Friday, 1 February 2008

Funding a life style

Tonight’s Hartlepool Mail included a small article from a regular series entitled "My night out"

Mail readers are encouraged to send in details of what they do on a night out in Hartepool, how often they go out, how much they spend, favourite drink, best food, what they like about the night out in Hartlepool and what's the worst thing about a night out on the town. The featured reveller tonight was a 23 year old, unemployed male.

On a night out in Hartlepool he likes Yates and Bar Paris, Joe Rigatonis and Marco Polo but if he's just out with his friends, rather than his girlfriend, it will probably be a take away. He estimates he spends £50 on a night out but only hits the town a couple of times a month. He also spends about £150 a month on fashion. So that’s around £250 a month on clothes, drinking and eating out.

Not bad for a 23 year old, unemployed bloke, living in Hartlepool. As he's still below retirement age (65 for men and 60 for women) and assuming he's capable of working, available for work and actively seeking work then he will qualify for the 18 to 24 year old Job Seekers Allowance of £46.85 per week. Giving him an income between £187.40 for a four week month and £234.25 for a five week month.

So by my calculations he is over £60 a month overspent on a four week month and still £15.75 short on a five week month (Assuming of course he doesn’t slip in an extra night out on the long months!). I wondered how he funds the shortfall from his £250 a month socialising and also how is he finding money for things like food, rent, electricity, gas, council tax, etc? As he's not married he could still be living with his mum? Maybe she funds the rest of his life style?

I wondered if he's ever considered becoming a Hartlepool Borough Councillor? Most of them don't see anything wrong with Hartlepool Council spending considerably more than the Council's Income! But of course if Hartlepool Council does get short of money they don’t have their mum to bail them out, they have something even better, they can always put the Council Tax up a bit higher next year and the people of the town have no alternative but to pay it!

1 comment:

  1. I had read the same article and, whilst thinking that the young man's spending habits seemed excessive on his little pleasures in life, I hadn't actually done the maths on his income and outgoings. A very poignant note indeed. Either he was bragging a little for the interview, or he has forgotten some minor personal financial consideration in his income budget!

    I was also amused by your comparison with this, and certain members of the Council's own attitudes towards overspending their budgets limits, and then passing on the bill to their tax payers. All good stuff!