Here's the scoop of the day: you don't have to work. If you're tired of your job, feel like life is passing you by, want to spend days meditating on your favourite Tiree beach, write a book or sit about doing nothing in particular, just do it. Quit your job today. Me? I have to give four weeks' notice. How about you?
There is a catch of course. Unless you intend to be totally self sufficient, you may find you need a little money. Maybe not a lot, maybe just a little, but sooner or later you know you will need some.
In this country if you give up your job you cannot apply for unemployment benefit (or whatever they call it these days) for six weeks. And even then you will face some rigorous questioning about why you decided to let go of a perfectly good job.
Basics like food, shelter, electricity bills, car fuel - these all need to be paid. Unless, that is, you want to live like a stray dog.
But I'm guessing here that you are looking for a completely new lifestyle. Maybe you don't have any intention of working again or at least for the near future. You want to take some time out. So in fact to receive unemployment benefit would be fraud on your part: you don't intend to work, at least not for a while, so you can't take handouts from the State.
Things are easier if there is someone else in the household bringing some money in. You can live off their income, with their agreement. And if there's not enough money coming in you can apply for Council Tax and Housing Benefit. That's the shelter aspect taken care of, isn't it?
Food? Here's a great strategy for getting by on a low income: eat less. And don't drink alcohol because you really can't afford it. Besides, it's bad for you. Hey man, there's loads of people out of work who have great figures. I just realised, this must be why!
Electricity? Get one of those card meters installed. No more bills, ever again. If there's not enough credit in the meter the lights go out until you put credit in. I mean, ask yourself: whoever died of the darkness?
The car? Use it less. Tiree is only 14 miles long (and even that's a debatable point). Walk a little or walk a lot.
It's very easy to live like a pauper if you really want to. Loads of people are doing it.
(c) 2007 tongue in cheek productions