I’m Joe and I have my own flat near Harrogate where I’m enabled and supported by ubu to live independently. Now I’ve never been great at managing and spending my money well. I really love music and films and in the past I’ve sometimes spent all the money I have for the week on DVD’s and CD’s.
After one of these spending sprees, when I found I had no money left to pay for anything else like food and bills, things weren’t good. The ubu enabling team and my social worker met with me and we talked about how I use money and about how to make sure that I manage my finances so that I can live well and independently.
We came to an agreement about how to manage the money I have coming in. Working with my ubu enabling team, I decided that I should have a set amount of my money to spend each week. It made sense because up until then I hadn’t been very disciplined about it. I needed to know that there is always enough money to pay my rent and bills too. So, for the last year or so I’ve been taking a a regular amount each week which I use for buying food and other stuff I need at home. Whatever is left I have to spend on other things like going out.
A few months back I spoke with the ubu enabling team who work to support me when I need it and told them that I wanted to visit Scarborough in January for my 21st birthday. It’s was going to be big trip for me and I knew it was going to be expensive but I also really wanted to celebrate my birthday in style! So with their help I worked out a budget to make it happen.
So my plan was to save £5 out of my weekly money to build up a decent holiday fund so that I could go away. Up until now, I’ve never been away on holiday without being with a big group of people which has been OK but what I really wanted was to do something different and special.
So you can imagine it took a while to get enough money saved but by last December I had put enough money aside each week to be able to pay for my birthday break. I actually feel very proud at my own resolve in being able to do this by managing what I have to make it happen.
The time away was just brilliant! The cherry on the cake was having my lovely Mum and sister meet me for a surprise birthday meal in an Italian restaurant in Scarborough. I was blown away! It was great to see them and the picture that we took shows just how great it was to see them both. My Mum got me a guitar for my birthday, which I’m now going to start learning to play with some of the ubu enabling team who going to help to teach me.
Seeing and learning how managing the money I get better has helped me achieve something I really wanted to do. I’ve found a better way to use what I have and still enjoy some fun times too. I’m already looking forward to booking a follow up holiday next year, perhaps to Blackpool or even going abroad in the future…