After my rantings about football and mindless TV, I thought it was high time that I started helping my fellow man, rather than use this particular medium merely to let off steam. Seeing as this is *emergency* budget day, which makes it sound all the more exciting, and there's a whole lot of belt tightening in the air, I've decided to produce my five point plan to help all those people most affected by VAT increases and other such things. I assume that all people who are poor fall into this category, so it's also my chance to feel good about myself by giving a few tips to those less fortunate than I (and you, because if you're reading this, you must have a computer, or a friend that has one, or you're in an internet cafe; hang on, that means you might be poor...)
Anyway, here goes:
1. Don't smoke. Smoking was last cool in the 1990s, when I smoked (coincidentally), and back then cigarettes were also about £2 per pack. Hanging around outside a dingy office block with four other drones, trying to light up with one hand and hold an umbrella with another doesn't make you look like the marlboro cowboy. Total saving: about a fiver a week.
2. Don't buy a lottery ticket. When the BSE crisis was in full flow, the chances of you contracting it from diseased beefy spinal cord was about 1 in 11 million - Government tag line: you've nothign to worry about. When the lottery first came on the scene, the chance of winning the thing was estimated at about 1 in 14 million - tag line: 'it could be you'. No it won't be. And you've got to sit through 40 minutes of Nick Knowles just to get to the numbers. And there is just as much of a chance of 1,2,3,4,5,6 coming up as any other combination. Except you'll only win about 75p even if these are your numbers. Total saving: a pound a week.
3. Don't put flags on your car. Even if they are free, and you only do it every two years, any effort you make to support your country, whilst instead looking like a total tit and embarrassing said country in the process is a waste of time, money, effort and all those minutes your mother spend squeezing you out. Total saving: Coppers per two years.
4. Don't buy ready meals/eat less food. Even the cheap readies from Iceland are relatively expensive for what crap goes into them. And incidentally, the way you do a dinner party is not to make five different frozen microwave meals, and then serve them all at once to your guests. 'What's for supper?' 'Well, you're having chicken Korma, but Mandy's having lasagne'. Even dinner party novices might smell a rat. If you do the cooking yourself, and don't eat like a Texan expecting the nuclear winter, you should be able to scrape a few more pennies together each week. Total saving: about a tenner a week.
5. Radio over TV. It's better, and you don't need a license. Radio has TMS, 6 music, bbc 7, radio 4 and Milton Jones. TV has Jeremy Kyle, Jim Rosenthal, James Corden and live from studio 5. No contest. Total saving: about 3 pounds per week.
Right - I make that just under £20 you could save with my 'beat the budget' plan. Which equates to about 6 large bottles of white lightning. And go on, my son, you really deserve it.