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#Backtoschool: for me too...

entry to school 2454153 640We survived! Two months of school holidays are nearly up and I am neither totally bankrupt nor insane: pretty good going, I’d say. But it’s a close run thing with the finances. What with a holiday, tennis and football courses; days out; the enormous extra quantities of food – 11 year old boys are feeding machines – plus Fifa points; phone credits and other costs to keep him occupied .... to be frank, I’m not sure I want to know how much it all cost. Then there’s the expense of the new school term: uniform, shoes (a shocking £58: only a few pounds less than my winter boots which of course are not only much bigger but are liable to VAT), haircuts, stationery...

September means a new start, and not only for children returning to school. For me, it means sorting out a more regular income – freelance work not being as lucrative as it used to be – while also making sure that current finances are in order. So, my car insurance is up for renewal next week. Diligently, I’ve put all my details into a comparison site (actually, I did two sites: www.moneysupermarket.com and www.comparethemarket.com) but neither came up with quotes anywhere near to the renewal one from my existing insurer, which I guess means inertia for once pays off.

Then I’ve got to nag my accountant to remind him to do my tax return which is due in by the end of October (for reasons too boring to explain, I have to file paper returns: the deadline for electronic ones is January 31). I also need to start taking my pension seriously; actually I’m only a couple of years off from being able to take a tax free lump sum from my plan. But I don’t want to draw on it for ages unless I can help it – so that means carrying on working and saving. If you need encouragement to put money in your pension – and I certainly do – then the tax relief, which boosts my contributions by 20% helps. I need to get this all sorted in the autumn because before you know it, it’ll be Christmas... another season of ridiculous over-spending like the summer.

#GreatBritishBakeOff: make it or fake it?
Give me a break...
 

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Tuesday, 18 December 2018