I shall list the events of last week in no particular order:
- I found myself rummaging through bins with French rubbish collection men on a freezing Tuesday morning.
- I decided to start living on a proper and strict weekly budget, starting with €45 a week.
- The cold and fever I had that was slowly ebbing away came back in full force on Tuesday afternoon along with swollen glands.
- I lost £290. I put it in a brown envelope, and chucked it away with my rubbish without realising it.
These events are clearly not mutually exclusive. Yes, I on my year abroad lost money. I cried and cried. Seriously, beyond Halle Berry Oscar acceptance speech - I wailed and sobbed.
Ah well, not much I can do about that. But I did also start a budget plan this week too! I need to get my affairs in order and lend a less haphazard approach to shopping. One week I'll walk into Lidl and come out with a bag of veg, water and some other simple goodies... but then the next I'll go cur-azeh and run in screaming, 'BUY ALL THE THINGS!!!! PRINGLES FOR €1.09??? I'LL BUY 10' and then make a mad dash to H&M and buy those cheap, unsightly earrings I suddenly and so desperately need.
Well, no! This has all stopped. Yep, that's right, no more.
Or so I thought. Due to losing my cash, I ended up spending ages on the phone with French authorities discussion what I had to do to recuperate it. There goes my credit. I had to buy more: €10. My monthly 'Grand R' Bus and Tram Pass ran out: €27. St Patrick's Day celebrations that I was positively roped into attending: €6 and a further €5 on drinks. Major 'OHMAHGADMYLIFEISSOCRAP' feelings resulted in MacDonald's meal: €6.80. Let's not forget various 'Oh hem ghee vending machines! Chocolate! Win win win!!!' type situations that happened way too often this week.
As you can see, the budget flew out of the window. There were some successes though! I steered clear of any retail therapy (aided by the fact that H&M here is so rubbish and Zara is trop cher... we don't even have any of those cool acid bright tees!). I had a limit on how much I would spend on drinks on nights out and stuck to it. My grocery shop was well and truly under budget and I still have food to spare!
So what I have I learnt from this eventful week?
- When carrying cash in an envelope, label it with 'DO NOT THROW AWAY. LOTS OF CASH INSIDE.'
- Find other things to do when feeling down, binge eating junk food and buying clothes doesn't really make you feel better in the long term
- €45 maybe too little to survive on in a week? I've upped it to €50-€55 to see if it's any better
- French rubbish collectors are lovely people. French people who work in welcome desks, receptions or any sort of customer-facing role are not.
I hope you had a better week than I did...