but when I tell people that I am now the proud owner of a local allotment, I can’t help feeling that I am starting to sound very much like my father. He of course is as pleased as punch that his son is following in his footsteps; let’s hope the joy continues when I am constantly calling him for advice.

In truth I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing and am sure I will be branded the ‘allotment idiot’ in a very short space of time. I can hear them now, ‘that wet behind the ears townie knows nothing’ although why I should feel that way I don’t know as everyone so far has been really helpful; I guess I’m just a bit daunted by the task ahead of me. 

I must admit I was hoping to inherit a plot that was good to go but no such luck. I have however inherited a shed which I am thrilled about; I now have my very own ‘man cave’. Not quite sure what you’re supposed to do in there but I’m confident my new allotment buddies will teach me the art of having good ‘shed time’.

In addition to looking at gardening tips, I read an interesting article on the Which? website this weekend about how consumers are feeling about the cost of living; especially poignant after the recent release of Sun Life Direct’s Cost of Dying report I blogged about last week.      
 
It appears that confidence is starting to grow in the UK with 31% of us expecting the economy to improve in 2014 but there are still concerns over the cost of energy, fuel, food prices and the ability to save money. 

Understandably with more people under financial pressure, the temptation to dip into savings is increased. Interestingly the survey has previously shown that people were most likely to dip into savings to pay for holidays whereas this year, households are more likely to use savings to pay for household essentials such as food or bills. 

One thing is for certain, there is no time like the present to shop around and make sure you are getting the best service and deal for your money. The survey highlighted the car industry, banking, finance and energy companies as the industries people had the least amount of trust in. The good news here is that you can do something about the price you pay for a lot of these services. 

Whether you are looking to improve your savings account, reduce your energy bills or the price you pay for your car insurance, you can take control by comparing deals online and actively switching suppliers. It just takes a bit of time and effort but the rewards can be great. 

Alternatively you could just get an allotment and live ‘The Good Life’.

By Ashley Shepherd

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Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

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