Benefits in Lent (Week 3) – The Joy of Work

Before I started, I thought that living on £64.30 a week would be difficult. However, it has been easier than anticipated. I’ve summarised three main reasons:

  1. Cheating – by pre-buying lots of food. This was worth about £25 over three weeks.
  2. Pre-existing assets – I already had a lot of food in my cupboard and freezer. However, I also already own a guitar, piano, books, TV and a laptop. I can enjoy my free time without needing to spend any more money.
  3. Work – The benefits of work go beyond the monthly paycheque. Work saves money. That’s what I want to discuss in this blog post.
The morning commute by Steve Way

Benefits of Work

1) Time consuming – You spend money when you are bored. If you are at work for 10+ hours a day, you don’t spend much money at all. There is an exception if you internet shop or buy houses during your lunch break.

2) Free heat, light and shelter – Your office protects you from the threat of bandits.

3) Training – It’s in your employers interest to train you. However, you are the ultimate beneficiary of training. I’m currently training for the Chartered Accountancy qualification, the ACA. My employers pay for the training but I will enjoy the benefits for the rest of my career.

The training also extends to soft skills, such as teamwork and communication. Perhaps the most important one I have learnt is the art of small talk, especially how to feign interest in Desperate Housewives.

4) Future prospects – Work gives the idea that you have value. You have an incentive to invest in your C.V. There is the chance of doing different kinds of work throughout your lifetime that gives you satisfaction and income. I believe that is called a career.

5) Self esteem – Work gives you a sense of purpose and worth. But unemployment eats away at your self esteem and dignity. We can’t help but be defined by our work.

It’s easy for me to judge the long-term unemployed but I’ve never been in that situation. I heard a story about some long-term unemployed trying to get back into work but didn’t believe that they didn’t deserve a job.

I have been too religious about sticking to the £64.30 limit. It is a symptom of having an accountant’s mindset. It’s not just about the numbers, it’s about remembering the good things that I do have.

For the record, I am 2p under budget in week 3.

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