Living on a little

It’s not often you find a book that literally transforms your life.  I can hand on heart recommend this one – “Living large – how to live well – even on a little” by the gloriously named J Raymond Albrektson.  Mine is a battered, chewed looking 2nd hand copy and as it was published in 2000, it’s only on Amazon as a cheap bargain option.  Get a copy!!!!

It’s an old fashioned comforting sort of read which covers savings, giving to God, thrift, planning and credit: what transformed my life was the simple teaching on how to budget.  I’ve tried various ways – “fag packet economics” or “how on earth am I going to afford what I have committed myself to? “trying to be super holy and tithe” – which stripped my cash flow and left me resentful until someone explained % of income left over to me – painful.  And this way. Which is to have separate “envelopes” – real or virtual or spreadsheet whatever, in which cash or budget is deposited each pay packet.  And that’s it.  Not rocket science you would think. I am aware sensible people use their phones…..

In the four years I used this scheme, I have bought a decent 2nd hand car, stayed in credit, saved towards the target 3 months safety net of salary (desperately hard to do)  Oh and had fun!  I’m having to replan as I start a new job at the bottom of the salary heap and I need to make things work out and find enough cash for joy.

I find a budget gives me permission to spend.  To buy clothes, to give exuberantly – but only within the framework of a totalled costed amount. To buy books and coffee and the occasional cinema ticket.  When books above the alloted amount come out the food budget, it sharpens the mind’s resolve a little (ok not a lot)

Another fantastic tool has been the “Money advice service” budget spreadsheet.  This smart bit of kit allows a non financial expert like me to put in the figures, and have the results per week/month/year, with pie charts and play around with the amounts until they balance or surplus.  I know most people are aware of this, but somehow along the way I never quite got the hang of it. (after all, it’s taken me a long time to grasp fractions)

And I certainly needed the tools.  Control is a beautiful, fun, stewardly thing.  Especially with beer and chocolate thrown in the mix sometimes.


3 thoughts on “Living on a little”

  1. Absolutely with you every way – it’s having boundaries that gives freedom I find, freedom not to feel guilty about having & being able to give. Real freedom is having structure within which to work………… I delight to see how orderly you are ………… will have to find that, good old Google – Col 2:5

    Liked by 1 person

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