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T2P42 - Budgeting Bind

Twopence Tuesday, same but different. It’s been a two-week break, and whilst these blogs don’t write themselves it does feel good to be writing again. These last few days have seen an earlier than expected appearance of the sun, and it wasn’t just for show, it’s been warm too! Over the two week break, I’ve relaxed small but in the back of my mind has been the nagging question of what to write? The topic has really been in plain sight, since inflation is EVERYWHERE! Instances I have seen it since my last blog; the Arsenal ticket rises, swimming lessons, petrol, and the list really does go on. The pound is not stretching like it once was, where have you seen inflation in this last month?

For this week’s blog, I’m writing about what this inflation is likely causing most, a budgeting bind. I mentioned 3 increases I’ve picked up on in the last fortnight, but the most impactful is just a month away with the energy hike to come. With increases coming left, right and centre, the trouble is that budgeting doesn’t appear to be sufficient for some. For others budgeting whilst helpful is resulting in breaking even, even giving up coffee for lent is unlikely to cut it as sacrifice. What will obviously suffer are social budgets, and for someone still in their 20s coming off a pandemic that’s not the most welcome news. I do wonder if industries such as entertainment and restaurants will not be able to bounce back as well with potential changes to consumer purchasing behaviour.

Molly-Mae would advise working harder, and whilst there is truth in that it’s ironic with the national insurance increasing, so people are set to earn less outside of their growing list of expenditure. It’s gotten bleak enough where the money saving expert Martin Lewis has gone as far as saying he’s essentially out of ways to help people with money management. The household squeeze is set to be worse than during the pandemic and after the 2008 financial crash. Using the Bank of England calculator, £100 in 2008 last year was £141.97 equivalent and in 2020 it was £104.05. The 2020 amount may seem nominal but if you do it to your salary amount it is more impactful, and the 2022 figures aren’t ready yet and they’re on track to account for higher inflation. The pound is not stretching, this was really illustrated last week when I was buying pizza I discovered at the start of the pandemic. It’s increased from £1.50 to £2, so £6 sees me get one less for the same price.

Research from RFI has shown an increase in Buy Now Pay Later products such as Klarna as a way of helping improving cash flow and avoiding debt. Another outcome of these rises is another budget bind, money towards saving could reduce. Increasingly, it feels that there are people with a side hustle or second job these days. Whilst admirable, is this sustainable for people to have to do this more and more. 2 day weekends already flash by, and now when people are meant to be unwinding they are having to take on additional work.

It’s easy to see why the UK birth rate continues to decline, life is seemingly getting too expensive individually, so having children is less urgent. My Twopence is that job hopping is another suitable solution for addressing this financial pinch. Incremental salary increases whilst still helpful are not able to be felt with the increased living costs. Not to sound so pessimistic I wouldn’t count on these living costs being adequately addressed. There is seemingly always something around the corner lately, from Corona, National Insurance increases, and threats of WW3. The same way this topic was in plain sight, so is it’s solution, earn more money. That isn’t easy, but being willing to apply or request for promotions is going to do more for than nothing at all.

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