In response to Saving Ninja’s challenge, ‘If I Lost Everything’:
If I woke up tomorrow and didn’t have anything because a cybercriminal had stolen all my money and assets, my other half wouldn’t be surprised as he meticulously shreds everything with his name and address on it and nags me about identity theft. I am rather more blasé.
Although my family live three hours away I know that there are local people who would let me bed down with them for a while. Three and a half years ago we moved to our current house in a village in Wales. Shortly after that one of our neighbours started a women’s group. This started as a monthly get together in the local pub for any women who live in the village and wanted to come. It has though developed way beyond that. We help each other out. Whether it is feeding cats, watering plants or putting on lunch for the village OAPs. It is a lovely feeling that there are people nearby who will always help you out, particularly when your family don’t live on the doorstep.
As well as my neighbours there are also friends, in particular ones from work. A group of us all worked together for several years in an office that has closed, but despite us now working in different places we all still keep in touch, albeit mainly virtually. Each Christmas we have a night out with the whole team, as though the office still exists. I know that anyone of them would give me a bed for the night.
I am lucky that the only debt that I have is the mortgage and that isn’t excessive. I suppose though if I didn’t have anything, I would have the mortgage, but not the house. Fortunately I have a fairly well-paid job with an organisation which has a non-redundancy policy, so even if I had nothing else I would have my job and be able to start saving again as I earn. One of the difficulties is that I need my car to do my job, but I have a good credit rating so I expect I could get a loan to buy an old banger which would do me for a while until I could afford something better.
In terms of food I know that I could live on beans and lentils for months. Having been a vegetarian for twenty years, now lapsed as I eat fish, I can make cheap and tasty meals. We love curry and so a few veg, spices, lentils and rice would keep us going. My other half, who is a meat eater would protest, but he would have to put up with it.
Even though they live in England, I also have family. I think that some of us take it for granted that if the worst happens we can always go back to Mum and Dad. In my job I meet people who don’t have any family, or at least not any that they would want to live with. Although for me that would mean leaving my current job I expect I could get another one where they live and go back to sleeping in my old room until things improve. Having jumped on the bandwagon of those responding to this challenge I have found it a useful exercise and it has helped me realise that no matter how bad life could be there will always be a way to sort things out. Even if it means some significant changes I wouldn’t be sleeping under a bridge in a cardboard box!