Looking back, I have to say my mind-set has changed tremendously over the past few years. When I was working I exercised very little control over my money – I can’t even dignify the slight amount of control I did exercise with the word “budget”.
My, how things have changed! Today my state pension and church pension both arrived in the bank and by eight o’clock I had worked out my budget for the month. I get regular income from three main sources. There’s my church pension which arrives on the last working day of the month. There’s my civil service pension from the earlier part of my working life which arrives on the twelfth day of each month. And there’s my state pension which arrives every four weeks.
June will be a very expensive month. I’ve been invited to a wedding evening “do”, I’ve got four birthdays to mark, the car is due its annual service, I have two fair-sized domestic bills to pay and I’m expecting Jack my gardener/handyman a couple of times. (I realise that many would consider these to be unnecessary expenses but they matter to me.)
So I know that I need to eat from existing stores when I can, that coffees out will be no-nos, that I need to hold off any further spending towards my Cornwall holiday and indeed I shall have to think very carefully when I spend anything.
But I know I can do it! I know that I won’t have to worry about these things because I have thought about them in advance. Some of the necessary money has been set aside in previous months either specifically for that project (eg the car service) or in my just-in-case fund (the domestic bills).
I wish I had been as prudent years ago.