. . . or lack thereof.
You know, when I moved out of my flatshare at the end of June, I wasn't stupid - I KNEW I was going to struggle a bit. That was one of the reasons why I'd actually chickened out of even TRYING this year. Obviously my landlord took that decision out of my hands, which I'm probably a bit relieved about because moving into a place myself HAS improved my life. And obviously the fact I didn't have to scout around because of my ex passing his place on to me when he was moving helped too, and I think I would have struggled to find anything much cheaper in this area or any other area I like because what I am paying is pretty reasonable. But . . .
When you go from paying less than 400 pounds a month for EVERYTHING - and I mean everything, from rent to bills, to council tax and internet - to paying MORE than 400 just on rent itself . . . it's pretty daunting. This is pretty much the first time in about six, seven years that I've worried about how much electricity I'm using, panicking because I've left a light on unnecessarily, actually properly worrying about how much money I have on a month to month basis.
I've missed a birthday present and a wedding present for friends so far and when invitations come up for nights out I do actually have to think about whether or not I can afford it. Hell, I've only even ordered off asos ONCE since I moved. Once in two months??? That's pretty unheard of for me.
I'm trying to think of ways to make some extra money, not so much to live on, but as savings "just in case". I've been taking all the overtime I can get (within reason; I do need to have some semblance of life outside of work after all!) I've got some clothes I can sell, I have had three boxes of stuff for Music Magpie that I actually had pretty much packed up months before my move, I'm doing online surveys for a pittance, I'm writing reviews for ciao again . . . oh, and I have a shitload of change that I really need to take to a Coinstar machine at some stage . . . but it's not going to make a big dent in my skintness.
It looks like I'm going to actually have to - gulp - make up a budget.
I have no idea where to even BEGIN with that, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
In the meantime though, the feeling when I walk in my front door, close it behind me and realise I have the whole place to myself . .. it makes me feel FAR less bitter about my newfound lack of disposable income . . .