{09/04/2012}   Talking finances

With the news that c100,000 more people may be jobless by the end of the summer, I find myself yet again thinking about ways to economise and how the past few years have been very different financially than those before “the crash”.
I was chatting with two friends yesterday about our job security/financial stresses and worries.  In fact, I think I have had similar conversations with pretty much everyone I know at some point over the past year or so in particular.  I have friends with no work, very little work, redundancy concerns and other more general stresses.  All shopping has gone up and we are all affected by price rises, from petrol to eggs.  Thus the need to get or keep jobs is a greater concern than ever before in my working life.
My area of work has been affected, particularly this year.  In fact, there’s been so little that I haven’t even dared moan to my work issuers when jobs I have been lucky enough to secure have been horrible!  This feeling of shut-up-or-lose-out seems to be a feature for a lot of people I know.  I think people are working a lot longer each day so as to seem indispensable.  But surely tired, overworked and stressed employees is a bad thing.  But that seems to be a bit of a trend and one that also seems to be expected of people.
I am trying to find positives to these more financially aware hard times.  From my perspective, I am considering how to budget with food.  I have always been uncomfortable with the amount of food I waste so I have tried to curb that.  It’s working a bit.  I always used to go to supermarkets without a shopping list or particular food in mind.  I would then end up with more meal ingredients than I could consume, again causing wastage.  I am now a list maker, though I still have off-list tendancies!  It is very hard to change shopping and spending habits, but I am slowly, very slowly, making progress.  It’s just frustrating that it doesn’t seem to be saving money at the tills.  I have been using £4 off £40 vouchers for Tesco and thinking I will have to buy a few more expensive staples (eg laundry powder) to get to £40.  Every time recently I have ended up spending between £60 and £70 when I’ve tried to spend just over £40.  It pains me.
One friend in finance is optimistic that in the next six months things will start looking up.  I suppose at some point things will have to but for now, with more news of possible job losses, it doesn’t seem possible.  Being self-employed, the Easter holidays, Jubilee bank holidays, Olympic-transport-chaos-so-work-from-home advice affect my income massively. So I shall persevere with greater enthusiasm with my no-food-waste aim, be cheery and charming at work no matter how foul the job, choose my food wisely, embrace my walkable-to shops over driveable-to shops, be grateful I am currently nowhere near as badly off as a lot of people and seek solace from talking to friends with the same worries and stresses.


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