Tuesday, December 27, 2011


As I find myself writing this some two days before Christmas I almost have to snigger to myself about the distinct lack of money I now have despite only being paid yesterday. I can blame no one but myself for taking this job which meant that I actually lost money when compared to my previous unemployed situation. So far I have paid off the following:

-      -    Over limit on my credit card (Eeeep!)
-      -    Missed payments on my landline
-      -    Electricity for the next two week (metered)

That bit of financial mismanagement has left me with the following still to deal with:
-         - Council tax
-          - Two months’ rent (thankfully with some housing benefit against it)
-          - Broadband missed direct debits

Ah the financial independence that comes along with being employed NOT. In reality I am much worse off than when I was claiming job seekers allowance and getting most of my rent paid by housing benefit. The search for work will begin continue on with a passion in January (right after this evil cold and raw nose go bye bye) but this time I will be going into that search a little wiser and less desperate with real experience of what it means to be on the other side of things. There will be some restrictions in place, including but not limited to the following:

·         The role must be 30hrs a week or more
If there is significant commuting involved then special attention must be made to the cost of that travel against the wages

Now you might look at the above and think those are the only two restrictions and should not cut down on opportunities but in practice they can and do. For instance the 30hrs, first it is the minimum requirement to apply for tax credits to boost your income to a level where you might actually get some piece of mind and not worry about the debt collectors beating down your door. The second reason is that 30 hours should mean that the loss of housing benefit will be covered by the new wages that are now being brought in.

The commuting point is an important one because you would be surprised by how a job with seemingly decent pay will actually cost you more money once you start doing the math (illustrated below) plus there is a nasty 5.9% rise in the cost of train fares incoming in the near year which won’t help the situation.
Council Tax + Full Rent + Monthly Travel Costs
You will find that it often matches or sometimes overtakes the amount of money you would earn a year BEFORE costs like:
o   Food
o   Electricity
o   Landline (broadband requirement)
o   Broadband
o   Mobile phone
Once you factor in those you will find yourself looking closer to home which if you live in an area like mine (one of the most deprived in the county) you may find that to be a significant problem

No comments: