It’s a peculiar way in which eye-openers come darting at you. They’re there even before you know it. Mine came last night, in the form of the ledger balance available in my account. After registering the shock and composing myself saying “it’s okay, I’m young, I can afford to spend that kind of money once in a while”, I woke up with a resolve to find out what happened to “all that” money! This morning, I downloaded my account statement for the last two months and used MICROSOFT EXCEL (God bless my soul!) to figure out what was I was doing while my bank balance kept drooping three digits at a time, sometimes even four! Now, after some calculations, that included me using a blue Staedtler pencil and a ruled notepad to make notes from the Excel sheet, I have calmed down and accepted reality.

A little austerity this month should level it out. Travelling by autos is a strict no-no for me; and I’m hoping I can get rid of this chronic problem that I have had for many months now. That’s why I’m always happy when the auto-drivers are on a strike. Here, I am heavily depending on someone else to break a habit I have formed, and that makes me think so highly of myself, you see. *sarcasm dripped all over that sentence, in case it wasn’t apparent*

That's all I got; some blessings too!

Also, I could do with NOT eating out. Eating out once in a month makes up for the “acceptable” limit of money one should spend in eating out. Besides, the fact that the heat is up and it makes me not-want to eat at all could help. See? Again, I need someone else to help me break a habit I formed. I’m so disgraced in the eyes of the God of Discipline, if there is one! *hiding my face*

The Expense.xlsx sheet tells me I could also do with withdrawing money only when I really need it. Or maybe, the way the generation before us did it (and still does). I could just have a fixed calculation of how much money I need each month; for a railway pass, my phone bill, my Body Shop face wash, my one-book-a-month from Flipkart, my…umm that’s all I spend on! (so where does “all that” money go! *crying loudly, well, almost*)

Now that I look at it, I don’t see what I need anymore. It’s a shock that will last for a good 20 days and I shall not spend a single penny more than necessary; rupee in this case. (I’ve done it once before this and I can do it again!) At times, I have had bouts of enlightenment when I am treading lightly on an impulse to buy something. That “bout” asks me, “Is this really necessary?”  More often than not, I reply in the negative and save myself some dirty cash! So, I’m, yet again, heavily relying, on this “bout” to get me through May.

I have found that this question helps me in other areas of my life too, especially when I tend to get angry with someone inside me. I ask myself, “Is this necessary?” My ego takes a good beating when I reply in the negative, but it’s a battle worth losing. No one would have thought that could be said, eh? Battle worth losing? Is it necessary to lose battles? This time I reply in the affirmative. Yes, it is.

Here’s me hoping I’ll be richer next month; in ways more than one!

-Sameen