Monthly Archives: July 2020

Making ends meet

“Check it out, Beavis — that dude’s, like, back putting words on the screen or something!”

Once again, I’d planned for ages to vent my anger about the world in this blog — not against the “virtue-signalling SJW snowflake leftie libtards”, but the opposite, at those who keep hurling such terms and thus sounding like self-righteous bullies — or to say to extreme right-wingers what Bill Hicks once said to advertisers.  Instead, I’ll talk about issues pertaining to finance and friendship, which aren’t mutually exclusive, and keep me going in these interesting times.

You’ll be pleased to know that I’m still working from home… well, not pleased with the “from home” bit, which still brings on anxiety due to how difficult it would be if my computer at work simply turned itself off (or worse, changed IP address), but it has meant me saving even more money than before, simply because I don’t have to spend on the order of £200 every month on Tube fares!

This plus the money I was already saving due to almost never going into the red for the month (i.e. earning more than spending… oh, you knew?) means I’d already saved around £3,000 since the start of this year… but that’s now gone down significantly, because I’ve been, er, upgrading the PC of Theseus once again, this time without “boss lady” paying for the new CPU and me getting everything else.

I’m once again feeling buyer’s remorse, as first of all I got… prepare yourselves… a GTX 2080Ti graphics card for over a grand.  Argh!  Don’t worry, it works fine (and wasn’t substituted in the packaging), but it wasn’t enough: I’ve also ordered a 9th-generation CPU, and a motherboard to put it in (as my current one has the right socket but wrong, er, something-or-other to do with it), though this total comes to only half as much as the price of the graphics card.

(Hey, this way I’ll be able to play the Halo and Doom games in 4K without slowdown, and I’ll have extra heating when winter comes!)

But my bank account’s only just gone under £10,000, and it’s payday next Thursday — and I’ve managed to sell the old 1080 I got in November 2017 for around £200 (a certain housemate thought I was foolish for accepting so little, but owing to the way he speaks to me at other times, I’d have been hesitant to accept his advice if I’d known it prior anyway).  Unless something goes badly wrong, I’ve got plenty to sustain me, and I can help others as well, including my folks.

She was so happy I was home, she jumped on my bed and French-kissed me!

I won’t be having an expensive holiday abroad any time soon, partly due to the pandemic lockdown, and partly because changing to a timezone more than one or two hours away would really screw up my twice-daily medication (8am and 8pm, after breakfast and dinner, being better than 4pm and 4am!).  However, I can still travel within Britain, and so I’ve been able to visit my folks in Worthing, and help take the dog walkies.

More importantly, though: although I can’t visit her in her native Far Eastern island nation yet, I at least had one last chance to meet my dear female friend before she flew home back in June (and had to sit through quarantine).  We’d had an adventure visiting my old university (and now, sadly, her old university too) at the end of May, but before she left the country, we also met at Camden Town for a walk, a chat, and some food (boy, that giant vegan hot dog was awkward!), our travels including a visit to “nearby” Regent’s Park.

When we were exploring the market, I ended up buying a Prince T-shirt for a princely £20, simply because… well, I couldn’t get out of it once the shopkeeper noticed me — but in all honesty, if it helps the shopkeeper stay afloat during the coronacession, what’s the harm?  In the same way, I’d hope to continue attending the “helping the homeless” events that have been held off during the lockdown, though the organiser there has had to put back the next one due to his own life interfering.

(I tried to help him install Linux on a new laptop, but sadly, he seems to have submitted to Windows 10 instead…)

I wouldn’t say I’m wealthy, but I do feel that I have enough to share with others without going under myself — which doesn’t mean I’m a capitalist libertarian who only chooses to help others, as I still believe in well-managed taxes (which I acknowledge is overly-optimistic at best) for public services that everyone can use.  Haven’t I helped fund the NHS, which was rather more eager to help me with the “space invader” than any private health insurance company would ever be?

At least I can still talk to my female friend online, via (of course) Skype — we may be at opposite ends of the Earth now, but we can meet and share our experiences (and show each other what we’ve got in our rooms, including books and plush toys) — and thus, in a virtual way, keep each other company.  She’s even subscribing to this blog now (hi!), and therefore is more meaningful in my life than that dreadful harridan who lives in Worthing.

(Oh cripes!  Er, er, er, sorry old mother, I mean Mumsy, er, I jolly well shouldn’t have said that, yaroo!  Or I could do a Trump and claim never to have said that, it’s fake news!)

In addition, I can still afford to pay my personal trainer, and be guided by him via the Internet in weekly self-torture sessions to keep myself healthy; it may be possible to visit his gym again next month (or the mini-gym in the Castle), or even go boxing in the park again (weather permitting) — but never mind the cost, how would public transport get me there in time after working hours, if I’m travelling from home instead of work?

“Um… your billing sucks!”

Finally, I have both good and bad news about my outgoings: firstly, it seems that we’re paid up at last with the dreadful E.ON, possibly due to “best mate” calling them up one last time to clear up the issue of a closed account in our late landlord’s name being chased up.  Today I updated our meter reading, and it seems our next payment will reduce our debt to…  prepare yourselves… £1.91!  This should mean we can lower the monthly DD amount, and “fifth housemate” can then stop complaining about household bills being too high (though she’s aware of the 6-monthly water bill coming up) — and all this despite the amount of electricity used by three of us having been working from home since March.

The bad news, which one might say results from the metaphorical double-edged sword, is that I’m now earning so much monthly (before tax), more than ever in my life (in terms of both numbers and value), I have no hope of deferring my Stupid Loans repayments from September onwards — and the amount my gross monthly is above their maximum gross monthly is less than the amount I’ll have to start paying back monthly!

Still, if (as told by the debt owners) the 1998 loan is going to be written off in 2023, maybe the 1996 and 1997 ones (owned by a different company) will also disappear 25 years later, and I can finally stop worrying about payback for three of my four years as an undergrad, and get back to saving… assuming I don’t have to resume commuting to work every day, of course…