‘We Love Low Cost Living’ Event with the Hornbeam
Do you ever get stressed about using your money well? Do you have any good advice about saving money? I know I worry about budgeting sometimes, and it seems to be an almost universal experience. No matter how well off someone is, it seems, there’s always some bill that preys on their mind. Never mind all the nice things we could buy if we had just a little more to spare.
In Waltham Forest, the sixth most deprived borough in London, where in almost twenty percent of households no-one is employed (This is according to the Council, you can find more details here: https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/Pages/Services/statistics-economic-information-and-analysis.aspx) far too many people probably worry about finances so much that the stress has a major impact on their lives. There are established connections between poverty and poor health – and you can see why. If you’re unemployed, working many hours to collect a wage they can live on in minimum wage jobs, or even using food banks, eating well or getting exercise takes time which could be spent working or looking for work, and energy which we all know we don’t have when we’re stressed. Sometimes it’s not even possible because it’s too expensive, or would require new skills which people don’t have and can’t afford to learn.
Not having enough money, or time, or simply feeling like getting through the day is too exhausting to do anything else, can affect all kinds of areas of life in similar ways, making it difficult to maintain a home, get education which could improve the situation , or, unfortunately, find ways to reduce our living costs. People often imagine saving money will involve big changes to their lives, maybe even cost more money at first, and it really can be difficult to find ways to live more cheaply.
But at the same time, a lot of people seem to have little tips and tricks picked up over the years, and I was delighted, a few weeks ago, to join a workshop at Significant Seams where we made plans to partner with the Hornbeam Community Cafe on their upcoming new project ‘We Love Low Cost Living.’ The idea behind the project is to share these ideas we all have about cheaper living, so that we can all worry less about money.
The main focus of the day was to discuss what Significant Seams can contribute to the project, including several upcoming activities, and we all had a lot of fun talking through the possibilities and building links with the Hornbeam and their other partners. We’re hoping they’re all as friendly as Grace, who will surely make everyone who gets involved feel comfortable!
So, what is it we’re doing to help our community learn more about Low Cost Living? Well, first of all you should watch out for our Draught Excluder making pack. Like our other craft packs, it will include instructions and all the materials needed to cheaply make your own Draught Excluder. This is a fun way to stop heat escaping your house and save on bills, and you’ll be able to find it at our Wood Street Shop.
The Hornbeam are collecting pictures of people with their favourite money-saving tips written on a whiteboard, to get discussion and ideas moving, as well as visiting Lunch Clubs to start working with older members of the community, which will be their initial focus. We want to work with the broader community, but we’re looking to support this by displaying some pictures in the Wood Street shop, so watch out for this installation coming up. We all got to have our picture taken, and it’s a lot of fun deciding on your favourite money saving tip. If you’d be interested in participating, come down to 131 Wood Street, or contact The Hornbeam using their website: http://www.hornbeam.org.uk/low-cost-living/we-love-low-cost-living/
The project we’re most excited about, though, is our insulated curtain. We’re looking to create a Low Cost Living curtain, which we’ll embroider and write on with our tips and then add an insulated lining, and we’re hoping to eventually create tutorials on insulating curtains and provide help for those of you who would like to insulate your own curtains. We even talked about creating a number of insulated curtains and guides for a range of budgets.
The Curtain should be going up in our window at 131 Wood Street in the next couple of weeks, so feel free to come down to the shop and take a look.
As for the Hornbeam, they’re still developing ideas, and working with local non profit HEET and the Waltham Forest Credit Union to create events around saving money on energy bills and budgeting. A Facebook page for We Love Low Cost Living should appear in the next few weeks, and we’ll be sure to provide a link once it does. Grace from the Hornbeam, as well as money saving experts from HEET and the Waltham Forest Credit Union, have kindly agreed to be interviewed by me, and the results should be going up on this blog in the coming weeks.
We’re really looking forward to working with and for you on this fantastic project!
Links and Extra Information:
The Hornbeam Website, including a full list of partners in We Love Low Cost Living: http://www.hornbeam.org.uk/
HEET’s website: http://www.theheetproject.org.uk/
The Waltham Forest Credit Union online: http://www.wfccu.org/
Rosa is a blog writer and volunteer for Significant Seams, with a passion for stories and storytelling. You can usually find her at the shop on Wednesday mornings, so feel free to stop by and chat if you have an idea for the blog.