Dinner party from hell

If you’d told Old Me that I had attend to a dinner party where the sole topic of conversation would be personal finance, that would’ve been my idea of hell.

I don’t want to talk about it. In the past that’s how I felt about any sort of conversation that treaded towards the very topic I was investing a lot of energy trying to avoid. What to do about my personal finances has remained top-of-list for avoidance areas ever since I made it past the pocket-money stage of life.

I’m not poor and it’s been a long time since I was broke — so what’s the big deal?

Assignments like last week’s shine a light on the guts of the issue — my finances are out of control, because I don’t want to talk about them or think about them or spend the time keeping all the madly squiggly moving parts in some sort of lined up order. And because they’re out of control, stupid stuff happens. Like missing tax deadlines or getting charged monthly fees for a gym in New York when I live in London or paying silly interest rates on credit cards I can afford to pay off. And other bigger dumber things like not sorting out a proper pension or just generally wasting money on things that don’t matter to me only to not have the money to spend on things that really do.

The idea behind the dinner party isn’t to invite a bunch of people over to dinner and compare tales of financial foolishness and money madness; none of this is funny in the end. The idea is to talk with other people about what encourages us to behave badly and what gets in the way of sticking with financial resolutions. I may even include a role model or two to join the table though I appreciate the experience may test their patience.

Given that this is London and everyone I know leads busy lives, there’s no chance the dinner party will take place this week. All I can promise is that I’ll set it up this week. Hopefully this’ll leave me enough time to return to the horrors of last week’s assignment and attend to some of my more worrisome findings such as the list of bills that need paying and the even longer list of medical expenses that need filing. My immediate aim is to do what I can to prevent my bank balance from swallowing my entire overdraft facility. Surely 11 months into a year-long assignment to right my financial ways, this is a reasonable hope.

As for the pigeon, I await news of its recovery and shall report back

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