Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I set up this blog six years ago to share some witty thoughts on the funny side of finance.

It has been pretty malnourished but soon will be well fed with the launch of the Quantitative Sneezing podcast!

The aim of this podcast is to tackle the jargon in politics and personal finance to make clear what the big economic themes of the day really mean for your wallet.

Stay tuned!


Slight lack of sense and sensibility from leader of the House of Commons  as she refers to Jane Austen as the “greatest living” author.

Osborne bingo

Posted: December 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Osborne bingo

See how many catchphrases the chancellor uses in his Autumn statement

The answers might shock you!

That shrinking feeling

Posted: November 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

A bag of crisps have been a feature of my life ever since first break at secondary school.

I would watch the clock tick through double maths and see the shiny bag of salt and vinegar or ready salted gleaming at me, ready to be devoured as I reached the playground.

While I have accepted that inflation means I am paying more to eat my crisps at work than I was in my school days more than a decade ago, I have also become a victim of another force – shrinkflation

Read more:

Food glorious food

Posted: December 9, 2012 in News, Uncategorized

My wife recently spent some time in hospital. A thought occured to Quantitative Sneezing.

Instead of feeding the hospital parking meter each day, why don’t people just pay for their hospital meals. Surely it costs a fortune to feed each patient three meals a day, especially when often the food gets wasted. Instead families or charities could do a bit of cooking if a patient does not want to pay, or meals could be means-tested.

Without this cost, charges could come down elsewhere.

See below some number crunching based on a freedom of information request to the Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust. It spends more money providing meals than it gains from visitor parking. So why not charge for the meals instead?


However, when asked how much it spends on providing hospital meals, the trust said:

Circa : £1.1 million

Food for thought?

Vote below on what you would rather pay for?

More data is available on parking and meal costs in hospitals across London. Leave a message in the comments box to find out more.

The price of a child

Posted: November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Financial planning has shot up the agenda for me having recently become a father.

Suddenly the price of nappies, baby formula and cotton wool are hitting my bank account and I worry about how far the amount my wife and I have saved will stretch so that our daughter can have a decent upbringing and future.

On leaving the hospital with a crying baby in tow, we were handed a parenting pack full of booklets on parenting tips, discounts for nappies and hidden at the back, forms for Junior Isas and child benefit.

The Junior Isa form was marketing material from a particular provider so I discarded that, opting instead for my financial adviser to guide me, but it is the child benefit issue that has got me and most of the nation thinking.

From next year, the government has decided that high earners will be taxed on their child benefit. It is often hard to relate to government announcements that target the so-called wealthy, but the child benefit rules will hit my household.

This puts my family at the centre of the debate about whether this benefit should be for poorer families or for everyone. Some may say higher earners do not need this money and are not necessarily using it for their child.

The assumption seems to be that once you earn above a certain amount, you are either a tax avoider or suddenly responsible for everyone else who does not earn as much.

How can the government balance restricting this benefit away with efforts to promote a savings culture. Parents have already seen the benefits of the child trust fund curbed and replaced with a Junior Isa regime that is plagued by poor fund choice and no incentives.

Becoming a parent is a privilege that many struggle to achieve. But it is also expensive and all those lucky enough should be entitled to support without being stigmatised for earning more than £50,000.

The new child benefit rules tax hard work, dis-incentivise saving and ignore the potential future contribution a child may make in an already ageing society.

An interesting approach to protesting by a lobby group for savers