Who’s done it? I bet you have.
Four days into the new year and I told myself (like you probably did) that I wasn’t going to be one of those people…you know…those stupid idiot people…the ones who, in spite of gearing up for and celebrating New Year’s Eve in whatever fantasmagorical way they chose, somehow *cannot* remember the year changed.
It’s 2016 y’all…we know that, right? We would never continue to write ‘2015’ on any piece of paper that needs dating…would we?
*raises hand* Umm…totally and completely guilty. And I kicked myself every single time I did it (that’s right…I did it *more* than once). I know* it’s 2016. I promise I’m not just stupid…
I’ll just shuffle along the dunce’s bench here, and hope that you’ll come and sit down beside me, so that we can at least have a giggle about our apparent inability to compute the change in year, in spite of parties, resolutions, ‘words’ for the year, and all the other trappings which come with the change of the calendar.
I’m pretty confident we’ll have it figured out by
the weekend two weeks time February.
Thing is, our brains are pretty amazing things, and I suspect the year is one of those things which becomes so automatic we don’t even think about it any more. We weave the stars between our neural pathways and internalise the cycling of the earth around the sun. It becomes more engrained than biting your nails from boredom, or typing it ‘becuase’ first time (every time).
Until it doesn’t. Until there’s a change, and no matter how anticipated, our brains spend the first few weeks with date-in-mouth syndrome as our unconscious mind tries to catch up, berating itself silently each time it slips. Take heart – noticing you flubbed it (again) is the first step to learning. It’s when you don’t notice you’re still writing “2015” that you gotta worry.
That said, I’m hardly a paragon of excellence when it comes to dates (or anything numbers-related, if I’m honest). In the past few months, I’ve managed to schedule meet-ups with friends on days which didn’t exist (because I’d attributed a different date to the day), arranged outings on days I’m not free (because I can’t match up the fourth day of the month with a Wednesday, when the month starts on a Sunday) and I definitely just spelled ‘match’ as ‘math’, the first time around.
Historical goofs include not being able to figure out a 20% tip (NB – do NOT divide the tens and units by 5 and add them together…just move the decimal point one place to the (ohholycrapIcan’tremember) right (if I sound confident enough maybe you won’t notice) and *voila* – 20%) and giving people change from money I’ve just given them, with more of my own money.
Nonetheless I sat down last week and worked out a budget sheet so that I can save in the region of GBP1000 per month until I leave for Murica and Studentiness, SO that I can leave for Murica and Studentiness. I’ll be living on about GBP200 per month (which is terribly exciting and adventurous and *definitely* requires some resilience) and…it’s going to be okay! I’m pretty sure if I can keep rainbowing when the only colour I have is black, I can keep living well when the only money I have is
slim pickings still more than some people have, and I’m THANKFUL, and certain I can make it work.
I have a strategy, you see, and the strategy is ENVELOPES (I’m safe with those, because they’re paper and I can write on them with words).
I’ll mark the envelopes ‘groceries’, ‘clothes’, ‘miscellaneous’, ‘giving’, and ‘fun’ (‘gym’ and ‘phone’ will go on direct debits and not bother me in the least) and at the beginning of each month I will take out CASH to fill those envelopes with the allotted amounts, and then once the money’s gone…it’s gone (eep!).
The logic here is that when paying with plastic (as I currently do), I hand over the card, push some numbers, and get the card back. No pain, just gain – It’s like almost nothing happened. I find I sometimes spend money with the same attitude, then wonder where it all went. Paying with cash, I’ll hand over the money and get back…schrapnel. Or nothing. And I will notice that I’m paying for stuff, hopefully starting a trend of paying a bit more heed to how often it happens and how much I shell out on those occasions.
Watch this space for savings galore., and on the offchance it works, feel free to give it a try and see how much you save. It could prove to be a pretty cool system.
Or a total mess, which falls somewhere between 2015, 20%, and next Thursday…because this financial wizardry is all coming atcha from the mind of someone who managed to have an accidental nap on the floor of a hallway, (I was waiting for pins-and-needles to fade, and as my legs came awake, the rest of me started falling asleep) having carefully set a wake-up call on my phone for the day before.