Broke vs Broke

I’ve wondered if I should write this blog post. Discussing finances has always been something of a taboo and considered ‘ill manners’ within certain circles, but, with the financial problems that we all seem to have suffered at the hands of the banking crisis- isn’t it time for some transparency? And possibly a little rant and moan?

Since 2006 I have struggled financially. After a rather… bad… break-up with my long term partner, I was left with a host of debts (90% not mine), a huge mortgage and a pittance of a wage.  Fast forward to 2013 and not much in that area has changed. Sure the debts have gone down, but the household cost of living has risen and I have less disposable income now than I did then.

I’m 30 now and happily married to an amazing man. I’m at an age when I’d like to think I can start saving a modest amount and think about moving forward and having a family, reducing hours at work and so on. However the curse of the past follows me and I’ve had a stream of bad luck that has kyboshed any chances of me quitting work in the forseeable future…

On top of the usual expenses, car repairs, windows, guttering, french doors, fencing, boilers, huge vet bills, and unexpected heating bills have plagued me. I think this month alone I’ve spent in excess of £3000 on unexpected outgoings. Yes, £3000. And this has left me broke.

And by broke, I mean broke.

I get rather annoyed at people who go ‘oh my God, I’m so broke, I’ve got no money’, and then in the next breath you see they’ve been clothes shopping, or to the cinema, or bought trinkets and trappings. When I’m broke, I don’t have the means to buy anything.

My bank account has £4.02 available to me right now, and my husband has even less – and that has to last another 4 days. My fridge has 6 pints of semi-skimmed milk, 3 Rolo desserts, cheddar cheese, pickle sauce, and a rather dubious looking pack of celery that appears to leaking some sort of goo.- I’m lucky my cupboards have dried pasta (about 10kg worth) and various pasta sauces, else I would be forced to survive on dodgy celery, sugary desserts and hard cheese.

(I forgot the rather large box of chocolates I got for my birthday. That would probably keep me going a few more days)

The week before my 30th (just a fortnight ago in fact, yes, I turned 30 on the 16th February), I had a few friends ask why I was stressed and couldn’t concentrate. Why? Why you ask? I’ve run out of money that’s why. I don’t use credit, and I have no means of magicking more. Of course I was going to be stressed.

The few days leading up to my rather amazing birthday party (all pre-paid if you wondered, it was paid for months ago), I was able to let go and forget about it all, and on the night itself, surrounded by friends that care, my little sister (who means the world to me), my inlaw family and my husband, I realised that none of it matters.

It doesn’t matter that I haven’t got any money. It doesn’t matter that I’m now 30 and so should be ‘grown up’ and have more money available to me. It doesn’t matter that sometimes I run out of money the day after payday; because, I’m rich.

If I have to explain what I mean – then you really don’t get it, and I feel sorry for you.

So, Broke, I raise my glass to you. You are a cruel trespasser: unwanted and unloved. You visit whenever you please and cause havoc, chaos and  misery wherever you go. But when you go and thoughtfully leave your lingering funk, you remind me of all the important things in life.


Thank you.


Me at my party.