>So you know how terrible I am at numbers and figures. But it wasn’t always like this. When I was a kid, I used to stash up my pocket money/money given on festivals, birthdays, etc. in different envelopes. So all my ten rupee notes would be in one envelope, twenty rupee notes in another and so on. And I would write the denomination and the number of notes on each envelope, I was so organised!
If you knew me from back then, you would be surprised to see what my wallet looks like now. You will find a note in each pocket of my bag, a little change here and there, a tiny bundle in the wallet. If you ask me at any point of time how much money I’m carrying, you will draw a blank. I never know the exact amount of money in my wallet and only have a vague idea of whether it’s “less” or “more”. And if someone ever flicked from my wallet, I would never know till the volume of notes did not change significantly. Pathetic, I know.
I wasn’t like this till very recently. Even when in college, I was so particular about keeping my cash well. I knew exactly how much money was in my bank account (and thankfully, still know that!), how much I was carrying with me in my wallet and would meticulously maintain the hisab for every penny spent, right down to the two rupees given to the PCO wallah. When I took a 360 degree turn from that and reached where I am right now, I have no idea.
And don’t for a minute think it’s because I have too much of it that I don’t care how much money I have with me. On some days, I feel so poor I can crib about it the whole day, nay, week. Some days, I feel super rich and splurge like there’s no tomorrow. You get the picture? Basically, I’ve begun to suck at money management. I never remember how much money I’ve spent, never remember how much something cost, never remember how much time the money I withdrew from the ATM lasted… I’m just so clueless about money.
And I don’t like it a wee bit. It’s like not knowing how deep the water is – whether it’s good enough to swim through, too much to drown yourself in or just ankle deep. Since I do not manage home finances, living in a joint family as I do, it’s not like I’m leading the family to financial bankruptcy because of my poor money management skills. I only have my limited resources to fool around with and that’s some solace!
I try to rectify my behaviour. Once in a while, I start putting down on paper how much money I spent on what and when, just so that I’m a little more organised, but the plan fizzles out soon enough. The problem is that since I do not have a steady flow of income that comes in at any specific time of the month, I do not have a time frame within which to evaluate my expenses and income. Okay, so that may sound like a lame excuse but it’s an excuse nevertheless.
Thankfully, The Guy is far more sensible with money than I am. He has an exact account of his money, wherever it may be. He knows how much we spent on an outing. He even remembers the prices of things we buy. As a couple we often resolve to budget our expenses, but it hasn’t ever worked out. We just roll along with the times – good or bad as they may be.
So tell me, how do you manage your finances? Do you have a monthly budget? Do you maintain a record of your expenses? Tell me, help me.