No calm yet after the storm


A referendum to remember

The past ten days have been extraordinary in the UK, I’m sure I don’t need to say why. We’ve been through the first UK-wide referendum I can remember, on whether we should leave the EU. To the dismay of nearly half of the country, the other, slightly larger, half, said ‘yes, we should’. And now our politicians (those that haven’t resigned), seemingly shocked and unprepared for the outcome, despite polls before the vote showing it was likely to be a close call, are trying to come up with a plan for exactly how that is going to happen. Other than the earlier UK-wide referendum, in 1975, when we voted to remain part of the European Community, I was surprised to read that there was also a UK-wide referendum in May 2011. This was on whether we should change the first-past-the-post system of electing MPs to Parliament, and we said no. I have a vague recollection of the topic being discussed, and am sure I would have voted, but strangely I have no recollection of having done so and the event almost seems to have passed me by. I don’t think anyone will be able to say the same this time around!

What might ‘Leave’ mean for our finances?

I’m including a few links below to politically-neutral articles on what the ‘Leave’ vote might mean for our personal finances. It’s too early to really know, with uncertainty being the buzzword of the moment.

Emotional reaction to the result

I can’t get enough at present of the news and political commentary, as events develop by the hour. However, I’ve been shocked by a lot of what I’ve seen, read and heard over the past week, from those on both sides. Never a fan at the best of times of social media, it’s impossible to avoid comments I disagree with. I’ve seen insults traded, Facebook friends ‘blocked’, and arguments reduced to pithy sound bites. In person, it’s easier to discuss differences of opinion, as you have the advantage of looking someone in the eye, seeing their facial expressions, and hearing the tone of their voice. You can also choose not to have a conversation if you’re not in the mood, or can change the subject or walk away if you’ve simply had enough, or the other person seems be losing their rag!

Subject-based bloggers should stick to the topic

As you know, I’ve signed up for numerous blogs as part of my mission to find out what others are saying and doing about their finances, and in contrast to most of what I’ve read this year, have not enjoyed much of what I’ve read over the past week. I don’t want someone else’s politics sent into my inbox, it’s not what I signed up for when I subscribed to a finance mailing list. I have no way of responding properly, I don’t want to get involved in an online argument that can too easily degenerate, and the end result is irritation at best, anger at worse.

There is a reason why people urge caution when discussing politics or religion. Obviously most of us do both. But emotions are tightly entwined with each, and it’s rare the person who can argue a political subject they feel strongly about and still remain calm and collected.

This is a blog about me trying to take control of my finances, and I’m assuming that anyone caring to take a peek is probably interested in the same. If you want to read about fashion, say, or gardening, there are other places to go. I’m putting politics to one side – money is enough of a taboo subject for one blog!

I tried to keep to theme!

I’m aware that I’ve waffled on about how I’ve found the response to the result, online in particular, to be unpleasant, and demoralising. I think we have more in common with each other than the reaction suggests.

This year I’ve been setting myself monthly goals to try and focus my mind with my finances. This week it should have been the time to write about what I’ve done over the past month, and to set my goals for July. However, I’ve been distracted by the momentous events taking place around me! So I’ll finish by admitting that other than the few links above, I’ve discussed nothing about money at all (even though I’ve been thinking about it, I promise you!), and I’ll pick up next week!

Image: Unsplash

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