Since New Year, I’ve been on a bit of a spending spree. I’ve not come into money or anything like that, it’s just that because there seems to have been something of a freeze by my flat’s leaseholders on their plans to do some exterior work (costing me an enormous lump that I don’t have) I decided to spend some of the money I’d saved on finishing doing up the inside of my flat and generally making myself happy.
It makes sense to me – after all, I could be squished under the 319 bus with the mean driver tomorrow. Plus it’s not as if my savings are earning much in the way of interest (which should probably be renamed more appropriately when it dips as low as it currently is).
I’ve also been on a bit of a purge of all the excess baggage in my flat. I’ve donated an Ikea blue bag brimming over with clothes to the local Hospice shop – mostly barely worn or not-at-all. I sold bigger items on Ebay – including a guitar that I had one lesson on and a crosstrainer which I used for less than half an hour in total. I think I got more exercise (and fun) assembling it than I did using it.
Now my flat is looking rather lovely and my cardigan wardrobe hung neatly in order of colour (believe me when I say this really is the only bit of order in my life!). There are still a few little jobs to do but nothing major. At least, nothing that will cost me anything major.
Trouble is that even when there’s nothing I need or want, I do tend to spend money like there’s no tomorrow. And although that may be the case (as I do try to catch the 319 on a regular basis), as the last few months have seen my salary whittled down so much that it barely covers the bills, I really need to get a grip.
So this morning, when my credit card bill plopped onto the mat with a total about three times bigger than I’d hoped it would be and about twice what I thought it should be, I decided that I would try to have a month spending nothing that wasn’t absolutely necessary.
An easy decision. The hard part is going to be living amidst the battle between the thrifty bit of my brain and the much stronger part that always gets exactly what it wants. The Japanese Knotweed of grey matter which demands I eat whole bars of chocolate when one square would suffice. The part that keeps me rolled up in the duvet on a Sunday morning when I want to get up and the part that makes me stay glued to the sofa watching reruns on TV when the other part of me wants to go and do something more interesting instead. It’s going to be war and I need some weapons.
Of course the best weapon would be willpower but it seems Mother Nature didn’t bestow me with any of that. Nor self-determination or self-control. She did give me gluttony, self-destruction and self-deprecation though. Seems to me Mother Nature’s a bit of a mean old bag. Wouldn’t surprise me if she had a day-job driving the 319.
But anyway, I’m going to do my best – however not-very-good that may turn out to be. And please get in touch if you know of anyone who’s selling willpower on the cheap (or ‘Woof-Woof’, as The Sun probably calls it).