sinking, floating, piggy bank, money worries, drowning

The trauma of checking your bank balance

I remember when I was at university and I was afraid to check my bank balance because things were never ever good. In fact I never checked it, I just waited for my card to be refused or swallowed and then I ate toast for a week or two until I’d straightened myself out. Do I look back nostalgically? Do I see bank statement avoidance as a rite of passage? Do I chuckle to myself about those days or weeks when I had absolutely no money? I do not.

I might feel more chucklesome if I weren’t still, in my actual 40s, terrified to log on (rather than stand at a freezing cashpoint with a kebab in one hand and the morning after pill in the other) and check the financial status quo. When I eventually do, I’m inevitably left faintly reeling and wondering, “What screwed me this month?” Then I grimly comb through the statement and realise that it was household insurance or some bastard tax bill or a five-week month with particularly profligate Ocado action. Thousands. And not sexy.

I suppose this is squeezed Midult territory. Supposedly successful and affluent. In the know. On the map. But ‘enjoying’ the same relationship with money as I did at 19. This is peculiar to our generation. Things aren’t getting easier. And, if you ask me, it’s a massive bore.

Are you supposed to check your bank balance every day? Like your weight. That’s a joy-sucking way to live. And does it really help? Answers on a tax return please…

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