Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Saving - or lack of it

I've always been pretty good with money (at least I like to think so!). Due to aquiring some money before Uni I managed to come out with only one student loan and as I was one of the first to get one the earnings threshold was ridiculously high and as yet I haven't had to start paying it back.

My job in London was well paid. Due to an error I went for quite some time without the incremental pay rise I should have received. When I spotted this it was backdated and my monthly salary adjusted to a new level. The lump sum I got went into a savings account (after a small treat) and I carried on living off my pre pay rise income and put the extra into a savings account each month. If there was any money left at the end of the month that went into savings too. I saved. I was a good saver. Yes I was a good spender too, trips to shows in London, purchases from eBay, but I still predominantly shopped in charity shops and was happy to do the grocery shopping at Lidl! I stuck to my means.

Fast forward to my current situation. I have taken a significant pay cut and am now paying out for two properties - as you can imagine, that doesn't compute!!  By the time I have paid all the bills for the flat I am trying to sell and the rent for where I am currently staying (which is well below 'market' rate and includes my bills) there is no money at the end of the month. Never mind no money to save, there is no money to eat, entertain, buy clothes or the occasional treat!! I am now living off those savings I so diligently put by. Don't get me wrong, I knew that would be the situation and because I made the effort to save I'm in a position where I can do this. I guess this counts as the proverbial 'rainy day'. What I didn't expect was how not being able to save would get to me.

I would like to go and see J, but to do that not only do I need the money to get there and back but I'd also need a new passport - that's £75 on it's own.

I'd really like one of these for my eBook reader - I don't need it true but it would be nice.

I've wanted this bracelet for ages...

I'd like to be able to go back to Kent and visit M. Head up north to see S & W...

I'm pretty much decided on my fourth tattoo...

In the past I would have said - OK then, lets save for that. Or if I can save half of the cost of it, I'll treat myself and take the other half from what I'd already saved. I'd sell some stuff on eBay.

But what do you do when there is no money left at the end of the month and everything you buy comes out of your savings? When you do pick up some extra work and get some extra cash it all goes in the same pot and in the long run the little voice in you head says you need to keep it so that it can pay for food etc in the future. It seems that much more frivolous to say 'OK, that was extra so I can spend it'.

I'm far from destitute, I know that, I have a roof over my head, food on the table etc etc. I also know that at some point if my flat doesn't sell I'll have to head back to Kent and get a job there, this can't go on indefinitely. Or (looking at the positive) if the flat does sell then problem solved! I'm just finding it a tough place to be right now...rant over!!!

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