Friday, 25 May 2012

31 Things: Day 9

Day 9 of Ali's latest class at BPC ~ 31 Things.  Ali describes the class thus: 31 Things is about capturing life right now but will be much more in-depth on a single daily subject than the documentation you might be used to with projects like Week in the Life or Project Life. This workshop is an opportunity to get specific pieces of your story told with the simple goal of telling more. 
Day 9| Purchase:
I'm a believer that expenditure expands to match your income.
When I first gave up work, I found it horribly difficult to adjust to the idea of not having my own money.  Money that I'd worked for, money that I'd earned. The Brainy One gives me an extremely generous housekeeping allowance, with two stipulations: 1) once the money is in my account, it's mine and 2) how I spend it is up to me, but once it's gone, it's gone.  These last few years I have also had a small salary from the company, which helps to make me feel less guilty about spending money on myself.
Each month I balance the books.  I keep all my receipts where I paid using my debit card and withdrawals of cash from the bank and then reconcile them to my bank statement.  I can also access my account on line, which helps me to keep an eye on spending.
I save £2 coins.
I used to save 5p and 20p coins as well; I broke that habit (of more than 20 years) late last year.
The saving of change stems from my single years, back in the day of always more month left at the end of the money.  Those jars of small change always meant that I wouldn't starve in the week before pay day.  These days, the contents of the £2 coin jar is spent on extras for all of us ~ toys and outings for The Boy Child, scrap booking related items for me, good wine or lunch out for The Brainy One.  The Brainy One tells me there is no need to do this and calls me quirky.  I just smile. 
I have a credit card, which is hardly ever used.  I always have to look up the PIN number if I'm planning on taking it out of the house.  Recently, I tried to make an online purchase and discovered that it was 2 months past its expiry date (which then led to protracted discussion with the provider as to what had happened to the new card; somehow I was made to feel as though it was my fault).  Should it be used, the balance is always paid as soon as the statement arrives.  This didn't always used to be the case.  I've had my share of making monthly payments where the amount hardly covers the interest charges.  A financial education from The Brainy One (finance is his field, after all) helped me see the light and I began married life without any debt.
I do worry about what my financial situation would be if something happened to The Brainy One, especially if The Boy Child was still at a young age. However, The Brainy One assures me that all the arrangements are in place to provide for me and The Boy Child if the worst should happen.  
I try to keep up with banking stories in the news, especially as my bank has just had its rating down graded.  I also try to shop around for the best price when buying large items, and not just go to the department store that claims to be never undersold.


Sian said...

Wow, there is a lot in there! Sounds like you have it all worked out in a fine spirit of compromise and all I can say is - your generosity is much appreciated by many of us :)

Amy said...

We collect the coins here too, well, not all the time but we have done over the years. We even 'tax' the children's pocket money, half for the money box and half for them to keep in their wallets.

I have decided I'd like a new camera lens, it's a big purchase so I think I'll start collecting coins again, to ease the pain!

Ginger said...

Hi Ruth - I'm taking Ali's class too, although I have not managed to keep up with the prompts I am enjoying them.

I need to learn how to save more than spend it :)

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