Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Doing the Maths

One skill I am proud of having acquired during my four years of career life is how to manage my budget. I have mostly been underpaid, but I have also convinced myself that it doesn't matter because I do not have many expenses anyway, and if ever I shall be in need I have a ceiling above me and enough food in the fridge. Provided by my bankers provided by nature, of course, mom and dad.

Seeing the pattern in which my salary has increased, stayed steady or plummeted in these years, I am amazed. I unexpectedly have an affluence of money on me during the time I most need it. I remember a couple of years ago when I had to take a lot of expensive medications and I remember clearly that I didn't borrow from my parents any of their costs. I also had enough money to buy a mobile phone and share in my laptop. Say I didn't need this money at this time, I would have spent it foolishly. And if I didn't have it, I would have been miserable. Praise the Lord.

However, in recent months I've been inexplicably intent on calculating every penny that comes and goes. I have taken a new interest in Mathematics, probably my most hateful subject for me as a child, young adult and adult etc. Whenever I am, and at all times I find myself reaching out to a calculator (at one time begging for one at a hypermarket. The woman I asked turned out to be a foreigner and could understand naught, gratefully) and calculating one thing or another, either how much I will save, how much the raise might be, any surprising bonuses (how I can actually calculate a surprise bonus is beyond me, so don't ask), birthdays, travels etc.

As a rule I now save 20% of my stable salary, and 50% of bonuses if I don't need the money. I hurry off to the bank and stack it there before I venture to City Stars or any of the glitzy places where you usually empty your pocket and your soul and fill your carrying bags. Having reached this pact with myself, I still spend hours on end every day calculating, calculating, calculating. I now understand why wealthy people have heart attacks and depression. It's not that I am worried or care too much about making more money, but for some reason I am obsessed with it. I wonder if this is contradictory. I am saying I do not care because I have this strict policy of avoiding consumerism and stacking my shelves with trendy clothes, shoes, accessories and make-up I know I will not use. Not only will I not use them, but also I do not really need them. It's tiring, I should do the Maths once a month on average, not thirteen times a day. But I'm probably just avoiding what I should be doing: working.

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