“Sometimes I feel like a Pelican. Whichever way I turn, I've still got an enormous bill in front of me.”
That’s right, the gas and telephone bills arrived Saturday morning, leaving Mrs Sticker and I with a financial sinking sensation like the ground under our feet has turned to quicksand. We sat down with a mutual ‘What are we going to do now?’ look on our faces. It’s not as if we’re the most energy profligate family on the planet (Although we do have teenagers). The heating has been off since early May, we don’t have any air conditioning (Although that would be very nice right now). What with the Council tax, eldest going to University this September and everything else, it looks like the Sticker family are in for a fairly thin time of it for the foreseeable future.
Being a Parking Enforcer is not the best paid job on the block, and the ever increasing cost of living eats into the family budget, tearing ever greater chunks out of the family fatted calf to the point where it resembles a bleached skeleton. As a family our income is in that ticklish band where our outgoings have always walked the tightrope of our incoming funds. What with ever increasing stealth taxation and the knock on effect of increasing utility prices, I’ve got to look at some way of drastically cutting costs short to middle term. This itself is an area into which we have made considerable inroads. Only one car for essentials. We’ve cut spending on clothes, nights out (Although those have always been a rarity) It’s getting to the point where the only savings we can make are spending less on food and clothing (Despite pretty modest spending already) or cutting the broadband connection. Because of my shift system, I can’t take on part time work, and as for trying to get money for my writing – forget it. Everyone seems to want something for nothing, at least as far as I’m concerned anyway. The situation is not quite dire yet, but is heading that way.
No assistance from Social Services for us either, we just don’t qualify.
The thought occurs that if the state was not so all fired pernicious in our lives and taxation quite so invasive, we might be able to cope better financially. As for being a local Government employee, and so a putative burden on the poor bloody council taxpayer, I console myself that my work, such as it is, helps keep council tax, in our area at least – down. Not that this little snippet is of any use to me right now.