I realised about a month ago that the only connection between one’s income and one’s expenditure should be that the latter is less than the former.
Well, obviously. Everyone in the world knows that. Come back when you have something worth writing about.
But here is the important thing. In order for that to happen, unless you have more income than you are actually able to spend, you have to have and use a Budget. I kind of knew that I should have a budget, but I was very intimidated by the idea, so I didn’t.
Fortunately, this summer life conspired to make something else more intimidating than having a budget.
- My graphic design work mostly dried up, so we were making less money.
- The government decided that since we made ‘so much’ money in 2007-08 we did not need any tax credits for 2008-09.
- Our car became desperate for a new clutch.
- Christine became desperate for a new tooth, and the NHS dentist, who is being funded in part by the tax credits the government decided I don’t need, decided that a new tooth was too much work and she would just pull the old one out. In January. Oh, and please notice the sign at reception: toothache, no matter how bad (yes, even if it is so bad that that ibuprofen, paracetemol, and codeine combined don’t help at all) is NOT a dental emergency. We went private, of course.
All those fun things together mean that right now our income is about £500 per month less than our expenditures. I refer you to paragraph one. Something has to change. Several somethings, actually.
- We are putting a real, working budget together with the help of Steve Houghton our pastor and financial guru.
- We are cutting expenditures with a very big, lifestyle-altering knife. (Yes, I did miss my after church pints on Saturday and Sunday. I also knew that miss counted for my family’s fiscal well-being, so I was fine.)
- We are working hard on three things to increase our income. They will be announced here soon.
In conclusion, I am grateful that the government decided to stop giving back some of my money. It turned out to be the pointy tip of the cattle prod which drove me into the livestock transporter called Budget, so that I could get moo-ving down the highway of Financial Freedom and one day arrive in the green pastures of Fiscal Well-Being*; i.e. I am making my sure my expenditures are less than my income.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
*I’m on a budget now, so I can’t afford good metaphors.
22 September 2008