I’ve been thinking a lot about saving and spending in new ways – and that was before a week of chaotic economic news. There are a million things up in the air at the moment and I imagine most of us are looking at our bank accounts, wallets, and budgets and trying to run calculations for a variety of scenarios in our heads.
I was listening to a podcast recently where the casual number was thrown out that if you wanted to save or spend £10,00 for instance, that amounted to just under £28 per day. I admit I sort of scoffed, the number seemed so absurdly accessible but later when doing my budget for the month I realized how deceptive it was.
Could you spend £28 a day as a reasonable output of coin?All too easily!
My travel (public transport) runs between £2-5 a day.
If I choose to buy a coffee on the go, that’s another £2-4.
If I bring my lunch, which I try to do, I can claw back some savings, but otherwise will spend £5-10 for a meal. This inevitably depends on my travel and work arrangements for the day.
Because we have a small fridge we tend to do lots of small shopping trips rather than fewer large ones, so every other day or so I’ll stop by a grocery store on the way home. Depending on what we need to pick up, this will range between £15-30.
Do I need to renew my prescription medication? £9 per pick up. Thank god for the NHS!
Are our monthly bills coming out this week? That’s £100.
Depending on what day it is, I will spend no money at all – walking to work or working from home, prepared food and a stocked kitchen, and no bills due – to well over a hundred pounds. The above doesn’t even include costs that Jeff and I share or which he budgets and pays for, including therapy appointments, council tax, mobile phone bills…we have a combined income household but we each assume responsibility for different financial commitments. It doesn’t include our social life in the form of travel, food/tickets, and so on. God knows it doesn’t include the immigration fees we’ve paid this year or any other expat specific paperwork, like renewing my passport. It doesn’t include our rent! In short, yes, it’s entirely possible to spend £28 a day without blinking!
And so, at the moment, with so many unknowns and uncertainties, that’s a metric I can focus on or build some kind of structure around. Can I save an additional £28 a day right now, on top of our other aggressive goals? I can sure as hell try.
It’s devil’s arithmetic, and I’m fortunate to be in the situation that I am personally. Many, many people are crunching much harsher numbers.
If you’re affected by the coronavirus situation – increasingly most of us! – what money metrics are you looking towards right now? Is anything giving you a sense of balance or planning? Or is it frankly causing you dread – and how are you coping? Let’s do some real talk and solidarity in the comments, kittens, and look out for one another a bit.