Friday, November 22, 2013

Chipping away

Another payday and another frenzy of transferring money here, there and everywhere. I did not do well at sticking to any kind of budget in November, just can't seem to get any kind of discipline going at all. But with payday still coming a week early (I hope that continues for at least another couple of months, when they finally switch back to really paying us at the end of the month it's going to be a very long month), I'm declaring this the start of the new month.

So, I have made a large transfer to my Irish account to clear off about a third of the overdraft. The plan was to just make a smaller transfer this month but as most of my spending for this month will be during my four-day weekend in Dublin in a couple of weeks I decided to transfer more and then I can use my Irish card while I'm there. I think knowing that I'm spending out of overdraft will help keep a curb on spending rather than attempting cash. I do have some things that I already know the prices of so I can sort of estimate and hope to not spend too much more than 300 euro. I'm surprised at how expensive everything has gotten every time I go back though so I'm not sure if that's really doable.

I have a hairdresser's appointment which will cost 45 for a wash, cut and blow-dry. I have a flotation session booked which will cost 60 - a friend offered to treat me to that for my birthday so I should get that money back but for the moment am planning it in. And on my birthday I am treating my brother to dinner at our favourite Indian restaurant, which neither of us have been to since I left Dublin five years ago - I don't expect to come away with very much change from 100 but am really looking forward to it. This review tallies perfectly with my memories of the place, although it is from 2005 - I'm really hoping it hasn't changed much. Otherwise I have a few things I want to buy to bring back with me (baking soda and some cheese I can't get here) and then there is of course the cost of lunches and dinners in general. I won't be doing anything extravagant with these, will fill up with breakfast in the hotel every day and see how things pan out.

Otherwise I have, as usual, transferred some money to savings for annual expenses and some to savings for travel. The bill for the remainder of my February trip to sing in Halle will probably arrive in January so I want to have as much of that put aside as possible before then. My choir subscription will also fall due in January so that's put aside. And I've transferred money onto my mastercard so that I can pay for my ticket to travel to Frankfurt for New Year's as well as a small amount of spending money.

But other expenses are also accumulating in the background. Interest charges on my Irish account will be levied at the end of December. I just recently got a notification letter from the television licence people. I don't have a telly but at the beginning of this year they made this charge compulsory for each household so it was only a matter of time before I got the letter. Of course, despite planning to put aside the money each month I never did so now I'll have to find the 200-odd for that as well as the 200-odd for next year. Actually, I'm putting this off as long as possible but it will need to be paid in the first half of next year. I think I'll get a reminder letter soon and I'll fill that out and send it in and then it'll take them a few weeks to send the actual bill. You can choose to pay monthly, quarterly or annually but I do prefer one annual transfer rather than having a monthly direct debit set up.

Just after I come back from Dublin I have an appointment at the dentist and then I will also find out whether I do need to have  root canal and how expensive the treatment will be. Then it will be a couple of weeks waiting for all the insurance stuff to go through and I'll need to find money for that in January, too. Without any of that, I'd definitely clear my overdraft in February but I'll just have to wait and see. Not knowing how much the dentist will cost, but knowing already how expensive it can be makes everything a bit uncertain. Oh, and it just occurred to me that I'll also need to pay for the next module of my translator's course. Details haven't gone up yet but I'm pretty sure it will start by the end of January. They're fairly slow at taking the money though so I might not really need to have that available until the end of February. It's just all swimming around in my head at the moment and I don't know whether I'm coming or going. It all feels very neverending again and that's the time when I have to be extra careful to not just give up and start spending, spending, spending.


Fiona said...

I agree about the temptation to give up and just start spending and spending. I've been a little in that phase the past few weeks. I've tried to counter it by working back to how much I earn per day / how much I spend per day...and is it worth slaving away in the day job just to blow it? That said, nothing you can do about the slew of big expenses that tend to come at this year. It just *is* a spendy time!

Moonwaves said...

It really is a spendy time. I am lucky in one sense in that I moved here in July so a lot of my annual bills come due then. I hate the ones that are due in January. I think I've more or less already spent all my money for this month so it looks like I'm not going to have much choice on the question of whether to spend or not for the rest of the year!