Greetings, my friends from planet MyFamilyClub. It’s that time of year where one feels the need to note down on a piece of paper (or, more likely, just bounce them around your head) a bunch of things that we reckon could be the ticket to sorting out how badly we managed last year. Yes, I mean the New Year’s Resolution.
Will people be signing up to that gym membership to assuage any feelings of guilt over that extra helping of sherry trifle (and boy was it yummy) on Boxing Day? Or perhaps one might feel the urge to finally get those finances into shape by filling out one of those budget calculator thingies and then completely ignore what it’s telling you?
I’ve always been a bit suspicious of New Year resolutions. I am convinced that it’s some kind of cynical marketing ploy like Valentine’s Day, when evil executives from various industries have clubbed together to prey upon our delicate insecurities after a period of self-indulgence. Either that or I knew that if I made a list I’d be too lazy to stick to it and suffer the inevitable blow to my self-esteem. As my school headmaster once said to us, “Whatever your expectations are of life, lower them”.
But this year is different. This year I have more responsibility than ever before (it still amazes me that I have all these things on my plate) and most importantly, a Small Human to care for.
As the New Year begins I’ve begun to notice that having a baby is really starting to get expensive. Childcare is just about to start and I am trembling at the first charge that is all too imminent. So, how can I attempt to counter this increasing expenditure?
Well, the time has come to really scrutinise what and how I am spending. There are a tonne of things I am sure I can either cut out or at least take a holiday from to take stock of the effect. Even without majorly thinking about it, I reckon I could reclaim at least a couple of hundred pounds every month, and possibly more if I can be more effective with this next near-daily expense: the now dreaded lunchtime.
Pretty much every lunchtime, I’ll pop out to one of the local eateries nearby and spend their inflated charges on some grub that has in recent months all become a bit samey. For this privilege I can spend anywhere from £7-£10 a time across the course of the day (I find I am constantly peckish and so have to munch on something throughout the day). That expense alone in its worst case scenario can add up to way over two thousand pounds a year. When I wrote that down and worked it out I don’t mind admitting that I baulked a bit.
So, to combat this I am going to try and prepare my lunches in advance at least 4 out of every 5 days in the working week. The benefits are clear and obvious: save money; more scope for variety and choice in what I want to eat; and I can control the meal’s ‘health levels’. All it takes now is discipline. I am hoping that this won’t prove too difficult as I am in charge of the main evening meal in our house, so making an extra portion for the next day shouldn’t be too taxing.
Now that I have got something in mind I can sit back in my chair and congratulate myself on what a good job I am about to do. I’ve also noticed that it’s nearly lunchtime so I had better nip out to the deli and spend my £10 before the queues build up…