What being absolutely skint has taught me ….

So, you may or may not know that I moved house.  It’s been so long since I wrote a blog that I cannot remember if I mentioned it but, I moved house!

There, done. Now you know.

In my life, I have moved a LOT; 32 times to be precise and you may think that is because I had a high flying, jet set lifestyle that whisked me away to places unknown.

Nope.  I just struggled to settle somewhere for too long because I made a few bad decisions without thinking things through.  Also, money.

Anyway, back to the move.

I had been wanting to upgrade from my studio flat to something a little bigger and a little nicer for a while and I found an absolute corker of a flat online one day while I was ‘just having a look at what was out there’……big mistake, because you can never ‘just look’ if the perfect place came up.

Which it did.  And I wanted it.  So I did some quick maths, called in some help and put down a deposit.  Lovely 🙂

But this blog is not about the flat itself.  This blog is about what happened to my financial situation and more importantly, what that financial situation did to the people around me.

Because I had found the flat whilst ‘just looking’, rather than once I was prepared and had a deposit, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get it.  The deposit was a cool £600 + first months rent upfront.  I am not known for my saving prowess, so had about £50.  Step in marvelous friend number one, who saw how awesome the flat was and offered to lend me the deposit.  After lots of me saying ‘thanks but no it’s ok really’, we came to an agreement about paying it back and hurrah, I had a deposit!  I cannot stress too much at this stage how grateful I was for that.  Where I lived before was grotty and small and had damp and I hated going home.  Something that does have a massive impact on the rest of your life and by her lending me money for a short while, she actively helped to change my entire life, not just my address.

Since moving into my new place, I managed to lose one of my jobs (THAT is another blog entirely), which meant that all the maths I had previously done had to be redone with less being typed into the ‘income’ field on my snazzy spreadsheet.

Step up fantastic person number two in the form of my boyfriend, who got himself another job and offered to pay me money every week to help me out.  I know people that would say ‘well, he is your boyfriend, he SHOULD help you out’, but that doesn’t mean he had to at all, but he did and for that he is a star.  He is moving in in January anyway, but to help me out early when I really needed it was amazing and I am thankful for that.  I do think that partners should be responsible for emotional support, but I have always thought that financially, it is not their responsibility to sort you out.  But he did.  He has also bought me make up, given me money for hairspray, paid for countless rolls of toilet paper and all manner of other things that without, I would have been miserable.

Even with this help, I had no idea that it was going to be as hard as it has been.  Bills have been paid, which is fine, but when you don’t know how much your bills are going to be, or when they are all going out of your account (it takes time for you to get to know these things), it is hard to budget and I did struggle a few times to get it right, which meant that buying food had to go on the back burner.

Step in marvelous people number three; Mark’s parents and my sister.  A week has not gone by where Mark hasn’t turned up with a food package of veggies, eggs (they have their own chickens) and all manner of fruit juices and salad items, which have meant the difference between being able to have breakfast or not most days.  Every weekend, my sister has helped out, getting me a loaf of bread, milk, butter; essentials and the three of them together have provided food on the table when some weeks, there would have been none.

Add to this the money that my Mum and her partner have lent me to tide me over and help me out, which bought food for the first month in my new place.

I am also fortunate enough that friends have not wanted me to miss out on social events and have, at times paid for me to go out and have a dance and a drink, or have chipped in my share for takeaway nights, which they have no obligation to do at all and it is little things like this that have made a big difference too.  Sitting in at home, alone, when you know your mates are out and you can’t be there because of money SUCKS and they have all made sure that I don’t have to miss anything.  Each and everyone of those beautiful people will have the favour returned as soon as I am better off.

Some people would ask why I moved to a place that I clearly can’t afford.  The plan was to move in January, not August, but perfect lovely places like mine do not come along often in small, Hanseatic towns, so you snap them up.  The plan was for Mark and me to move in together in January, once he had been at his new job a little longer and we had a bit more cash between us.

But, life doesn’t care about your plans and sometimes you have to do things before you are ready.  My point is that when you have a great  support system of people around you that not only help, but WANT to and won’t take no for an answer, plans go out the window anyway.

What being skint has taught me is that I am loved, by a lot more people than I thought I was and that, is priceless.

My sister scoffed at me when I said I felt awful having her pay for my shopping and she said ‘When me and my husband were first married, his Mum paid for ALL our food as we found our feet.  All I am doing is paying back into the karma system for what it did for me’.

And I will 100% pay back in for mine when I am on my feet and someone else needs it, whether I know them or not.

I will finish on two quotes that I feel fit.

“If you are fortunate enough to reach the top, then it is your duty to send the elevator back down so others can do the same”

“How do you change the world?  One random act of kindness at a time”

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