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A Bit Tight Money Wise

Things have improved somewhat since last weeks nightmare. My eye is on the mend and the patch has been consigned to the rubbish bin. The van is booked in to get new tail lights and a respray and we've been measured up for new carpet, which will be in before Christmas, or so I am told. But not holding my breath.

The issue with the woman and the money she owes me is still on-going though. She really is up the creek without a paddle and me being such a soft touch has told her not to worry until after Christmas. I got into serious trouble at home about that. I got the “how am I going to pay for Christmas?” speech to which I replied “Get a job?”. Seriously, that was the wrong thing to say because she offered to do just that and leave the kids at home with me. Many whispered apologies later, I was back in the good books.

So, panic over. I love my kids but I could not spend all day every day with them. These stay at home Mums and Dads are amazing. If I had that job, the kids would live on takeaways and never have a bath, but they would be able to knock up a garden shed by the time they were 3 and a half! I am a traditional bloke, but I hope Claire knows that I appreciate what she does. Perhaps I should tell her....

I have managed to find a small job (the decking lady – you know, the one whose car I smashed?) which will tide us over until my next big job starts. Darren is not impressed either as he was due his money as well. Problem is that it is me that owes that, as I subbed him in. He will have to wait until the decking is done. I wonder if I can get insurance for this?

So money wise things have been a bit tight this week. We decided to stick to a proper budget for Christmas and sat down over the weekend and made a list. First thing to go were presents to each other – so no new tile cutter then?. We also worked out that Ethan will not even be a year old, so what's the point in buying loads for him? He will be happy with some yoghurt he can smear all over his face....All the relatives go over board on the kids anyway and our presents get lost.

So really, it is just the relatives and those people who you always buy for but you don't know why. You know, the ones who you only see at Christmas and who, for whatever reason, buy you a Mark & Sparks hamper which you then have to better the following year with a Debenhams one, only to be usurped by the John Lewis massive super duper hamper the following year. I think we are both going to have to go to Harrods this year, because we have run out of options.

So the budget, despite our cuts, is pretty much blown before we start and it will be credit card time again. But hey it's only once a year and I don't mind slaving my guts out to pay it off by our obligatory summer holiday... just don't expect me to be sticking to my diet. I think I will need a good stiff drink.

G L Smith and Sons