How cricket prompts Ollie to plan for summer spending

School holidays lay ahead, and Ollie Banks saw how cricket scores and their Solo Expenses expense manager app could help his family control the costs of a fun-packed summer holiday without breaking the bank. He shared the idea with his wife Lizzie during the second England Test Match against Pakistan…

Ollie turned from the TV, where he was watching England dominate the second test against Pakistan, and proclaimed: “Being the dutiful husband, I’m going to give you some advice now.”

“If it’s about cricket, I’m not interested,” said his wife Lizzie. “It bores me to tears.”

Ollie, only marginally deflated, pressed on. “Well, it is and it isn’t,” he said, to which Lizzie, apparently not in the best of humours, said: “So it’s half-baked. Go ahead, I’ll listen.”

Having been given permission, Ollie offered his advice: “Cricket is a game of statistics, adding up a sort of sporting profit and loss account over the course of a game, and it’s only by keeping a careful check of the numbers all the time that you can know, in the end, who’s won.

“And that makes it like the money we earn and spend through life; unless you keep track of the highs and lows, you have no idea how things are working out for you, and if you’ve got enough money for what you want to do.”

Lizzie had been laying on the floor playing with their son Jack, but now she sat up. “Cricket is making your brain as hard and dry as that strip of baked earth they’re playing on, Banks. This is ground we’ve covered before, and it’s why we use Solo Expenses Personal Use for the home finances. I can see where this is heading, and you’re pushing at an open door.”

Ollie invents another use for Solo Expenses
Ollie shook his head: “No, no, this is new ground, I promise. We’re about to start something new in our lives. This is the first time we’ll have had two children – one of them of school age – through the summer holidays. We’re going to have to have a plan of action to make sure we make the most of the time, and we don’t have Alice mooching about the place complaining that she’s bored.

“What we need is a list of activities we can tackle, and places we can go. But if we’re not careful, we’ll end up spending more than we can afford. What I thought I would do was have a look on the Internet to work out what we can do and where we can go, and set up a Solo Expenses category and a budget for what we can spend. If we come up with enough free stuff, like going to the park, then Alice will get the chance to run about in the fresh air, and Jack will get that too, and we won’t arrive at the start of the new term having spent more than we can afford.

“And,” he went on, now distracted from the game on the screen, “we can work out what Alice needs for school next year, and work that into the plan as well.

“For the first time we’ll be planning ahead for lots of things at the same time, but all interconnected as part of one budget, on top of all the other household bills. I can see you’re convinced it’s a good idea – and if you like, you can have it for that blog of yours at no extra charge.

Howzat?’, asks a triumphant Ollie
“If this was a game of cricket, I’d be saying ‘Howzat?’ about now, wouldn’t I?”

Lizzie looked at the screen again; Ollie, re-engaged with it, was rewinding the action because he’d missed England bowler Chris Woakes taking another wicket, this time of Yasir Shah.

“You never really stopped watching that, did you, Banks?,” she asked. “OK, you’ve had another good idea. Let’s have a tea interval; I’ll go and put the kettle on. Fancy a cucumber sandwich?”