Gosh that was a nice surprise!

A conversation with my mother today led me to check my annual budget spreadsheet, which I haven’t looked at for quite a while.

IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when I discovered that I’d completely forgotten that student loans are paid in THREE installments, rather than two (which I’d been thinking they were). I’ve been thinking that the money I currently have in the bank (400 quid) had to last me until the end of the year (not a problem when one lives on sunflower seeds and raindrops like me). Anyway, the forgotten payment minus the forgotten 3rd rent installment leaves me with 600 pounds – 600 pounds which, to be honest, I don’t actually need.

I think the fact that this is the second year in a row in which I will finish my studies with about 600 quid of my student loan left over WITHOUT having done any paid work during term-time demonstrates what a tragic social life I have.

Of course the tricky thing now is not spending it all. The new laptop can wait till September, so much cheaper in Akihabara, no tax and all that. Likewise with the digital SLR that I have been dreaming about for years.

The fact is is that next year will be expensive, what with my rent looking set to be around 300 quid a month. Ok, so I could go for a cheaper shoebox, but the Asagaya experience has led me to desire something bigger than the inside of a pencil sharpener, and somewhere a little more comfortable than a box full of rotten cabbages. I think the view from the window provides you with a clear idea of the atmosphere of the place.

I think I’ll go Virgin Atlantic this time, only 600 quid for a 12 month return flight, free socks and no charge for changing the return date. Oh, and paid for my Local Education Authority, which is handy. Likewise with medical insurance.

If I work over the summer, I should be able to save a sizeable amount to enable me to not fret about finances next year – what a change that will make to my last two trips to Japan – the first resulting in an 18,000 pound bankruptcy and the latter, when I was deprived of the ability to obtain credit or debit cards, seeing me having to borrow 10 quid off a friend in order to get the train back to the airport!

(Incidentally, should my regular employers be reading this, fret not, I am not relying entirely on your combined pensions to fund my year abroad. I have other gardens to run around in should the need arise – we can negotiate at Easter!)

Oh, and of course I can work in Japan too…

Anyway, I must be off. Have a billion and three things to do, such as go down to PC world and but the latest Sony Vaio Laptop with built in Digital SLR study.