always sunny in the rich man's world

Money. Dosh. Wonga. It's something most people have and yet no one talks about. As a culture, the British, especially, tend to find it difficult to talk about money. Whether it's because it's seen as a vulgar thing to do, or simply because all of us are far too reserved, it seems I'm never able to discuss any financial issues in a social context. So I'm going to do it here.

{money hats seen here}

Let's start here: when one leaves university it is expected that one will find a job and a house and take the first few tentative steps along the path towards adulthood; part of that involves earning money. Almost everyone does it.

As a child my family didn't have a lot of money. I never went without, but nor was I given every single thing I asked for. If I wanted something badly enough I was taught that I should save up for it myself. Sometimes I may have wanted things just because they were pretty, but other times it was completely worth going without trinkets at the weekend if it meant a bigger gift at the end of it...

The first big thing I ever saved up for was a Sylvanian Family windmill. It was so expensive that I couldn't possibly have asked for it as a birthday or Christmas gift, nor even as a joint birthday and Christmas gift. There was only one thing for it: saving up my pocket money week after week, not spending any of my birthday money and hoarding away, like a magpie, any shiny coins I was given by the ladies at church.

It was so worth saving up for - it was the best toy ever, and I adored it. I had hours and hours of fun with that windmill, making the rabbit family potter about the place, playing with the simple pulley system, opening the entire thing out to play with it in it's full glory. Plus it was a pretty impressive toy to have on display - I felt like I had won some great prize when I finally had one of my own, and to think I got it for myself, with money that I had saved up, was just astounding.

I've always been pretty good at saving, which might come as a shock to anyone who knows me. Yes, I have the odd day when I get really excited about a particular crafting project and spend £40 on glitter, fabric or beads, but more often than not I'll only treat myself to crafty bits when I've made a few sales or I've had an exceptionally bad day and need something pretty to perk me up. Sometimes I will come home from work to be greeted by a package of charms or similar, forgetting that I had bought them in a moment of great upset or annoyance a week or so beforehand...

But despite these tiny lapses in financial maturity, I do have savings. It was drilled into me that saving a bit of money every month is a good thing to do. And it's not just because of memories of this, though it might have helped:

get one of your own on ebay here

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This year is going to be a big year. I have a lot of things I want to do, and I think it might be the year I completely blow my savings. New years are typically for setting up a saving plan of some sort, but I'm going to be setting myself up a spending plan instead...


Breakdown of Vixie's 2012 Spending Plan

The Basics
Luckily, I have no real debt. So I'm basically starting at £0.00.

Objectives
To purchase everything I set forth, and still end the year with more than I started with.

The Savings/Spendings

I am moving house, that's almost always expensive. Plus home improvements and furnishings etc. for the new house. Plus rent, which in London is just crazy money.

One of my 30 before 30 objectives is to set up a pension, so I should probably look into that.

My Mummy and Daddy are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in the summer and I would love to send them to Venice for a holiday. I might not be able to pay for the entire thing, but I would at least like to help them out.

I always like to save something from every paycheck in a 'just in case' fund, so that if anything comes up I know it can be dealt with.

I want to continue giving money regularly to charity - whether that's through sponsorship or what, I don't know yet.

That's already a fair amount without taking into account food, stuff for Yoyo, daily travel, medicine/toiletries, holidays, business stuff, birthday gifts or pretty things. This year looks set to be tough, but if I can remain flexible and try to control my urges to buy sequins and other (supposedly) non-necessary items, it should all be OK.

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Do you have any financial goals or plans for this year?

3 hellos:

Siobhan said...

Moving house is always expensive - particularly the time between paying new deposit and getting old deposit back as that seems to be the moment you need to spend the most.

I might still have the number of two men with a van based in Edmonton if you need it? They were the same price as hiring a van for the weekend but did all the carrying (every little helps and all that)

I will be paying for a wedding this year and other stuff I shall tell you about over coffee. xx

fingersandtoes said...

Is the moving house thing all set? Where are you going? When?

I'm trying to be better with money this year. I'm finally earning enough to put a little by. And I want to try and spend any spare time I have (although I won't have much) writing some new knitting patterns to contribute to my income.

I "give" money through Kiva.com, so it's not actually giving but lending. From an initial $50 US investment and a bit of a top up, I've helped a lot of people over the past four years, even when times have been very lean for me and I haven't been able to afford to donate to charity. People keep repaying their loans and I keep paying them out to new people! I pick women to lend to who have similar interests to me, usually knitters or involved in textiles in some way. It helps give them some independence and contributes to the family income.

Vixie said...

S: tell me about it! That first month is always the worst! I think we have a man and a van - but thank you. I can't wait to hear all about your other plans - catch up very soon?

Other S: hoping to move next weekend - to Walthamstow! I've heard of Kiva, I'll definitely look into lending through it.

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