I was reading an article a couple of days ago on the BBC about a predicted rise in inflation. My heart just sank. As a family, we live on a very tight budget. I guess we are what is known as the Middle classed squeezed. We both work, our salaries are nothing to shout about, they could be better but then again they could be worse! We can not apply for help as we just earn over the threshold, everything we pay for comes from our wages. There’s nothing to fall back on.
Living in the south has it advantages. It’s beautiful, but being on the commuter belt to London, everything is very expensive including housing. We don’t own a home, I doubt we could get a mortgage. If we could we have no deposit and no way to save for one. So we rent. The cost of renting is extortionate. Although our rent is high, we are lucky that it’s on the cheaper side for a 3 bed house in this area. However, we get stung paying over £200 a month in council tax. On top of that we pay between £150 – £200 of nursery fee’s. This is before we pay out for all the other bills, food and cars.
At the end of the day we just manage to balance the books at the end of each month, this is after having to budget in a wage cut when my employer decided to reduce my hours back in August. However unexpected bills are a struggle. So the thought of a 4% rise in inflation scares the life out of me!
I find it extremely embarrassing that we struggle so much financially. I mean on paper we should be comfortable right. What must people think of us when time and time again we have to say we can’t afford it. Sometimes it feels like we are stuck in a perpetual loop of doom. Friends who are on the property market pay lower mortgages than our rent, some by half (not that I am dissing them). They have stability and each year they own more and more of their home. Over the past 4 years we have paid over £40,000 towards someone else’s mortgage. How I wish that had been towards our own home. I know we could afford to pay a mortgage, we just can’t get one!
So what does it mean for us living on a tight budget?
- We don’t have luxuries, family days out are rare, and we constantly budget.
- Holidays don’t exist. We have never been on holiday together as a couple or as a family. I can’t see it happening anytime soon either.
- A perpetual engagement (4 years and counting). I would love to get married, have a special day, of course on a budget. However, we have no spare money to save anything. Friends who have had beautiful weddings say ‘just go the the registry office’ but would they be happy with that? Why should I miss out on a day I have dreamed about forever? Don’t get me wrong I won’t be spending thousands, but even a budget wedding is off the cards.
- I often stand in a shop weighing up if Finlay’s clothes will do another week or two or season, I cry when they don’t!
- Chris having put up with me whining every time he spends some money on himself – sorry Chrissy, I just worry.
- Me walking around in tatty clothes that are already years old because I can’t justify spending on myself when there are bills to pay and Finlay needs clothes more.
- Currently trying to squeeze into normal clothes and not wanting to spend on a maternity wardrobe, even Ebay seems expensive!
- Borrowing money from my mum when we have an emergency like when Milo became poorly.
- Feeling like I can’t give Finlay stability – who knows when the landlord will put the rent up or sell up. I dread to think how we would pay the admin and referencing fee’s to move which came come up to £1000!
- Constant stress and worry about when the next bill will arrive – let’s not even mention the yearly MOT’s. I wish we could live with one car, but it’s impossible around our work and nursery schedule.
- I get anxious over a £5 shop in poundland!
- Chris and I rarely go out on date nights – but we make up for it snuggling on the sofa with our ‘parasitic’ Netflix account!
Sometimes I get so tired of constantly budgeting, I just wish we could live without the financial worry. I don’t know what the future holds or what else to do. I feel I have budgeted down to the last penny, I have transferred to the cheapest tariffs. We have cancelled nearly all unessential direct debits. To be honest, unless something changes drastically I think it will only get worse, especially with Maternity coming up. Luckily I have quite a bit of annual leave I am allowed to tag on and a good occupational maternity package! All i know is the impact of a 4% inflation rise will hit us hard.
I haven’t meant to write this post as a whining poor me post. I know a lot of people are in a similar situation and I feel for them. With inflation set to soar throughout 2017 I just needed to vent my frustrations. I would love to hear if you have any budget or money saving tips that I might not already be doing!