A budget is just a method of worrying before you spend money, as well as afterward.

Sometimes I actually open – and look at – my bank statements when the PostLady pops them through the letterbox. 

And I always get a shock, in the nicest possible way. 

I’m astounded by how much money I have in the bank.  It’s truly shocking.  If you chose to walk a day in our shoes, you’d think that myself and The Blokey must surely be living beyond our means. 

The Blokey often has a chuckle at my expense because I am so willing to buy whatever it is that’s being thrust into my face [whether on an advert, a poster or in a shop window].  To make matters worse, I’m the sort of person who buys something new and then forgets about it.  I have oodles of clothes with their labels still attached, for example.  My living room is full of odd little ornaments that I Must Have!  I think nothing of buying a magazine which will never be fully read, nor treating myself to make-up which will never be worn.  I love buying things for other people, and will often come home with some useless item for The Blokey [who tends to do the same for me, except his items usually have a more useful function and don’t get thrown into the spare room or tossed in a cupboard]. 

And to think – I hate shopping.

The Blokey made a fair few bob on eBay last year.  It wasn’t a fortune by any means, but it would have been a significant chunk of money towards a new bathroom.   However, this poundage of his has shown him up to be a bigger I Must Have! than I am.  With the money he has been able to treat us to an expensive 40″ Samsung LCD tellybox, an amateur-professional digital camera [we already own three digital cameras!] plus two other lenses, and a Playstation 3 [if Blu-ray is the next advancement, we may as well go the whole hog and have a Blu-ray player which also plays games, hey?].

It’s nice, having money to spend.  Both of us were brought up in worlds where money was limited and tight, but now The Blokey earns a good wage.  Even my wage isn’t too bad, considering my job title.  But sometimes I really do wonder how we manage to spend so much and yet have so much spare cash.  I am fully aware that it won’t last, especially when we get round to having children and I give up work [please Blokey, please?], but whilst the money is there it’s nice to spend.  Amazingly we even have savings.  Yep, if anything goes wrong and the insurance won’t cover it, we have the means to pay for it ourselves. 

There are occasions when I just don’t get it and I really believe that despite having money in our accounts, and in savings, and never spending more in a month than we earn, neither of us is that good with money.  It’s odd.

I don’t think this post is going anywhere because my head is games consoled out.  Bah. 

please god bless all our new toys xxx Elsabeth


Excuse Me …

I have a folder attached to my work email which is cunningly entitled very important things and which contains, surprisingly, emails I’ve received that I believe to be very important.  An email is usually very important if a) it’s from The TwoFacedBitchBoss [I really ought to call her something else … hmmm, maybe She Thinks She’s Super But She Ain’t (STSSBSA for short)], and b) it says something that is either totally unprofessional or could be used later as proof that she said or did something.  I’ve collected about twenty-five of the buggers over the last two and a half years.

The following is an excerpt from one that STSSBSA sent to all the staff on Monday [some words have been changed to protect the innocent] … “On Monday 16th April we will be using one of the allocated Training Days to have briefings about something that is fairly important but probably won’t last long and will no doubt be forgotten within a week.
This is a day when TAs and Admin would not be expected in (Staff on Teachers contracts do 5 more days than staff on non teachers contracts).”

Excuse me?  This is a day when TAs and Admin would not be expected in … ??  If you work within education in the UK you’ll be aware that there are 38 weeks in a school year where students are expected in and a further 5 days where only staff are expected in.  These used to be called Baker Days, but are now just referred to as Training Days.  If you don’t work within the education system, or indeed even live in the UK, well – now you know.

And NOW STSSBSA has made it quite clear that myself and the other TAs aren’t supposed to come to work on those days.  If we do we’re supposed to be given a day off in lieu [which, incidentally we have been – the last day of the summer term is now mine to do what I want with, even though it’s really only a day when staff tend to get p!ssed up in the pub] or get paid for it. 

By my reckoning I’m owed twelve days [two and a half years] of back pay or days off in lieu.  So I queried it.  Human Resources said No.  Pffft.  Tomorrow I shall phone up HR and ask them to send me my current contract with all the gumpf that comes with it about part-time pro-rata pay and whether it includes those five days.  Any evidence I can collate will be used in my favour. 

And I can always get Unison involved.  They’re my union, I pay them money each month, I may as well make the most of them. 

I don’t think it would be bothering me half as much if STSSBSA had just hoiked the TAs it affected [only three of us now] into her office and explained nicely what had happened.  But she didn’t; she chose to just slip it into the middle of an extra long email hoping that we wouldn’t notice.  That’s what really irks me.  The Blokey pointed out to me that I was overpaid for a full eight months and STSSBSA managed to get HR to waive the money I owed them, but that wasn’t my fault, in the same way that this new thing isn’t my fault.

Grrr …

Oh, and don’t you just love HR – I needed to check something for UNISON last night and happened to have a longer glance at my pay slip than normal and got the fright of my life when I realised that my National Insurance Number was wrong!  Wrong it was!  I’ve never thought to check my NI Number on my pay slip before.  To make matters even more complicated the NI Number they had in the file at work was also wrong, except not wrong in the same way.  It’s like I have three different NI Numbers!  You’ll be pleased to hear that this has been [or is in the process of being] rectified and the contributions I have made haven’t been wrong so I don’t owe anybody any money.


This post will self-destruct soon, probably in a few days, because I always feel guilty posting about work like this, as though I’m some naughty school girl who needs a good spanking.  And because I don’t want to get the sack.  It will self-destruct even quicker if I find that my contract used to stipulate that I should work those five days.  Or if UNISON tell me that it’s not worth fighting for.

please God bless the HR folk, that they may see the error of their ways xxx Elsabeth