The present economic climate has seen major cutbacks across all sectors of society. No one is immune and the tell tale signs are everywhere so do look out for them. 

10. Reusing unfranked postage stamps

Because of your diminished financial situation you are put in the position of having to retrieve unfranked stamps from letters and parcels. Once delivered to your home these postage stamps are carefully cut from the packaging and placed in a tumbler full of water for 5 minutes. The adhesive will soften and the stamp can be removed easily from the backing paper. Next, the stamp is dried near the fire whereupon it will curl up and this will necessitate the stamp being place inside a large book to flatten it prior to use (again). 

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9. The gym membership

You are unable to renew you annual gym membership. It was too dear anyway you tell yourself. By simply walking the 5 miles to the gym and back home again you will get the same amount of exercise (if not more) than any physical workout with equipment. As an added bonus you save on the gas cost for the car that you can no longer afford either. 

8. Reading yesterday's news

You can no longer afford your daily newspaper but you go along to the store as normal but you don’t enter. You wait until they discard yesterday’s news and you pick up your free copy. Talk about stale news, but at least you keep abreast of current events, even if a day later than everyone else.

7. The Spendthrift

You spend a lot of time thinking about how to spend money that you do not have. You wish that you have won a large amount of money on a sweepstake or lottery but the reality is that you cannot even afford a ticket.

6. Vacation becomes Staycation

You can only dream of a vacation in a Las Vegas Hotel or on a Cruise liner trip as you can no longer afford to travel and as for a gambling casino, it is simply out of the question. Your only vacation will be the stay-at-home type called staycation. 

5. Cost cutting

You long longer buy new clothes and will gladly accept hand-me-downs from friends and family. You are not in the least bit embarrassed by the decline in your social standing. 

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4. Sewing

You learn a new skill called sewing. The tear in your shirt or trousers can be mended invisibly by your new found expertise with a needle and thread. In the good old days these items of apparel would have gone into the trash.

3. Electronic Games Demise

You have to sell all your electronic games and toys to buy food but all is not lost as all the old board games, which were stored away for years, remake an appearance. The kids are disgusted as you force them to play with an ancient Monopoly set and board. Other board games like the word game Scrabble were also unsuccessful with the letters falling all over the place.

2.Visiting Charity Shops

Your visits, in the past, to the charity shop was to donate old, worn and tired clothes and it only now that you wish you had kept them because they are better than what you are currently wearing. Your charity shop visits now are to buy whatever bargains you can, especially your ‘new’ clothes.

1. Reusing tea bags

Even though you have seen it advertised on the box you never really believed that one tea bag would make two cups of tea. But now, you are determined to test the theory and you assiduously collect all your used tea bags and dry them out for using again. 

Tea bags for two

Drying tea

Tea for two

Read more top 10's by Tom Carver

Apart from these everyday poverty signs the author has written other ‘Top Ten’ articles on the rather less poor Las Vegas hotels and books of classic English Literature as well as and a top 10 for playing a Scrabble game using the best words.