It’s been a quiet few weeks for me. Following knee surgery I’ve had some time in bed, some time off work, and lots of working from home. Now, however, I’m returning to the world of active people, and going into the office more and more often. This has been great in many ways, I was pretty bored of being a hermit, and it’s hard to work properly at home. Unfortunately the downside of returning to the office is...taxis! I am ploughing rather a large amount of money into taking taxis between train stations each day. I was stressed about this for a good few days. Many people feel guilt over large expenses and sometimes we assume that spending less is always better.
This is a bit different though. It’s a completely necessary expense for me (I’m definitely not ready for several thousand people on the tube yet). I have to go to work, and it would be very foolish to risk falling and injuring my still-slightly-broken bone for the sake of some money. It’s really a form of healthcare cost, and certainly not frivolous. So why was it bothering me so much?
Although I knew I had to take taxis, I hadn’t taken the time to estimate the total cost and mentally accept it. It wasn’t sitting comfortably in my ‘plan’ (it would be a bit optimistic calling it a budget yet). In addition, I kept being faced with the expense two or three times a day, so it was difficult to get away from the uneasy sense that it was out of control.
I did some sums, and given the money I save on a tube fare, and the saved commuting costs from when I was working from home, I will be much less out of pocket than I had feared. I also have huge respect for the cab drivers, most of whom I chat to and are skilled drivers who have worked many years, and are suffering financially in the recession. So I know that I can bear the cost, and actually I can enjoy the power of being a part of the economy, able to influence the industry of others in a positive way. Oh, and I enjoy it much more than the tube because London is beautiful, and cab drivers all have advice on recovering from surgery!
I think it has taught me that thinking through a financial decision carefully will make me take heed of money, but then stop worrying about it because the decision has been made! It was also interesting how painful handing over cash was, when I normally use cards as much as possible (no manual entry into my software then). I’m taking out about four times as much cash as I normally would in a week, and seeing it all disappear reminds me how unreal plastic is, and how you lose the sense of what you’ve spent!
Anyway, Happy Diamond Jubilee to the Queen, and to all the cab drivers in London, thank you for being so great at driving my limping self around, and I hope you’re not working on Sunday when they close half the city up!Image credits