Saturday, April 4

balancing the budget

skint adj. Penniless, poor, impecunious, broke.
On the morning of Sunday 29th March 2015 I went to the Tate Britain.  I left my suitcase at the cloakroom and walked around for an hour.  I finally saw the new staircase in the domed bit, and I walked through, really quickly, the historically ordered galleries to find the 1850's room to just stare once more at Ophelia

Three days later I received an email newsletter from the Tate: Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' was opened at the Tate Britain.  Typical.  I hadn't even realised it was to be opened but I as I find myself tied financially...all money I have in my possession and bank account reserved for various expenses...I have spent a drizzly Saturday afternoon watching interviews with Emin and, quite worringly, practicing the piano.

I am trying to stick to a much stricter monthly budget so I can afford to invest money in the bigger expenses.  This year sees two weddings, neither of which are on my doorstep, and a move to Milan to account for financially as well as the need to remove all of my wisdom teeth hopefully at the beginning of 2016.  What I did forget, when I set up the budget, is how living to a budget means I get more creative. 

When the 'I need to buy...' sentence starts, I have no option but to think around the word 'buy'.  As a result, today, instead of going to the supermarket to get provisions for the picnic I'm going to on Monday, I've made some bread rolls using baking soda, as I didn't have any yeast.  For the filling I'll use the two slices of cheese still in my fridge from when I made piadinas, that I've been saving for a time like this, with the half a tomato and rocket from Tuesday.  And voila, a culinary sandwich fit for any picnic.  Add in the mandarins I got on my last grocery shop and the dried cranberries I normally put with yoghurt for breakfast and I've got a packed lunch.  Heck I might even put in the last bar of Galaxy that I got from my parents and Grandma for Easter. 

In terms of socialising, gone are the regular restaurant dinners of a year ago.  Instead I've returned to my love of board games, €1.80 ice cream (hooray for Spring!), knitting, and dinners in.  Why I ever stopped hosting board game nights I'll never know but I'm loving how my current friendship network enjoy the same things...ok, maybe not the knitting, but I'll convert some of them soon enough!

One thing's for sure, my piano teacher will definitely be surprised when I turn up Tuesday morning and announce I've practiced more than the usual 40 minutes a week!