The Cost of Living: May 2016

May was a strange month.  Firstly, because against my better judgement, I have been doing some paid work.  This was not my intention, but unfortunately, needs must.  I was hoping I'd be able to move out of my city centre flat before September, but as it turns out I'm locked into the tenancy agreement until then.  Always read the small print, my friends.  However, I do have the general incompetence and ineptitude of my previous employer on my side here.  Four months after I resigned, and I still haven't been replaced, for reasons hilarious but too boring to go into.  This has allowed me to switch onto the "bank" (relief) payroll, meaning I can essentially pick and choose how often I cover night shifts.  Now I am no longer a manager, the rate I am paid for this has dropped slightly, although since I can keep my overall earnings below the £11,000 threshold required before having to pay income tax, this works out at more or less the same per hour (possibly more).

I feel ugly and dirty having to do this, but sometimes in life you can't avoid doing ugly and dirty things.  Still, the satisfaction I get from turning up to my previous job, putting in some hours and buggering off again, without having to become ensnared in meaningless bureaucratic inanities, almost makes it worth it.  Almost.  In fact, hardly at all.  But a little.  Small mercies, I suppose.  Here are this months' figures:

OUTGOINGS
Food:  £101.21
Postage:  £32.54
Rent:  £650
Mobile/internet:  £91.83
Prescription:  £16.80
Council Tax:  £81.14
Other: £212.49
Total outgoings: £1186.01

INCOME
Income from work: £542.67
amazon/ebay selling: £316.90
Total income:  £859.57

BALANCE: -£326.44

Still a negative balance, but compared to last month, a vast improvement.  It's interesting to note that I've spent considerable more on food than I did last month, when I didn't do any paid work at all: £101.21 compared to £18.98.  That's quite a leap.  Goes to show the value of taking your time to track down cheap food, shopping at the right hours in the right places.  This is something that the time taken up by work doesn't always allow for: exhaustion is the mother of convenience.  Worth thinking about.