I started writing this post in December but decided it was going to be irrelevant because we were supposed to have sorted this BS by 29th March.
Welp, it’s been extended by another 5 months so might as well use that time to get my life in order in case all (financial) hell breaks loose, right? And what better day to publish this than May Day, May Day, May Day?
Do we need to stockpile food? What’s the deal with the deodorant issue? Do I need to make besties with my paranoid neighbour with the bunker?
The answer is: we don’t know. The only thing we really know about Brexit at the moment is that everything (everything!) is uncertain. Hence, naming it Brexit(?).
And if there’s something that the financial marketplace seem to hate, it’s uncertainty – explaining all the doom and gloom headlines.
I remember reading similar financial Apocalyptic-style headlines in 2007/8 but not really paying attention because I didn’t think it would affect me (as I had no money to lose – HA! I can laugh about it now) and also…well, I didn’t really know what to do to help myself. It all seemed so big and out of my control. Surely it was up to the government to sort this out? (Again – HA! I say!)
The only thing we can really control is our own personal situation. I don’t watch Game of Thrones but I imagine Brexit(?) is like a White Walker: You’ve heard of it and you’re not sure it’ll ever happen to you but the consequences sound so dire that maybe, maybe, it’s worth knowing how to fight it off should you ever come face to face with it.
Alas, I’m quite short of dragonglass or Valyrian steel (for now anyway – come throooough Internet!) and have instead focused on some things I’m doing to financially prepare meself for Brexit(?)
- Learning how to cook (better)
If you’re currently polishing your (organic, homemade, eco-friendly) Michelin star, then by all means, continue past this part my friend.
But if you made a face, know that learning how to cook will give me more flexible options to shop ‘n’ swop should certain ingredients or brand names become more expensive.
I can decide to eat more expensive options less regularly – like meat – without feeling I’m missing out because I’ll have a range of recipes under my belt that are blimmin’ delicious.
Don’t get me wrong – I know how to follow a recipe and (most of) the stuff I whip up tastes delicious. But it also means I can make decisive gourmet-based choices that help look after my health like, I dunno, making vegetables actually taste good enough to eat.
But not Brussel sprouts, because those pieces of snot are always unnecessary. Don’t @ me, yeah? I said what I said.
Plus, making fancy food at home can usually be made at a lower price than buying it from outside – even if that’s just to bung a frozen pizza in the oven.
Woman cannot live on Domino’s alone.
Especially not if the stuffed crust becomes a regular part of the order.
Some of my long term fave foodie blogs are:
Jack Monroe of Jack Monroe/Cooking On a Bootstrap (poverty awareness campaigner and prolific food writer – LOVE her stuff!) UK
Beth of Budget Bytes (cooking tasty food on a budget) USA
Jules of The Stone Soup (Super simple ingredients list, health focused recipes with variations) Australia
Deb at Smitten Kitchen (for when I wanna treat maself and nourish my soul down to its bones)* USA.
2.Checking credit and overdraft options.
My sister told me she got a credit card the other day and
I damn well high-fived her.
Lenders get reluctant to lend in times of uncertainty. So when no money gets a bit tight all round because banks don’t want to lend, parents start thinking about their finances a bit more intently and Best Mate Numero Uno is in the same, crunching financial situation, it’s nice to have a short-term emergency money pot to access if necessary.
Plus, making any credit card mistakes now when everything is fairly calm should help train me to think more strategically about using it in times of stress…right?
I’m thinking about it like…. a training period before it’s Adulting Time.
I’m not saying getting into credit card debt will make this Brexit(?) transition any smoother but I was impressed that she was making sure she had a financial backup for her times of need.
And also, she’s learning about money whilst building up her credit history and I’m totally behind and inspired by that.
So high fives and cookies all around!
Sometimes we’re not in the best situation to apply for a credit card – I might get rejected and five months isn’t a guarantee that I will be in any better circumstances.
So just in case, I’ma check with my bank about my available overdraft options – can it be made bigger without a charge? What are the charges for going over it? Making sure I know my plan B options!
3.Sorting out meds and health.
One of the headlines tenuously connected to Brexit(?) is that certain medicine supplies are running low. This is, in part, thought to be because of people stockpiling medicines thinking that it will take longer for them to come over from Europe, where many are made.
If you’re (supposed to be) on a repeat prescription but
a) You’re not registered at your local doctor’s or
b) You haven’t been bothered to pick it up for a while or
c) You have no idea of how the repeat prescription service works at your local medical centre, now might be the time to find out and get acquainted with your nearest, dearest NHS service.
This means my asthmatic arse needs to take my own advice and get myself sorted ASAP. I don’t want to be gasping desperately for breath in the cold, cold winter only to find out I need to wait a week for the repeat prescription to be filled out by a doctor.
I will high-key pass out on a desk.
I don’t know who the peeps are that are stockpiling meds but it’s driving up the costs and making it hard for everyone especially considering a lot of people want to avoid a hard, no-deal Brexit. But I get the fear, particularly if you feel it’s life-or-death levels of high stakes that you get your medicine.
Speaking about fear and life or death, I’ve got my finger hovering in case I need to do a general MOT of my health too; I will go and book an appointment to see a doctor about that weird lump/rash/itch/second head now. The alternative is putting it off and complaining when there’s an inevitable 6 week backlog come November and the next time I get to see someone in the medical profession is in 2020.
4. Solidifying employment status.
Am I happy with my current status?
The amount of responsibility I’ve got? The benefits therein?
My contracted hours?
This for me if the most complicated because I’m on parental leave at the moment.
Will I be able to go back part-time if that’s what I choose? And if my workplace say no, will I just go back full-time or do I have to start looking for a job elsewhere with more flexible hours?
I remember being unemployed. It wasn’t bad – but what was utter rubbish for me for the application process.
This blog post has taken me far less time than any of the applications I wrote and is way less harrowing. It also hasn’t led to half as many moments of self-doubt and existential crises, so yay for that!
But if I’m going to have to go through all that again, I want to have a heads up and a headstart.
I guess one thing that can help take the edge off Brexit(?) panic is knowing what I’m going to be doing at that and how much I’ll be bringing in too.
Or won’t be bringing in. *cringe face*
I don’t know if it’s just me but there’s something about Brexit(?) that has created a sense of…uptightness? Anger? Barely simmering national rage?
You know what I mean. Everyone seems to be mad about this Brexit(?) sitch.
I know I found it hard to feel any sort of cheer in the days after the 2016 referendum results came out. Relax? Yeah right. I think my shoulders might be glued to that space just under my ears even now.
It’s so easy to feel angry, worried, anxious, frightened and all sorts of negative emotions about this big, hulking uncontrollable situation where nobody seems to know what the hell they are doing and how this situation will affect everybody come the future and what the financial implications and the final cost of this will be.
But being kind can be free.
Saying hi to my neighbour, checking in on that mate who needs it, going for a walk and exploring my vicinity.
I have a plan. I have decided on a course of action should the worst happen and there’s still 5 months till the Brexit(?) hits the S.A.D powered fan.
I’m going to enjoy the sunshine while it’s here.
Are you making any Brexit prep plans? Whatcha doing?