Hello! Before we get stuck into 2015, I thought I’d do a kind of sum up of last year, just for kicks. I realise that I can be very negative, so I’m going to BIG MYSELF UP and focus on the VERY COOL stuff that happened as well as well as acknowledging the moments where I kind of lost it…
So are you ready? Here goes:
January – Started with me chatting up strangers on the tube, getting naked in public, doing stand-up comedy (terrifying, awful, amazing!! I’m a hero!) and jumping out of a plane (never, ever, ever again) in a Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway extravaganza. Susan Jeffers self help classic advises doing one scary thing a day. I do. With bells on. A triumphant – if nerve shattering – start. The Daily Mail ran a big feature about my project which led to interview requests from BBC Berkshire and er, China. Hurrah! This is amazing and exciting!
It’s 6am and I’m heading off on a job in a bit but wanted to say a quick thank you all so so so much for the lovely comments yesterday. It made me cry again but in a good way. I wish you could all know what it’s like to have a moan and then have dozens of people send you lovely messages. It’s pretty amazing and not what I was expecting and, to be honest, not what I deserve.
Thank you especially to the people who told me about their dark patches – especially around money. It really helped.
It’s nearly midnight on a Friday night and I’m at my mum’s watching junk on Netflix and hating myself. I’ve spent the last week going through three shoe boxes of receipts dating back 18 months. All my spending habits there in black and white, on faded, scrunched up slips of paper.
When I cried my way through February, my month of Money, A Love Story, I vowed to change my ways and I did a bit but not enough. I got stuck into the Secret and figured that ‘abundant thoughts’ would translate into an abundant bank balance. They didn’t. Then there was two months of rejection therapy which made me so miserable I took to drink. Which is expensive. Then lovely trips to Italy with F**K It.
Well, it’s time to wrap up the money love story. Has it worked? Am I now rich? Or at very least less broke?
The answer to the last two questions is no – I am in exactly the same financial situation I was a month ago: £12,000 in debt. But the major difference is that I feel OK about it, which means that yes, I think it has worked. I don’t mean OK, I’m in denial way, I mean I can see how I got here and I know that I will get myself out of it.
Also, the fact that I even know where I am with my finances is a major step. At the start of the month I didn’t have a clue what the situation was.
But most important, I think, is the fact that for the first time in my life I also understand why I am the way I am around money. I was brought up with extremes – extreme wealth and then an extreme fall from grace. I have recreated that same yo-yo in my own life. If you give me money, I feel rich and blow it like I’m Ivana Trump, then a few days later, I’m back in overdrafts and panic.
Sorry for the absence but I hope you’ll be happy to know that it was partly because I was doing actual paid work – hurrah! I wrote a piece about the geography of dating (why you’re hot in some countries and not in others) and how to make a biscuit that looks like a Wedgewood plate. I also got naked again, this time for a magazine. No, not Playboy.
Yup. Between that and the ‘I’m a money magnet’ mantras, life continues to be weird. In the best possible way.
So my money month is almost over (I’m running behind schedule, surprise, surprise) and I celebrated with a wardrobe clear out.
Kate Northrup suggests selling old clothes you don’t wear because a) it’s a source of cash and b) in Feng Shui clutter is bad because it blocks your capacity to get new things.
Hello all. After a week of soul-searching and self-loathing, I’ve decided to lighten the tone. It’s time to get romantic, baby.
Kate Northrup suggests that once a week you light a candle, pour yourself a nice drink, put on your best dress and…. go through your bills…. after all, who needs a hot man when you can get down and dirty with direct debits?
Thank you so much to all the lovely people who sent me messages after last my post. It’s a very strange thing to find yourself telling the world about stuff that you don’t even like to acknowledge yourself. But the messages showed that I’m not the only one who feels sick, scared, panicked and like a bad person when it comes to money.
The weird thing with this money business is that it’s just so big – it affects everything and is in our heads every day – and yet few of us talk about it properly. We might talk about wanting more of it, or ‘not being able to afford’ things, but we don’t talk about how it makes us feel or the messy situations we get into with it.
Well, as predicted there have been tears. This weekend was spent gathering six months worth of bank statements, credit card bills, phone bills, receipts etc, as recommended in Money – A Love Story. It was an unholy mess. My tummy felt sick, my chest felt tight, then I felt proper panic and then I started crying.
I hate myself when it comes to money, really, really hate myself.
It seems such a shame that after the excitement of having a piece in the Daily Mail, receiving international interview requests (I’ve just done an email interview with a Chinese magazine!) and half a dozen dinner invitations (thanks, guys!), I now have to get back to my bank balance.
Talk about a buzz kill.
I just want to go out and drink bubbles and buy a pair of shoes to celebrate my good luck. But, of course, that’s the problem. Given half the chance I’ll go out to celebrate the fact it’s Wednesday. Which is why I’m broke.
So back to the task at hand: getting out of the £12,000 debt I’m currently in. Yup, £12,000. I didn’t know that figure until last week, when I looked at it for the first time. It was a shock.