February Finances

Saturday 2 February 2019

You could call February my momentous month. Two of my children have February birthdays, it’s the month I bought my current home and, many moons ago, my first ever car. Alternatively, as birthday plans collide with car and home insurance renewals, you could just call it a month of financial catastrophe… and this year I also have to throw a Prom dress into the mix!

Saturday is earmarked for our first foray into the wonderful world of Prom dress shopping, with an appointment booked at a local boutique. However my Saturday morning run is interrupted by a frantic call from the shop. Our slot has been booked at a time when another girl, from the same school, is on the premises… and apparently this is a ‘Disaster!’

No no no!” a woman gasps in horror down the phone, “The girls can’t have anyone else seeing their dress before the ‘Big Day!'”

I long to shout ‘Are you for real?’ down the line but instead I keep my opinions to myself and calmly book us in for the following weekend, because it will keep the peace in our household. Keep the peace because, though I may join the ‘No prom in my day!’ brigade in finding the whole thing a complete palaver, I accept that ‘The Prom’ is now an important date in the school leaver’s diary? Not really! It will keep the peace because of parity – the golden rule of family life. This is my second prom-ing daughter. Last year this shop was on our Prom-circuit and that means we go again this year… end of discussion.

The upshot however is that Saturday afternoon is now free and my other two children, the February birthday duo, spot their opportunity and swoop in. Their birthday gifts this year are phone upgrades and so we find ourselves off on a family trip to take on the might of the mobile moguls and root ourselves out a good deal. It doesn’t start well, I disgrace myself in the first shop by confusing storage with data and having to ask what an ‘XR’ is and all three kids are rolling their eyes and making furious ‘keep quiet mum!‘ gestures in my direction. However, by shop 3,  as we start to talk money- numbers, I come into my own. My arthimetic is quicker than the computer and that throws the salesman off his stride. When I also produce bits of paper with comparative deals on, he is putty in my hands and we are soon offered extra discounts and extra data to beat the very best deals we’d researched in advance …I think even the kids are impressed! They are certainly very happy with their new phones, even if neither of them comes close to being an XR!  

Back home I feel I’ve well and truly earned my Saturday glass of wine. Just the small matter of home insurance, car insurance and a Prom dress to squeeze out of my monthly salary now… oh bring it on!!!

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