Blow the Budget19:04
Gosh, apparently according to my fans *ahem critics ahem* it's been 3 weeks since I blogged....Either you all need to get a life instead of depending on my ramblings, or I need to stop having a life to get time to sit down and write it!
Oh if only it was a 'life' that was stopping me blogging....anyway, onto the subject in hand..or title....either one...
The emergency budget was released on Tuesday in a shockingly interesting television broadcast. I'd decided to go and do my weeks worth of ironing (or 4 or 5 weeks) as Dus was out at a course and thought I'd entertain myself with a chick flick while I did. I do actually love ironing and would happily take people's ironing in to do for them...and actually that's a thought....
Anyway (again), I flicked the television on (or pressed a zillion buttons until all boxes were working together to fulfil my viewing requirement) and the budget was on and for some unknown reason, I decided to change the habit of a lifetime and watch it......No way I hear you cry! Yes way dudes, yes way.
Anyway, I was shocked to learn that we have a £156 BILLION deficit. In my mind that means we're over our overdraft by one hundred and fifty six billion pounds..... that's 156,000,000,000 bags of Haribo star mix (from Iceland)!!!
Learning how to write £156 Billion has just taken at least 20 minutes of my life talking about candy that I can never get back....good times!
Well the result of this budget is that we're all going to have to tighten our belts...for some of us it's a well practised habit, and for others they're going to have to learn. I try not to look at other people and wonder why they're so well off or how comes they have nice new squishy furniture and we have to cuddle up every night on the springy delight of our freebie 70's sofa. I also try not to wish that we'd stayed in the South East where at least one of us had a job and we'd be able to afford nice things....well, just having a nice meal once in a while or being able to take a day off to go somewhere.
I'm starting to sound maudlin now, I'll stop...anyway, I think the dude with the very diplomatic green tie did good! A lot of people are moaning that they'll now be £20 a year (£20 a YEAR!!!!) worse off, but we can't just ignore the debt and hope it'll go away....unfortunately developing countries don't get that option, so why should we?
The government has gotten rid of a lot of the smaller benefits which I personally have not even heard of and when I did learn of them thought they were silly. I'm sure that people do have some perks from getting those benefits, but they could easily learn to live without them and not waste money. I was glad to know that they'd be tightening up on those benefits that are essential for people that genuinely did need them. This should in theory mean that more money is available in the pot for those who really do need home assistance, altered living accommodation or even a state paid for car, and those who don't actually need it will hopefully find the motivation to look for work (if there was ever any jobs out there!)
(As a small aside, I keep getting distracted writing this post and staring around the room randomly)
Our personal circumstances are such that we moved to Wales with savings to last us 2 months, no more. We had no work to come to and only Dus was claiming Job seekers allowance (all of £69 a week). We still have no paid employment, yet almost 6 months on, we're still here and still surviving. Admittedly we're blessed to be entitled to receive housing benefit and council tax credit, but we still have to pay the other couple of hundred a month in essential bills before we even start to think about food. We'd kind of not really realised the amazingness of this until last Friday when we went to a youth group and were talking with the youth worker who said God wouldn't let us fail. We realised that suddenly here we are doubting He will give us enough workers for youth group, when every month without fail we've been able to meet the bills.
We can't even really pinpoint where the money's come from specifically, it's all come in a bit randomly. The only paid employment we've done is the painting at the Woods' so where it's all come from we have no idea!
Our typical day is Dus gets up first at 8am and spends a quiet half hour with a cuppa catching up on some work while I luxuriate in the whole of the bed to myself before he comes to wake me up. We eat breakfast (usually whilst watching something that we've sky plus'd cos we didn't have the time to watch it when it was on) then shower and get dressed to 'go to work'. Then we 'go to work'....although seeing as we both work from our spare room, going to work only involves us walking the length of the landing. Then it's a whirlwind day of listing, photographing, ordering, packing, posting and researching with a quick 20 min lunch in the middle. We've learnt that any longer and we just sit there thinking about all we're going to do when we start work again.
I dunno what Dus does during his day, it's usually tap tap tap on the pooter bidding for jobs, working on jobs (which of course don't get paid until completion) and lately watching the tennis in the background on his monitor.
This is the case for Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and used to be Fridays and shouldn't be Tuesdays either.
In theory, on Monday we can work til we go to bed (except half hour for dinner if we can be bothered to cook) then Tuesdays until house groups, which we've not been going to recently, although we have been to the last 2 or 3 which were social events like bbq and a service with a visiting American Pastor. Then Wednesdays I stop at 4pm and get read for kids club, then we get home completely drained at about 7:30 -7:45 depending on how much sherbet they've dropped on the floor. Thursdays in the future this will be the same as we'll be doing Youth Group (brilliantly named STOMP - Serve Testify Outreach Ministry Praise) 6pm - 9pm not including set up and take down time. Fridays now we're going to a youth group at a Pentecostal church nearby for some training so we stop work about 6pm for that. Saturday we can work right through til bedtime.
Sundays we take a day off.
I know it all sounds so lovely being able to work from home, but it means that we don't have defined work hours that we work, then we finish and what we do in the rest of our days is up to us. Literally when we're not at church for various activities or painting or stripping the church doors (dus for 4 days last week), then we're working. It's not even as though it pays!
I've managed to build my business up now enough in the last 6 months that it's starting to sustain itself and I'm able to purchase stock from the profits without having to put any more money in myself. I've changed the name of it to 'Samantha's Seconds' and I am rather proud of it if I do say so myself. I might even be able to afford to pay myself £30 this month to buy a parasol for the garden....but that'll only be if I'm fortunate!
Anyway (again, again) hopefully we won't be too badly affected by the budget and the VAT rise etc as we'll no doubt be earning less than £7k so will be able to earn more (ha) before we're taxed...and we don't have to pay NI until we start earning £5k or more a year (ha again).
I'm sure life is set to get busier, but we just keep plodding on and putting as much into it as we can, and in theory it should grow and we can ease off a little then the times when we need to.
I chose to title this blog 'Blow the Budget' thinking I was being witty and imagining being frivolous...and maybe by buying a parasol this summer I am!