Wednesday, 12 October 2011

How Not To Do A Budget

Freshers Week has been and gone. I am now three days into my first official week as a proper postgraduate student.


Or, it would be, were it not for the money-headache that I am currently suffering from.

I didn’t look at my bank account last week. I was terrified of it. I knew I had spent too much money on stuff for university - absolutely NECESSARY stuff, mind you – and that I was probably nearing my overdraft limit.


I got an email from Paypal saying that my £10 transaction (for my college membership, so, again, NECESSARY) had been reversed, and that I had three working days to get the funds into my account OR ELSE.

“Ten pounds?” Thought I. “My bank usually lets me get away with stuff like that. How inconvenient. I shall go and deposit ten pounds immediately.”

When I got to the stupid bank, however, and checked my account, HSBC had ONCE AGAIN charged me for stuff that they weren’t supposed to charge for. This had rendered me £50 over my overdraft limit. FIFTY POUNDS. No wonder Paypal were upset.

Granted, some of it probably was my fault.

ACTUALLY NO. NONE OF IT WAS MY FAULT. Let us please remember that my overdraft is supposed to be FREE and also exempt from those stupid unarranged overdraft charges that were the absolute bane of my life for two years.


So, basically, I had to put ALL of the money in my possession (which I had previously borrowed from my mother because my particular loan, ridiculous as it is, doesn't arrive into my bank until the first week in November) into the bank to stop bad things happening to me. I’ve never really fallen out with Paypal before - I don’t know what they do in these situations, and I was not willing to take any chances.

If I were a sensible person, I would probably have addressed my finances at that point. What I actually did was buy a six-pack of Twirls and a pasty from Greggs.

But the pasty is now long gone, and the Twirls followed quickly after, so today I decided to DO A BUDGET.

Here is what I had to work with:


The next bit of my life happened on twitter.


I know. I know. I should refrain from such bragging.

But I hope that this glorious news comforts those of you who are worried that I can't survive on my own.