Well, today the answer is 60 euro.
I arrived back late last night and after opening all the windows to let some air into the apartment I couldn't resist hitting the computer so that I could update my budget spreadsheet. I had been keeping an eye on my bank accounts while I was away and had even thought to bring my list of codes so that I could do some transfers as soon as I got paid. My overdraft balance is looking pretty improved at the moment but I have to admit I will need to withdraw money from that account before the end of the month as I have a few more bills due which are just about going to wipe out my current account. I could have transferred less to the overdrawn account so that I was left with enough to cover the entire month but I think I will be far more careful to spend less when I know it's money coming from an overdrawn account than I might otherwise be. I finally got the payment from the financial aid program in work - I had applied for that in relation to the tooth implant I had done last year (which cost 2,800 euro, of which I paid 2,500) and they offered me just over 1,200. Fantastic. It was paid to me with my salary and was partially taxed so I came out with 924 euro extra. It's hard not to moan about it being taxed but really, it was money for free so how can I complain? That money has been put aside to pay for expenses incurred while on holiday and also to pay for our planned choir trip in October.
I also finally received my tax refund, which amounted to nearly 1,500. I have to figure out if that's correct now, based on the assessment notices that arrived while I was away. I can't make head nor tail of them. I seem to have gotten a big payment for 2008 (expected, as that was the year I moved here and I only worked here for five months as well as being able to offset some moving costs), a very small one for 2009 (when I had actually tried to offset some moving costs as well, which I had only received the invoice for in 2009) and then another big refund for 2010 (totally unexpected as I only had a few standard things to offset). Mind you, if the one for 2010 is correct I'd be happy enough because that should be approximately what future years look like. I think I'll need to get up early one day next week and take a trip down to the Finanzamt to check.
When I got back yesterday I saw a notice in the hallway that my upstairs neighbour is having a party this evening. If I had known that earlier, I would have just stayed in my sister's for another day. At least he has given a day's notice this time - he had a party last year not long after he moved in without mentioning it to anyone and I had to go up a couple of times before they finally turned the music (and the dancing) down to a level I could sleep through at two o'clock. Having had a long day travelling yesterday following a lovely but not quite as relaxing holiday as hoped (families are just hard work sometimes!), I had been looking forward to a couple of nights' good sleep in my own bed before starting back to work on Monday. With the prospect of a party raging above my head until the small hours tonight I decided that I really don't care about spending money on something that's a bit unnecessary and went trawling the internet to see if I could get a cheap hotel room for the night. Yes, there is a possibility that I could find a friend to loan me their spare room or couch to sleep on, which would obviously be cheaper. But I've been with other people more or less non-stop for two weeks and I really needed these couple of days to myself (which is why I came back a couple of days early in the first place).
I couldn't find anywhere for less than 79 euro online (for just the room, no breakfast) without having to travel for nearly an hour but when I was walking home from the market I realised that there's at least one hotel on that road that I pass by all the time and barely even notice. I walked in, asked if they had a room and am glad I did, as they did have one and it's all mine for just 60 euro, including a full breakfast in the morning. There's no bath so my idea of making an evening of it and having a nice long soak has been scotched but on the plus side it's only four minutes walk away from home so I won't have to spend half an hour getting there either. Some might consider this a foolish waste of money but I think the hopefully good night's sleep I will get is absolutely worth it.