It’s been a while since I wrote. I’ve been busy. What with a couple of biggish social media and content managing contracts coming up, Christmas planning in my Guitar Geekery shop, and a whole load of STUFF going on, I’ve not had much head space for writing.
Truth be told, most of the STUFF has been finance related. I have got used to juggling funds, living on a shoe string and basically not spending owt. But every now again I get hit by monumental cash flow problems. Anyway, solutions are on the horizon, and I’m not quite so stressed now. But it got me to thinking. 10 years ago, I was in a well paid job that gave me disposable income. Two redundancies, illness, running a business on next to no capital, being the sole breadwinner, blablabla…. I’ve had to make some cutbacks over the years.
First went the expensive cosmetics. Then the taxis. Then I stopped eating in restaurants. And buying new clothes. Now I’m living on so little, that when bank managers and benefits advisers want me to tell them my monthly budget I have to double the amount to make it believable! I won’t deny it’s been hard work, but it’s also a matter of great pride that I have managed this belt tightening. The stress levels occasionally rocket out of orbit, but the compromise I make on spending, that’s actually OK.
|Things I couldn’t live without, except it turns out I can.||Things I’ve replaced them with, and yes I’m ok with it|
|Branded olive oil||Supermarket own brand|
|Lancome makeup||The possibilities of cheap makeup are endless|
|Taxis home from the supermarket||Shanks’s Pony|
|New books||The library|
|Designer specs||Should have gone to …|
|CDs||Spotify and BBC Radio 6 Music|
|Cheese from the cheesemonger||Bog standard cheddar|
|Single malt whisky||Just the ice!|
|Weekends away||Walks in the park|
|Holidays in the sun||Holidays at home. Literally. At my home.|
|Hobbs, H&M||Charity shops and home dressmaking|
|Restaurants||Greasy spoons and voucher fuelled pizza|
|Greengrocery deliveries||Trudging around the market.|
|Magazine subscriptions||You know what? Most magazines are a rip off.|
|Impromptu nights on the tiles||I can’t hack it anymore anyway!|
None of that makes me miserable. Can I tell the difference between a £5 bottle of wine and a £10 bottle of wine? Who am I kidding! The designer cosmetics – it’s all in the packaging, I promise. The Christmas cards? People don’t hate you because you don’t send Christmas cards. Really they don’t. And brocolli is just really nice. All in all, I can’t believe I was so extravagant.
It’s not all a bed of roses though. Not knowing whether you will be able to pay the mortgage next month is very stressful. It knocks years off your life. I really don’t recommend it. But I’m still standing. And I will be for some time yet.