So another year rolls round and we wait for George Osbourne to hold his old red briefcase in the air so we can photograph his familiar hairstyle and the unfamiliar London sun.
But that’s not what I’m going to write about. I’m going to write about my budget.
I’m not famous for handling money efficiently,* but somehow I survived last year living (on my own) off two hundred pounds expendable income a month.** My one pound sixty weekly shop has become legendary. Even that allowed an impulse purchase of a “luxury item” (see rule three).
Somehow I always seem to be able to spend to (sometimes beyond) my means. Which has become a problem now that they are greater.
I’ve imposed a budget on myself, but being bad at budgeting, instead these are a succession of rules. Here they are.
Rule One – Pay only in cash
This is sometimes avoided, such as when I buy big purchases on credit; similarly to the machine that goes bing! these then enter other budgetary pigeon-holes, much like incapacity benefit to slash unemployment figures.
Essentially though, it involves my day to day spending being paid entirely in cash. I set an arbitrary weekly limit, and withdraw half on Sunday and half on Thursday. This gets me through food shopping, travel and luxuries (see rule three).
Plus, you can see cash going down, and you’ll subconsciously keep track.
Rule Two – Impulse Purchases
I’m an impulsive man. I am famous for my impulse purchases.* Once, my friend and I bought a lot of Go-Gos for no reason whatsoever.
I believe that abstinence is doomed to fail, so rather than denying myself impulse purchases or luxury items (see rule three), instead these are limited.
Generally, my Impulse Purchase Of The Day is a Creme Egg, at least at the moment.
Rule Three – Luxury
* Fame will be the topic for a future blog.
** Most went on alcohol, generally social events, then on food.