Benefits in Lent ended with a total budget deficit of £18.62. A respectable performance. However, as alluded to in previous weeks, Benefits in Lent was not a perfect simulation and another trick was to defer purchases until after Lent. But this gives a false picture of what I actually spent during Lent.
For this reason, audits take place after the end of the financial year. Transactions and events after the year end give information about conditions during the year. These are called post balance sheet events.
What I did afterwards
I needed a haircut two weeks ago. However, I avoided the immediate cost by waiting until after Lent and using a comb more often. I’ve just done a large online Tesco shop and replenished vital supplies of washing powder, cleaning products, peanut butter and pheasant. Adjusting for post balance sheet events, I should have a deficit of around £103.20+ (unaudited figure).
This week I most looked forward indulging my Starbucks coffee habit at will. I drunk many caffè lattes and re-identified myself with accounting trainee-literati. But I never used to buy coffee so regularly before Lent, so why should I change now?
If I’m honest, the last six weeks have not been that challenging. The problem with Benefits in Lent was that it was always temporary. The fact that it was only 6 weeks made it easier because I could pre-buy and then defer purchases. If it was permanent, I would find it impossible.
I’ve learnt the importance of using what resources we have wisely, whether it is money, time or bandit-avoidance skills. Most of all I will remember Benefits in Lent for the awesome spreadsheets.