I’m usually very cautious and conservative (with a small ‘C’), especially with money. But I’m expecting to pick up a redundancy cheque in a couple of weeks, and I’m feeling torn.
It will be a generous settlement, by modern standards; fortunately, my contract was written back in the 80s, before Ts & Cs got so mean.
However, in this economic climate, having spent at least the last ten years stagnating careerwise, and at 46, and ill, it’s by no means certain I’m going to walk in to another job before the redundancy runs out. And after that it’s over to savings, of which I also have some.
The dilemma? I’m tempted to blow part of the severance on a luxury holiday. Now bear in mind this could be my money for food and utilities - although I don’t have a mortgage.
Would it be reckless and silly to blow part of my pay-off on a holiday, when I don’t have another job to go to? Or is it time I was reckless and silly, just once? One part of me is thinking now is no time to be thinking about holidays, let alone luxury ones. I should be preparing for a long stint without income, and trying to eke out whatever nest-egg I’ve got for as long as possible.
But the other part of me is feeling really conscious that the clock is ticking. Progression is only subtle at the moment, thank God, but the likelihood is I’m going to get sicker. If I wait util I’m more secure again financially (assuming that ever happens), I may find I’m by then too sick to take the holiday.
So, should I just stick two fingers up to the future, and splash out on a holiday, while I’m still well enough to go?
A further complication is that a friend and her husband have offered (I didn’t ask) to decorate my living room and kitchen. I’ve already explained that, whilst I will pay for all the materials, I can’t pay them for the work, because I shall be unemployed. So what are they then going to think, if they know I’m jetting off on holiday? Of course, I know I don’t always have to be quite so honest. I could choose to say nothing at all about the holiday, and hope they won’t miss me. We don’t see each other that often, so they might not notice I’d gone. Or I could just let them assume I chose to spend some time at Mum’s.
I realise, ultimately, it’s not up to them how I spend my money. I didn’t request they did decorating - they offered - and I made clear from the start I wouldn’t be paying, except for materials - otherwise I might as well hire a professional. Of course, I’m willing to take them out to dinner or something, as a thank you - but keep it informal, like that.
But I would still feel guilty if I then went on holiday, having refused to pay for the decorating. It looks hypocritical, doesn’t it?
So I suppose two dilemmas, really. Should I be thinking about expensive holidays at all, in the circumstances? And, if that’s OK, is it a cheek if I still won’t pay for the decorating?