Spring time is always a slow news time as well. When I used to work in a newspaper, February was the month we always struggled with and by the time May or June rolled around we were really clutching at straws. I find it no different this year.
But columns must be written no matter what the month and so, I press on. The budget is coming up next month and though in the past I have not given this too much thought, it is becoming clearer to me how this will affect my life and that of my peers. For instance, pet food prices are predicted to shoot way up like they did last year. I already spend a bomb on my cat: He has a delicate stomach, so he has to go to the vet frequently, his food costs about Rs 2,000 every month and of course, each time I’m in a pet shop I’m tempted to buy him a toy, which he plays with for half a second and then ignores because he prefers a piece of clothesline. And don’t even get me started on the fancy prices I pay for his scented litter, which he, well, uses for his business. I don’t think I’m ready for children yet!
Also entertainment prices are predicted to go through the roof along with everything else and this makes me sad, because what else do I earn for if not for entertainment? (And feeding my cat, clearly.) Already it is practically prohibitive to go to my favourite bar, and I have to nurse one drink the entire night gazing longingly at the platinum cards that flash past me.
And talking of cards, here are two things, I recently discovered, I do not have in common with my friends. I don’t have a credit card. And I don’t invest. The first one is not voluntary, I might be one of the only people in world who wait for the call centres to ask if I want a credit card. This happened to me frequently and once I said, ‘Yes’ and the girl on the other side said, ‘Yes?’ And I never heard from them again. I like to think she died from the shock.
And it’s not like I don’t want to invest. I do. I’ve even joined virtual investment games with fake money. Only my stocks keep falling alarmingly and if virtual money can vanish that fast, I don’t like to think about what will happen with my real, hard-earned money.
So I justify it for myself. I tell my friends it’s a good thing I don’t have a credit card because think about how much in debt I’d be. I think about investment vaguely as something I’ll do someday in the future when I’m 40.
Meanwhile, I’ll earn for my cat