What Downton Abbey Taught Me About Thrifty Habits
This Week’s Thrifty Habits – Budget And Share
I am a sucker for a costume drama and this week I had my very own costume drama epiphany. I have been looking at budgeting tools (YNAB, etc) and it suddenly came to me – victorian housekeepers!
Victorian Housekeepers managed budgets the size of which I can only dream of. They ran a tight budget (they had to – the mistress of the house would be checking on them) and managed it very frugally. Thrift was part of their job – nobody wanted to hire a housekeeper who spent money wastefully. So the years they spent studying accountancy, management and economics at university level prior to entering service must have come in handy. Oh, no – wait…
Victorian housekeepers finished school at about the point modern pupils embark on secondary education. They went into service as lowly maids and gradually worked their way up, learning on the job. Their literacy and numeracy levels were around that of a modern day primary school leaver.
In other words – it was possible to manage a household like Downton with a minimal education. It’s basic arithmetic, not rocket science.
I am assuming that, like mine, your home is slightly smaller than Downton, yes? And that you and I are better educated than a victorian housemaid. That was my epiphany – we are all just as capable of managing our household budget as Mrs Beaton.
We’ve got this. We don’t need budgeting expertise. We don’t need to gadgetise the process. Pen, paper, calculator and we are tooled up for the job. You don’t have to buy into a budget system; you just need to write down how much you have this month and how you will spend it. You have to be realistic and you have to stick with it. That’s all.
So go forth and budget for the coming month my fellow 21st centurions – even if you haven’t bought the latest budgeting software. You can print out this week’s Thrifty Habits Planner to remind you here.