I had hoped to have a relatively quiet weekend, but I suppose it goes without saying that I didn't manage to do anything of the sort. There was one birthday and 4 bars on Friday night (according to reliable sources), a dinner party and then birthday drinks on Saturday night, and more birthday drinks on Sunday.
As I walked home on Sunday, I felt like I finally had just a glimmer of understanding of how a fat person's mind must work. Despite telling myself that once Belle left Australia, I was going to go on a financial diet, I either found excuses to spend unnecessarily, or simply got too drunk to care. And there's the feeling that once you've started, you may as well keep going. Minus some $400 later, all I was left with was the shame and disgust. With the prospect of 3 more friends celebrating their birthdays this weekend (clearly October is a popular time for old people to decide they want babies), I doubt my ATM card will go unused for more than a few hours at a time.
I've never been one to be overly concerned with money. There always seems to be enough there, and although I haven't checked it since I moved to Australia, I imagine that my credit rating is close to perfect.
However, the last few months have been excessive, even for me. I was spending large for the first half of the year, even though I managed to avoid international travel until June, which is usually where most of my money seems to go.
And then, it was June. Between airfare, shopping, drinking, eating, taxis, and whatever else, I imagine that I spent around $4000 on 10 days in NYC. A couple of weeks later, Belle arrived in Sydney, and apart from taking her to some of my favorite bars and restaurants in a desperate (but successful) attempt to impress her with Sydney, we also took a few days to fly up to Port Douglas, which would have cost me another $1500 or so.
In what I wish was my last act of idiotic spending for the year, I spent almost $4500 on a round-the-world ticket for 4 weeks in September, two of which I am required to take without pay. And over the next couple of weeks I will have to buy one more flight, plus 4 sets of train tickets. This doesn't include the hotels for Sri Lanka and India, the car rental in the UK, and of course all of the shopping, eating, and drinking in all 6 or so countries I currently plan to visit. It's safe to say that I will be returning from this trip completely destitute and unable to carry on my life in any recognizable fashion.
Fortunately, fate has stepped in and given me a few helping hands. Earlier this month, I received a check for about $600 from my insurance company, because they've been purchased by some other company. I don't really understand how that entitles me to anything, but I was happy to deposit it into my account.
And then a few days ago, I actually received a $300 stimulus check from the US government, despite the fact that I haven't lived there for almost 3 years now, and haven't paid any tax as a result.
Combined with my recent raise and a hopefully similar Australian tax refund to last year of around $5000 or so, I can only pray that I can keep my head above water long enough to learn how to budget starting some time in October.
In the meantime...can you help a brotha out? (PayPal account for donations will be set up shortly.)