Archive for redunancy

Credit Crunch: A Survivor’s Guide

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by stanleyriiks

The credit crunch has hit me hard. I haven’t lost my job (so far), but my income has decreased significantly (about 25%), the threat of redundancy has loomed over me for the whole of 2009 and is likely to be an issue again in 2010. During this time of difficulties I’ve had to tighten my belt, to cut costs, I’ve had to crunch my own credit, look at my needs and expenses and try to put together a back-up fund for emergencies.

It has been hard. The credit crunch was unexpected by most people, including me, and because there was no warning I found myself unprepared.

To give you some background, I have a full-time job (the joy!), I live in rented accommodation (which until recently I enjoyed alone). I enjoy good food, regular holidays, lots of tv channels, unrestricted broadband internet access, buying things when I want them, not having to save forever to get an iPod touch, and being in control of my money.

That is until I realised how precariously balanced I was on the financial divide. The divide between the haves and have-nots. Because of the credit-crisis it’s not so much of a divide any more, and there’s no border patrol stopping you going over to the other side now.

I plan to put together a series of articles aimed at making you look at your money and getting you to think about how you spend it. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme, it’s not a 12-step debt removal system, it’s just a common-sense way of looking at money and how you use it. The idea is to take in this information and use it to save yourself some money without having to go without too much.

Next time: Budgeting

Writing…

Posted in Life..., Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by stanleyriiks

I’m having a hard time writing at the moment. It’s not a lack of ideas, it’s more a lack of passion. I discovered writing when I was in my teens and loved it. I felt compelled to write down my every idea, thought and feeling. I kept a diary, I wrote most days. It wasn’t a choice, it was as natural as waking up, as natural as eating.

I wrote thousands of stories and seven novels, I wrote reviews and articles that appeared in magazine all over the place, but I wasn’t ready to share my fiction. I wanted to keep it for myself. I didn’t edit hardly any of it because I hate editing.

Then one summer, lacking ideas for my latest novel, I decided to edit the ones I had already written. I worked my way through all of them, and then again. Pretty soon I’d been editing for two years, and hadn’t written anything. For me editing takes the passion out of writing, it makes writing lose the magic that makes it special.

I haven’t written anything substantial for several years now. The fire that burned inside me is almost out. I have no lack of imagination, no lack of inspiration, just a lack of sitting my arse down and writing.

Writing now seems like a chore rather than a joy. In fact most things in adulthood seem like a chore. But some chores take priority, like earning money to pay the bills.

I’m not focused on writing like I was before. I have too many other hobbies that take up too much time.

I still write a short story occasionally, although I now have to push myself. When I do a spark of that old fire comes back, the joy returns while I weave my world from words. But I need a kick-start, I need something to push me.

Whilst threatened with redundancy earlier in the year I planned to write a book and to learn a language, at least until I found another job. Fortunately the redundancy didn’t happen, but unfortunately I don’t have the time to spend doing the things I would really like to do.

My latest idea was to get my books proof-read by a professional and start submitting them, but that’s actually fairly expensive if you want it done properly, and trust me, from what I can remember of my last (fourth) edits of my novels, they need to be looked at properly.

So I sit, filling up a blank screen with my moaning instead of writing another story, one I have an idea for. About a private detective who is visited by a beautiful woman who brings with her a box that kills people when it’s opened. Ok, so it’s not that original, but I could do something with it.

May be I would try and see where it takes me…