Sunday was budget day in our house. Budget day is brilliant. Me and my regular arguing-partner get to have deeply nourishing conversations like this:
Him: How the FUCK is your weekly spend on fags and booze MORE than we spend on actual FOOD for the kids?
Me: Because I’m married to you.
Him: WHY do you have to spend a small fortune on those DISGUSTING cans of iced coffee?
Me: Because I’m permanently hot and hungover because I’m married to you.
Him: Custard Creams are NOT essential items.
Me: They are also not heroin, or a bingo addiction which is what I’d really like them to be, so you should be grateful, actually.
Him: How many times…just because a jumper comes from Tesco does NOT mean it counts as GROCERIES.
Me: That jumper will sustain me far more than your massive pile of seeds and organic curly kale, so BACK OFF Gwyneth. (Paltrow)
Him: Don’t call me that.
Him: You are a whore.
Such happy, happy family times…
He makes a chart every week, with columns and boxes for all of us to fill out what we’ve spent and how. A brilliant vehicle for me to leave him informative notes saying: YOU ARE TRYING TO STIFLE MY LIFE. And: THIS PACK OF FAGS HERE STOPPED ME FROM DIVORCING YOU.
I get that budgets are important. You can’t spend money you don’t have…except for when you can. Because we now live in a debt-culture. This means it’s absolutely not your fault if you overspend, it’s just the culture guys! And we all know culture is a GOOD THING.
I also get that you need one budgety person in the house. It’s not gender-specific. If you are in any sort of co-habiting situation, one of you is likely to be more budgety, the other more spendy. The budgety one is prone to saying: ‘yeah well I’d LOVE to not care about our finances but ONE of has to keep a grip,’ which is nonsense because a budgety person would never manage to sustain the level of carefree cash-splashing required to be a spendy.
If I was on my own I’d have to be more budgety, but with Gwyneth off the scene it would be easy. The fortune I’d save on his gigantic sacks of organic oats and vats of coconut oil and that YAK natural sugar syrup stuff would more than cover my weekly jumper requirements.
We must all learn to recognise our needs and make sure they are met. This, we are told, is the key to deep and lasting joy. We can’t expect to fulfill all of them, all of the time (I haven’t slept properly since 1998 and it looks like my need to shag Alan Rickman is buggered) so you settle on a few essential items instead.
And we each have our own levels. According to her incredibly thrifty and down-to-earth website ‘goop’, right now the real Gwyneth Paltrow really needs a tall oxidized bronze attenuated rod candlestick for $540.
All I need is 7 bottles of wine a week, 100 fags, 5-10 cans of iced coffee, 4 packets of custard creams and a jumper…that doesn’t exactly make me Elton John. I mean, I’m not buying actual live babies. Or court injunctions…