plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

October 5, 2007

calling for an election

Filed under: budget — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

If you live in the UK and you watch the news, you can’t fail to have noticed the rumours that there may be a general election in the air. As I’m actually quite interested in politics (but not political parties so much), this is not good news for me. Due to my house move being at the end of July, I’m not on the electoral register in the right place and I won’t be until the register is republished on 1st December. So if a vote is called for early November, I will be disenfranchised. :(

Interestingly, it seems as if this issue hasn’t come up before because elections haven’t been called in the autumn for a long time (the are traditionally on a Thursday in May), this is only a matter of tradition because the ruling party must call an election within five years of the last one, but other than that, can call for an election whenever they like. If you didn’t know this, you might be thinking that this is unfair because it gives an advantage to the ruling party, and you’d (in my opinion) be right on both counts.

These circumstances are caused by some of the many idiosyncrasies of the British constitutional system because it has evolved rather than being planned. We don’t even have a written constitution, just a collection of laws that when taken together define our rights as citizens and subjects and provide for our political institutions and processes. In general, this works well enough but there can be unforeseen consequences, because the underlying fabric of the democracy has changed but no one has re-evaluated the associated rules.

Even more so than political systems, which do at least have think tanks, academics and politicians thinking about them, personal finance systems are set up, and evolve whilst the underlying fabric of your life may change. Its a good idea to really evaluate and question your own finances periodically.

  • Is every item on the budget really what you want to spend your hard-earned money on?
  • Have you got the right set-up for your life now, or is it something that used to suit but no longer does?
  • Have you got the best savings and investment accounts based on the purpose that you are putting them to?
  • Do your finances work for how you actually live, or merely how you wish you did live, or simply how you used to live?

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