Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Money - or the lack thereof

Okay so my resolution to put away £25 a month unfailingly is going … well, failingly. Every month, I put the money into my savings account alright but about a week later it’s out again with an additional £20 or more to boot. I just do not seem able to save.

The strange this is, when I lived and worked in Nigeria I never, ever worried about money. It’s true. I ever gave it one thought. The money always seemed to be there when needed. I bought what I wanted, went over to Takwa Bay when I liked, went to all the trendy places plus went on yearly holidays, all on a salary of well, not much when converted to pounds. Plus I gave 10% of my money in tithes every month unfailingly and still had enough left over.

But since I started living in the UK, the reverse has become the case. I think about money ALL THE TIME. It is constantly on my mind. If it’s not the utility bills, its nursery fees. If it’s not nursery fees, it’s the mortgage. If it’s not the mortgage, its your car insurance or MOT or Council Tax or or or!. It just seems to be one thing after another. It’s no wonder that at the end of the month there just is nothing left over to put away. Sometimes I wonder what the heck I am working for when all my money goes on paying taxes and paying bills. I hate the fact that before I buy anything for myself, the first thing that flashes into my mind is ‘Oh, if I put another £15 on top of that it will pay for a week of nursery’. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I think it’s a sad way to live.

I am not in debt (thank God for that), nor are we unable to put food on the table and pay the bills. What gets to me however, is the fact that there is hardly ever enough for the little extra’s that make life a little bit more comfortable and fun. I want to be able to go on holiday without having to spend weeks on the internet looking for the cheapest airline deal going. I want to go out for a nice meal in a nice restaurant. I want to be able to walk into a shop and treat myself to a pair of shoes or a bag and not have to think about the knock on effect this will have on other areas of my budget. I just want to be financially free. And one thing I know for sure is that my job – no job- is going to give me the financial freedom I crave for.

So what to do? Start a business? I have but even the money from that gets pumped back into it and so no real profit is being made yet. Invest the little money I do have? Yes but in what? I don’t really understand the stock market – my fault, I have never taken time out to try and understand it. Perhaps I should look for an investment club or start one. Hmm, that’s an idea.

So here’s what I am going to try and do - from next month, I am going to draw a budget up for myself and work with it as closely as I can. Or implement the strategy used on the program Spendaholics and go cold turkey for a week. I am also going to keep a spending diary so I can see exactly where my money is going.

I am sorry for rambling on about this, but this state of financial lack is really beginning to get to me.

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Blogger My Talking Beginnings said...

PTS...What an interesting blog, I don't believe i never read it through!! So spot on. I will be reading your blog from now on by your leave.
P.s i have realised that in this country, one has to make an allowance for liesure in the budget or everything goes on bloody bills!! And as for saving..that is another matter!

2:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would think that things would be easier b/c you have a dual income household?
Living in the west is scary....

5:53 pm  
Blogger Pilgrimage to Self said...

@ belle: My husband is now self-employed and in the very early stages of a new business so in the area of finances we are treading very carefully at the moment. But even when he was an employee with a not to be sniffed at salary, we still had little left over for 'enjoyment'. Yep, living in the west sure is scary - life seems to revolve around bills!

@MTB: Welcome and thanks for stopping by. Yes I quite agree that one has to factor in leisure when drawing up a budget.

6:26 pm  
Blogger laspapi said...

You just described the paradox known as Nigeria. A "depressed" economy yet people seem to have enough to do what they want.

In Lagos, "sufficient are the evils of each day", why worry about the next?

Nice blog.

1:17 am  
Blogger Onada said...

your business is a great. As with the beginnings of any small business your profits will usually need to be reinvested to allow your business grow and also to establish a name for yourself. Give it some time and you will reap the fruit of your labor!
Also i think perhaps you should get a savings account with no atm card so you cant withdrawn the money so easily, maybe you can cut you inital savings amount down to 20 pounds from 25 pounds and put the 5 pounds in a different and more easily accessible account to grow there and you'll be able to take it out with out a hassle if you need to.

3:21 pm  
Blogger adefunke said...

I agree with Onada, your business is still young and it needs all the capital it can get in order to develop a strong foundation. Take heart and don't be discouraged. Also there is a time and a season for everything. I know its not easy to but you must really make an effort to save. Very soon once your business picks up and your husband is a lot stable in his own business, things will be a lot easier financially. As per investing, talk with your friends, you might be able to get in touch wiht a stock broker who can advice on what to da as per investments. All hte best

7:15 pm  
Blogger Pilgrimage to Self said...

@Onada and Adefunke: Sound advice which i will be implementing. I am looking around for (women) investment clubs. I know they are quite popular in the States but I am not sure about here in the UK

11:17 pm  

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