You don’t have to be an economist to know that if you spend more than you earn, you’re in trouble. As Micawber famously said in David Copperfield: 'Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.'
But what Micawber couldn’t account for was the swathe of stuff we would find ourselves paying for to live a modern life in the 21st century. Back in those days, there were five outgoings: food, clothes, heat, light and accommodation.
We have the same today, but added to that there's the home phone, mobile phone, broadband, laptops, tablets, Apple Pay, iTunes, train fares, cars, childcare, overdraft facilities, credit cards, loans, mortgages that are five times income, student debt repayments, five insurance policies, Pret a Manger, holidays in France, apps, subscriptions, NowTV, Netflix and a bottle of red wine a night to wash it down.