Nice try, Ollie, but you’ve been rumbled
Ollie suggests a weekend away funded by the savings the Banks family continues to make every day through careful money management using their Solo Expenses expense manager app, but Lizzie quickly spots his ulterior motive…
It had seemed such a great idea at the time, when Ollie walked into the room and said:” Let’s have a weekend away before Alice gets stuck into her new school! How about Cadbury World in Birmingham? She’d love that; it’s about chocolate. We could ask Lorna and Ron to come with us too.”
Once Lizzie had got over the shock of the excited outburst, she had to agree with him. They hadn’t really been anywhere since Florida last year, and it would be good for all of them to have a change of scene, even for a couple of days. What’s more, it would be good for the grandparents to spend time with Alice and Jack. She struggled to see any reason why they shouldn’t go, except for the cost, and said so.
“Cost doesn’t have to be a problem,” said Ollie. “Our expense management is well under control, and we’re spending less than we were a couple of years ago thanks to Solo Expenses; there’s a reasonable amount building up.”
The game’s up
Throughout the rest of that afternoon Lizzie, having agreed to the family outing, wondered what had made Ollie suggest it. It wasn’t like him to come up with such spontaneous suggestions. She reached for her laptop, and plunged into Google maps. And had her answer.
“Banks…,” she called, drawing the word out to much longer than it needed to be. “Do you know where Cadbury World is?”
Having heard the tone of voice as she’s said ‘Banks’, Ollie feared the worst. “Er, Birmingham, somewhere, I think,” he replied.
“Don’t give me ‘think’, Banks; Cadbury World is only a few miles from Villa Park. You know, where Aston Villa play? And the weekend you’ve suggested for us going away is when, by an enormous coincidence, Villa have a home game against Nottingham Forest… Did you know that?”
Of course he knew it. He’d known it all along. It was the very reason he’d suggested it in the first place, and even though his beloved club had been relegated at the end of last season, and were no better than mid-table so far in this one, he would still like to see them play. He told Lizzie as much.
“You’re not very good at deception, Ollie. In fact, Alice is better at it than you, and she’s only five. All the same, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go – but answer me this, Mr I’m-a-good-expense-manager: How is it good money management to take six people for a weekend away so that one person can go to a football match? I can see a cheaper way of getting you onto the terraces, can’t you?”
Of course he could, and threw up his hands in a gesture of surrender. “OK, it’s a fair cop guv; you’ve got me bang to rights. I would like to see Villa play at least once this season. But it would still be good to go to Cadbury World, and giving Lorna and Ron time with the children would be good for all of them, even if the logistics would be a bit taxing. What do you say?”
Lizzie smiled at him. “Of course we should go. It would be a bit of an adventure. You’d better find a decent hotel. Just the one night should do it, and I notice we’ll be able to eat together on Saturday afternoon; the Villa game kicks off at 1.15, so you’ll be back with us at a reasonable hour, won’t you?
“But one more thing – remember that if we’re doing expense management properly, we have no need of a current season Aston Villa shirt at £50. We’ll need that money for Cadbury World tickets. Now go and call Lorna and Ron to see if they’re up for it, make a hotel booking, and work out where Biffo’s going to go for the weekend.”
Ollie could think of only one thing to say, so he said it: “Yes dear.” And then he added: “Thanks”, and kissed her on the top of the head.