Personal · Think Pieces

An Excel-lent Advenutre

As an English student (well,  I say that – technically I’m a Creative Writing MA student now but I have an English BA degree so you get my point), calculations have been an issue I’ve had to deal with mercifully little over the last 3 1/2 years. Even before my university career, I exclusively studied humanities at A-level so mathematics have not plagued me extensively since my GCSE years. Again I lie a bit. During the first year of my AS studies I also retook GCSE Maths, having failed to get a C by ONE SINGULAR MARK the previous year. I feel my relationship with mathematics as a subject has been made rather clear by this point.

One area of life where my old nemesis is unavoidable sadly is in regards to those wicked little bits of paper and metal we all require to stay alive in this capitalist crapsack we call…sorry I’m going off on one. Money. Budgeting. That’s what I’m talking about. Since First Year, I have kept a meticulous list of my expenditure, up until recently always summarised in a word document. I have set weekly and monthly limits to keep me in the green, and I must admit I’ve always found there something to be very pleasant in drawing up tables and lists.

I am supposedly ‘good with money’. That’s what my bestie claims anyway but then again she’s terrible with money so I’ll take that with a a few spoonfuls of salt. I know myself to be especially terrible with impulse buying things – I have a tendency to spontaneously lose all self-control without warning and if something tempting and expensive is in the vicinity when that happens…well we’ve all been there, myself too often.

Nevertheless, budgeting can be fun. Depressing but fun, and I have recently made a decision that has sky-rocketed that fun…ness(?) I moved my accounts from Word to Excel and my-my what have I been missing. I’d almost entirely forgotten how this shit worked since those tedious compulsory IT lessons in school. It’s so sublimely simple, and pretty damn cool let’s be honest. The Sum and Sumif features mean no more miscalculations in my expenditure, I just add one number to a list and the formulas I’ve set up change everything else for me. My financial life has never been so accurate.

I don’t know why I find it so much fun either but a lot of delight really can be had by playing around with these little boxes. I was a fool to keep away from it for so long but this is indeed the beginning of more organised and secure Chris.

(Disclaimer: I am not in any way under the employ of the Microsoft Corporation but if they want to give me money then that’s great – I can include it my new budget spreadsheet!)

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