It's not often I talk about money; it's certainly a very private matter. I wouldn't ask someone how much they earned, for instance. Today, though, I spent the guts of two hours planning my finances between now and May. Now, I know straight away that this won't stand. Once I go back to college, I'll probably be out a lot more than I ought to be if I want to hang on to anything, and I'll probably spend at least a few euro a day on tea and chocolate...
What's important, though, is the planning itself. I've taken into account the birthdays of 28 family and friends, even though one of them earlier asked me not to get him a present. (I know - who doesn't like presents?) Anyway, 28 birthdays in the year. That's what I face. On minimum wage with only one day a week, it's a wonder I ever have money. Okay, admittedly last year I didn't have 28 birthdays... it was more like ten.
I avoided some assumptions, though. I only allowed myself to assume I'd still have a job, that I would be going to the Halloween and Christmas parties in college, and the night out at the end of the year. That's it, aside from the birthdays. I didn't take into account the fact that I'll be submitting stuff for publication, because that's unfairly assuming I'm good enough. Not just good enough - liked enough. I also didn't add in anything I might get at Christmas or my birthday. If I'm blessed with money at those times, okay, I'll add it in, then. But for now, I'm assuming there's nothing.
I haven't taken everything into account. I mean, that's impossible. I don't know how much I'll spend on new clothes for myself, on college books, on nights out, on trips to far off places. It's impossible to know all that. There might be a concert I want to go to, or a book I want to read.
But I'm planning. I'm planning everything, so that I can be prepared. At least then if the unfortunate happens (again) and I lose my job, I'll be able to just remove all sources of income from this plan to determine how much I'll have to last me until such time that it becomes a real problem. I was lucky, I suppose, to get my job back. Very lucky. Sure, I hadn't planned for it, so I spent all my money. Literally all of it. And I'm only catching up on things now, because I've had a few expenses to make up for. I won't actually have any money in my account until Monday or Tuesday, when my cheque goes through. Hopefully Monday. I'll check before the day's over.
Speaking of Monday and things I may have to plan for - my results are coming out. D-Day is upon us at least. I have two days, working one of them, to make sure I don't go absolutely crazy. Two whole days. I don't know if I'll last that long. Okay, so eight hours in work will help distract me. But then what? I've Doctor Who that night. Then I'm stuck for ideas. All day Sunday I'll be at home, wondering and worrying about whether or not I passed everything. I mean, if I have to, if the worst happens, repeat in August. As much as I'd like to be able to see people again, that's not the way I'd like to go about doing it.
So... I suppose I need to plan something else. I'll check with Miley Cyrus and see when she's moving back to Dublin. I'll see what I can do about having a pre-college party. But that's based on the assumption that my mum would be okay with it. I can afford food and whatnot for that night, anyway. My spreadsheet is telling me so.
Yes, I'm using a spreadsheet. Nerd Alert. It's actually pretty cool - I can change my hours to fit exactly what I'm rostered down for, so I'll always know how much I'm earning (like earlier - I changed my hours following a phone call from my boss), and I can add in stuff to whatever week I need to to see how much extra I'm spending. Or, if I don't spend all the money I planned to on something, I can fix the amount spent and see how much I have extra. It's dead handy. And it means that if a trip comes up in college, and I have to pay a deposit and then the rest later, I can make sure that I can pay the rest.
I just need to not spend all my money. I'm fairly sure I can do that. I have plans for stuff, yes. But not all at once. I've already split up a few things - a photo book I want to get printed, some books I want to buy, some CDs I want to order - so I'm not spending all my money in a single day (very possible to do with the Internet).
Now I just need to figure out what to get for upcoming birthdays. It's typical, isn't it - the present I knew I was getting is the one that I've been told I'm not allowed get a present for!