FIRSTLY, I should introduce myself. I am a young mother. I am married, we have a mortgage on as nice a house as we could afford (PS135,000) in a good area. We’re fairly average, I would say.
We’ve recently had our second baby – so forgive me if my spelling isn’t spot on, I’ve had a few sleepless nights! Everything is going fine, but when she was about a week old, the budget came out. And suddenly her future is looking a lot less rosy.
Despite both of us being in reasonably secure jobs, working hard, saving hard, we’re going to find ourselves fairly soon in difficult financial straits. This doesn’t sit well with either of us. We don’t consider that we have an extravagant lifestyle – what new parent has the time to go out for fancy dinners or to the cinema? Let alone the money. We’ve been on a permanent austerity drive since before we were married (at least 5 years). Every month my husband works out exactly how much is needed for bills, petrol, the mortgage, savings… we budget a reasonably modest PS200 a month for food. We make packed lunches to take to work.
We have two cars, but considering we work at different ends of the town, we need them. They are both about twelve years old and neither of us has ever had a new car. We don’t think we will ever have a new car as we don’t want to get into debt to finance it. Ironically, for people who don’t even use our single credit card unless we have the cash ready to pay it off, we are going to be driven into personal debt to pay off the country’s deficit. And we’re not alone.
Picture courtesy of Neil Moralee