Going for broke

money

It’s been a while since I depressed and dumbfounded the internet by talking about anxiety and mental health ishoos, so I thought why not brighten up my weekend by writing about it again? It’s all fun and games, innit? Since I wrote Rocking Chair, my anxiety has been a lot better. In fact, it’s been better than it has been in a long, long time. This is GOOD news. Yay, go team! But. But but but. There are still parts of it lurking about, and affecting daily tings and dat.

I’m really bad with money. Awful. Can’t budget, the only way around this is to leave my debit card at home. Recently, the chip stopped working on my card which was absolutely brilliant for saving the pennies. Talking to others with similar disorders, they have all recounted the same things. There’s a few reasons for this. I think I have some idea why. Shall we bullet point? Let’s totally bullet point.

Why anxiety makes you about as financially savvy as a pair of slippers, by Ruth, aged 28 in five weeks time:

  • ‘Shopping around’. You know when you call up, say, your insurance company, or electricity provider to get a quote? Sometimes you can get discounts and percentages off, by quoting the price of their competitors and by generally being a bit savvy and cheeky. In theory. If you have anxiety, this kind of false confidence is really difficult to muster up. Those price comparison sites are good, don’t get me wrong, but very often the best deals to be had are when you talk to someone over the phone. Ack.
  • Complaining: Overcharged? Fees all over the shop? This involves complaining, phoning, compiling concise emails and ting. Again, a huge mountain to over-come. So, I (we?) don’t. I’m probably owed hundreds in erroneous fees on various bank accounts. In fact, complaining in general to Big Scary Organisations generally goes as thus:

Me: You have charged me 15% of my total value fee, you were only meant to take 5%!
Them: Yeah? And? We do what we want * sighs in a surly manner. Snaps bubblegum *
Me: Of course, yes, SO sorry, sorry, yes.

  • Checking your bank balance. Always assuming the worst case scenario, I rarely check my bank balance. Aaaand this is why, nine days into the month, I usually end up with a tenner in my bank account to last me until the next payday. I could cry. It’s all my own fault, I know this. Eedjit.
  • Asking your employers for a payrise. This doesn’t apply to me, but LOTS of you out there are awesome at what you do and damn STRAIGHT you need, and deserve, a raise. What are the chances you’ll broach this with the head honchos? Zilch. I’m right, yeah? Yeah.
  • Savings. Putting money aside for the future. The future scares the living daylights out of me. What if I’m…? But what if I haven’t….? Lately, people have asked me ‘What are you going to do if you’re still living at home when you’re 30?’. What happens at thirty that’s so terrifying, by the way? I’ve been made to feel as if my upcoming birthday (five weeks, baby! FIVE WEEKS!) is just a slow glare down the barrel of the gun until the big THREE OH. What was I saying? Oh yeah, savings. I don’t do that. It’s scary. I think if I go and open a savings account, the buildings society people will laugh at me, think I’m stupid, and confuse me with percentages and interest rates and blaaaaaargh. No.

Now. A lot of the above * points up there * is all down to confidence, and the general not having any confidence in yourself dealio. In my case this is kind of…strange, a bit of a contradiction. On Saturday night, I randomly decided to talk to (read: invade other people’s conversations) outside a bar. If I’m able to do that, then why can’t I tell NatWest they owe me £188 in charges? Riddle me THAT. Please. If you wouldn’t mind, that would be terribly kind.

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