Sunday, 21 May 2017

Piss Pot Poor Professionals 💸

Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt recently struggled to understand / define the complex reasons as to why nurses are reported going to food banks, like being flat broke isn't the reason why. I can understand why people earning higher incomes would fail to comprehend that qualified professionals are struggling to put food on their tables but the majority of people know that nurses aren't the only piss pot poor professionals out there. Being a professional often means having contracted hours and a pro rata, per annum salary that is above (if only slightly) NMW, based on experience and level of qualifications but being on a salary above NMW doesn't mean that surviving financially every month is possible, I should know.  

Coins Flatlay


How we survive 💰


The cold hard truth is that we don't. If it weren't for family, the odd paid blog opportunity and  our vastly increasing credit card debts,  Luke and I would be heading off to the food bank with the nurses. I often wonder what we're doing wrong. Obviously we could try harder sacrifice a few things and scrimp here and there but the scary realisation is that most people / professionals aged between 27 and 30 are struggling to make ends meet and living pay day to pay day. A pal of the same age and I most months juggle the odd tenner over to one another to cover a gas bill, buy some electricity or even lunch and if it weren't for our polar opposite pay days we'd be buggered without our mini payday loans. 

Why are we so broke though? 💳


It can't be that we're all overworked and underpaid (although NGL I definitely am) can it? We are said to be a generation of hedonists, becoming infamous for our entitled attitudes and I can't totally disagree with this perception. Fellow graduates were horrified to find that upon receiving their degrees they weren't handed a graduate position and on more than £20k a year and have to to y'know, work their way up. I've known other people who have been kept by their parents all their lives and on top of a salary get an allowance from their parents to ensure that they're never skint. 

I've never been well off, in fact, I've been proper povo-ed more than once in my life to the point where finding a tin of mackerel to go with a dusty bag of pasta on the cupboard brought on tears, I've sold random crap on Facebook to get some chips and I've got milk and bread on tick (god bless independant corner shops). I can't fathom why I'm finding myself in same skint situation I was in as a student five years later when we're living off two arguably stable incomes. 

Coins and Cards

It can become a vicious cycle 🚫


Every one knows that being broke can become depressing, not being able to afford to meet friends for dinner, dreading your turn to pay for the milk in the office because that 75p could go on the leccy and wondering if you can afford sanitary products this month are all normal thoughts when living hand to mouth. Payday becomes a day filled with joy and relief - granted, you don't get your full pay because your bank charges have to be paid but you can finally click check out on the ASDA food shop you've had sitting in your trolley for the past three weeks 👍🏼 . Those past three weeks of depression, hunger and stress are washed away with one little lump sum deposited in your bank so what is the natural pick-me-up...shopping of course 💁🏼. 

Being consistently broke makes you develop a 'fuck it' attitude; when you don't have the means to save up for a Big Mac let alone a mortgage, blowing cash when you do have it is more realistic thatn trying to shove even a fiver in your flexi-saver account and #treatyoself becomes your mantra...at least for a day. Buying those shoes you've had your eye on for months or even getting your hair cut become short-lived treats, short-lived because in a few days, when you need to knock some debt of your credit card you look at your bank balance, to your calendar and back again and your stomach drops as you realise it's going to be another a tight one. 

How to try and save something 📝


I say try and save because Luke and I are still in the process of trying to avoid the food banks (shout out to our families 🙌🏼) As of now, we have 0 savings in our bank and are in about a million pounds worth of debt (slight exaggeration) and we have spent the past month broker than broke and are so done with this. I'm going to be looking at some ways that we can save money or try and reduce our spending and get rid of that fuck it attitude, here are some tips that have already proved effective: 

👉🏼 Don't take bank cards out with you unless you need to: I work slap bang in the middle of town where casual shopping trips on my lunch break are all too easy. Rather than take my card to work, I allow myself a tenner (in cash) to spend on what I like whether it be a hazelnut latte or a cake, a tenner is all I shall have. 

👉🏼Packed lunches are your BFF: Okay so I don't make a packed lunch for work (because our fridge is empty lolz) but I do pre-buy all my lunches at the beginning of the week rather than every day. This also means I have no excuse to leave the office and spend money 😉

👉🏼Plan your evening meals when completing a food shop: This means that you buy more of the necessities rather than all those bargain crisps. You can also split ingredients such as veg and meat to ensure you get the most out of their longevity and try and save some pennies as well as get a more balanced diet. 

👉🏼Do your food shop online: Luke and I used to skip off to Aldi to complete our bi-weekly food shop but I decided to give online shopping a bash and have never looked back. The best thing about online shopping is that you can see exactly how much you're spending as you fill your trolley and can remove things accordingly rather than have to deal with the gut wrenching moment when the cashier announces your final amount at the till 😷.

Professionals and Poverty

Where to get professional help 💁🏼


Because I am well aware that I am no where near close to being an appropriate financial adviser here are some organisations that can help:

🔎The Money Advice Service is a great site for getting impartial advice about all aspects of  getting to grips with finances but I'm finding the tools and calculators really useful for trying to budget better

🔎The Citizens Advice Bureau has a Money and Debt filled with advice from budgeting to rent arrears and remember, there will be  CAB office near you if you'd wish to speak to someone directly

🔎The Trussell Trust have created a national food bank locator and have a benefits calculator if you think you might be entitled to some extra help


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3 comments

  1. Great honest blog. Cheers for sharing.

    Although I think growing out of the whole is better than shrinking into it.

    Do you read books on money?

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  2. Love this post. I similarly am in a circle of motivated to get out of debt/slips back in even with the best intentions. Two sources I've found really good to look to (that are free!) are: https://www.frompenniestopounds.com/ and Dave Ramsey on You Tube. Have a look. Hopefully they'll provide practical offerings and help keep the fire in our bellies to get out and stay out for good. Good luck.

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