I hate this time of year.
I live in the UK so I don’t have to worry about the whole filling out of Tax forms etc that the US have to go through, but I do have to worry about my finances at this time of year.
Mostly because it’s been ingrained in me since childhood that even if you are on Benefits, you should try to manage your money properly. You know, save for things that you want, don’t get into debt, make sure you’re not spending frivolously so on and so forth.
The thing is, I am seriously bad at managing my money. I did an accountancy module in my degree and passed with flying colours, I know all the forms and can manage stuff on paper, but when it comes to applying the principles to my own income in a practical sense, I am officially useless!
Money is a major hang up for me. It makes me anxious and stressed to discuss with TOH who doesn’t have a problem with it – he’s more the “live in the moment” type when it comes to money. My anxiety comes from a teenagehood spent wondering if Mum would have enough money to buy food for us and how I could get some extra money for myself so that she didn’t have to pay me pocket money – I had a part time job of some sort from the age of 13 for that very reason.
It’s something that I don’t want my kids to have to worry about; unfortunately NOS is already worrying about it, but it’s a part of his Aspergers so I can’t affect the worry, all I can do is give him the tools to eliminate the worry for himself.
So every March / April, I make the effort to work out exactly where we are spending what, put together a household budget and present it to TOH with the intention that we are going to stick to it THIS YEAR…
Always before the intention has failed before the end of April because of Bank Holidays.
Why would a Bank Holiday cause that much hassle?
It causes so many problems simply because there are so many of them in the Easter period and they change the dates that the benefits are paid. This has a knock on effect on our finances because we are so dependent on them and have been since we lost our jobs in 2006.
The payments that fall on a Monday (always the day of a bank holiday unless its Good Friday or Christmas /Boxing Day / New Years Day) get thrown back to the previous Friday and unless you are on the ball, it is easy to spend that money and then wonder where the money you were expecting to get in went… which is what tends to happen to me.
Wow. Eight years of having to scrape money together for the household expenses each month.
Eight years of trying -and failing- to keep to a budget that is dependent on several different payments from a Govt. that can’t even keep its own house in order. It doesn’t matter if its a labour, lib dem or conservative govt; nothing has really changed over those eight years…
Eight years of trying to work out if our family would be better off with me in work… especially as to get a full time teaching job would mean either me moving away and commuting weekly or uprooting the whole family and moving back to England. Could I go back to never seeing the kids and always being busy with marking / lesson planning at weekends? Just to get a wage which wouldn’t be enough to live on without a benefit top up but is too much to get a decent amount of help?
Eight years of writing and publishing my own work for an average income of approximately £2.50 per month. Yes, that’s right – over eight years I have made a £240… the whole process of budgeting etc can be sooo depressing.
Ah well. Back to the Keyboard. I’ve managed to get TTATE #4 out recently, let’s see if I can get another book out soon… keep your eyes open!