Thursday, 19 April 2007

Time for a raise

I'm contemplating giving myself a pay rise, a whole £50 extra a month. At the moment, I give myself a £400/month allowance: my money to live off. Out of that comes the diesel I put in the car, my "sanity fund", Weight Watchers, clothes, books, entertainment, meals out, tube tickets, and my fun money - basically all the money I spend on myself. If I want to spend £60 on wool, it comes out of my money to live off. I track it using the personal finance pages of my planner.

Every payday, my money to live off gets split into 3: £120 becomes my "Petrol Accrual", to be offset during the month; £80 becomes my Sanity Fund (a.k.a. "the boot fund" where I save for clothes, crafts, expensive toys for myself, etc,) and the rest becomes my allowance for the month.

The thing is, I'm finding it harder and harder to stay within my self-imposed budgetary limits. When oil prices went up, I found myself spending £150/month on diesel, far higher than my £120 Petrol Accrual. They've dropped a little now, but I've only got £22.41 left of the accrual for April, with 10 days to go. That's a little more than 3/4 of a tank (I use at least a tank a week), and this is a typical driving month. Throw in my yarn habit, golf on a Thursday night (100 balls on the driving range plus a round of drinks), 2 quiz nights a month, the RPG club, 6-weekly hair cuts, the odd meal out and the rest doesn't go far. Recent months have ended up overspent.

So I think I'll give myself a pay rise. My money to live off has been £400 for at least 2 years, if not 3. I'll struggle through to the end of the month and on payday, I'll give myself a raise.

- Pam

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