There is a simple formula for a budget in our house. Basically it goes like this: In: Meagre salary. Out: rates, insurance, phone, petrol, gas, electricity, doctors’ bills, medication, worming tablet (for Jack, not me) flea repellent (Jack again) dog food (either or) and a little something for myself out of what is left – food.

It looks like Australia has borrowed (we are talking finances) my strategy in not paying up front for things. I usually pay up when the red account comes in; that’s the one just before the institution to which you owe money, sends the ‘Your damned service will be cut off’ notice (actually they don’t say damned, but judging by their terse text, I sense they are a little tense about you taking a liberty with regard to a few late bucks. Chill bill.)  Or there’s the other letter that arrives warning of an imminent arrival of a posse of debt collectors (which I think is an oxymoron, because if the client is in debt, then what are the collectors going to collect? Your debt? Yes please.)

Small business is set to be a winner in the Budget Stakes with a twenty k tax deduction to buy stuff. I am thinking of setting up a small business with Jack by exploiting his popularity. We will frequent hubs i.e. shopping centres, tourist sites, old folks homes and pubs, and charge people a dollar or five to pat him. He will need a reliable car for his transport, nutritious food and glamorous dog apparel. The calculator is totalled (like the economy) and all we have to do is put out our hand.

If Jack employs me as an old bugger, then ‘the business’ (let’s call it ‘Pats: Have A Go’) will receive $10,000 over the year to keep me on, obviously only if I do a good job and attend to his every whim. And I thought my twilight years (cue the weird music) were going to be a struggle.

So if you see an ageing woman and a regal looking dog at your local shopping centre touting for trade, it’s only going to cost you the price of a coffee to indulge your love of animals and desire to support a small business.

wordpress Budget jack


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