As you get older you begin to realise that money causes significant problems, whether it be lack of it …or surplus cash …there’s always a catch.
As a child, I tried hard to save my pocket money to buy an air rifle at the local sports shop. I scrimped and saved and did all sorts of odd jobs to raise the 30 quid that the sports shop were asking – and six months of hard graft saw me reach my target. My mother however didn’t want me to have an air rifle and being impressed by my ability to save – persuaded me to invest my money in a post office savings account.
Duuh…. what the hell type of fun is that? She told me that I could watch my investment grow. Watch it grow… watch it f**king grow?? … jeez … I wanted to be out shooting things and watching them die….
As a university student, I decided that careful money management would be the way forward. With my 3 year and 5 year plan mapped out ahead of me I headed off to my bedsit accommodation living in my 12 pound a week room, with metered electricity and my budget food allowance allowing potatoes and rice and beans as my staple diet…. I managed to scrape through with a 2:1 Degree and little or no debt.
Nowadays – I see students taking on huge loans and living the high life of drink, drugs, sex, full body piercing and tattoos – a life of total hedonism with absolutely no intention of ever repaying the money they’ve borrowed – and coming away with no qualifications whatsoever.
As a business owner, my ambitions were based around having a company that was making profit and smashing all targets out of the water. My first year in business saw me hitting these targets, this motivated me to exceed in every aspect of the company growth pushing to be the best of the best.
This is all well and good until the first of the tax bills start to roll in.
You’ve made ‘x’ amount of profits so HMRC want a slice of the action – and they want it on the day its due – and they don’t want any excuses. It is at this moment when you are talking to some dim witted, jobsworth asshole from the inland revenue who tells you that the government will… ‘wind your company up’ – if you don’t pay the tax due – that you begin to realise that making profits…. may also have a down side.
Whilst on paper you may be making nice chunks of money the actual bank balance shows very little improvement from the days that you were living on rice and beans…. but you have a 150K tax bill.
How did that happen…???
The other thing you notice as you get older is that once you have a few quid in your bank account, everybody you meet wants to take some of it off you.
My mother seems to have this sussed – no matter what the occasion, no matter what the event, she never pays – yet somehow manages to retain a dignity which suggests that she could have forked out…but it was somehow beneath her to do so when one of her sons is nearby. I think she may actually be the queen – (note: the queen never carries cash as it is beneath her).
My wife seems also to have this similarly sussed – she never carries cash and always gets 20 quid notes off me for when we have a cup of tea or cake when we’re out – then she keeps the change. By the end of the week she invariably has more money than me.
My kids also finances completely sorted – Meg just looks at me with her big beautiful eyes and says ‘dad…. I need some money..’ …and my wallet just opens automatically. The eldest daughter has an ‘arrangement’ that covers when Meg gets money – Jamie gets an equal payout – so she’s rolling in cash most of the time ….
Maybe just maybe when I’m old and unable to look after everybody then somebody will look after me?? I just can’t quite figure out who it will be….
Mind you my mother will probably out-live me – so maybe some sort of payback is due…?
If only she could remember her PIN number ….and get the bats to move out of her wallet??