I’ve hesitated to admit this here. Money still carries a fair old few taboos. It isn’t polite to talk about how much we earn, and it feels shameful to admit that I don’t always manage to manage my money.
I choose to earn less money in order to have luxurious swathes of time in which to write, so I don’t want to fool you with a ‘poor me’.
I also habitually hover on the boundaries of having ‘just enough’ money, and I’m suspicious that I subconsciously set this up so I can prove to myself that I’m an expert ‘coper’. I need to be an expert ‘coper’ or I feel panicky. So being a bit skint isn’t an unfamiliar place.
But anyway. After checking my bank balance yesterday, and doing some sums, I experienced that familiar stomach-knotting panic. I don’t have enough. How will I pay for going to France for a course in the summer? How will I pay my tax bill?
When I’d calmed down a bit, I wondered what the universe might be trying to tell me. I had a conversation with a friend, and he suggested maybe it was time for me to have a ‘financial fast’, in preparation for the next phase of my life (which I promise I’ll tell you about when I can). A ‘clearing out’ of some of the ‘old Fiona’. A going-back-to-basics, an existing on what is necessary. This fitted perfectly.
And so I spent the afternoon cutting back. I cancelled my mailing list subscription, which was costing me £20 a month, and a magazine, and my contact lenses. I bought vegetables and good basic ingredients so I can cook properly for myself rather than buying sandwiches. I cancelled a couple of trips. I offered signed copies of my novels for £8 (incl p&p for the UK – email me!) and reminded people of other places they could buy them.
That night, feeling much better (cleaner, leaner), I glanced at the money calculations I’d done that morning. Instead of adding up my various ‘incoming’ monies, I seemed to have subtracted all the smaller amounts from the biggest one. Not quite as skint as I thought.
I didn’t take this as the universe saying ‘oh, don’t worry about it any more, just keep on spending’, but as a sign that I’m on track. I’m looking forward to a few quiet months – inviting friends round for food rather than going to restaurants, reading books (which are waiting for me in piles) rather than going to the cinema. Making the most of this lovely rural place.
It could be the universe speaking to me, or it could be my own deepest intuition, finding a way of being heard. I could be fashioning signs from what is merely random. It doesn’t matter. I got the message, and the message has been helpful.
What is the universe trying to tell you at the moment?