Today is a day-job day or rather it’s a get-all-the-office-stuff-sorted day because the end of the financial year is nigh. I love my day job but loathe the pernickity admin that clings to it – in particular THE ACCOUNTS. I haven’t done them since last September and there are little heaps of paper, post-its, bank statements, receipts and parking tickets (all carefully filed not piled please note) at various strategic points in the house. Now I know I’m Mrs Time for Your Life and hence the world-renown expert on taking control of your life and the stuff in it but give me a break – I’m half human after all and entitled to the odd bad fur day.
Anyhoo, today is the day I round up and corrall all this paperwork before converting it into finance speak. Therein lies the rub. When it comes to numbers and maths my head is in a dark place where it was never intended to be. Even the calculator takes on a life of its own as it flashes, blinks and spews up impossible answers.
HOW much tax? That’s half the national debt. It’s no wonder I’m in my very own, truly personal triple-dip recession. The machine is no more helpful when it comes to income either – £0.0012 for a year’s work or did I just press the square root button?
Then I have the dilemma – use an accountant or fill in the forms myself. It’s quite possible the accountant’s fees will exceed my income so I’ve resolved to tackle the beast that is an income tax return myself. I know before I start I’ll be totally befuddled by the multiple choice questions and propositions “if you answered X to question A then go to section 2 and answer question Z. However if you did not answer X…blah blah.”
After that, assuming I survive, there’s another side to my financial world. My measly ISA (that’s a tax free savings account)comes to the end of its special for one year only interest rate. Now I have to trawl the internet to find an ISA that is kind enough to let me access my own dosh when I want to and yet pays me something more than £0.00012 in monthly interest equating to an APR of 0.5%. When it comes to finance – it’s a foreign language.
It’s no good going in person to a bank and asking for help. I’ve tried this and was met by a brightly smiling infant in uniform who told me the so-and-so bank has sooooo many products it’s impossible to tell me the interest rate of their one and only internet-only, instant access ISA. Instead, she tippitoed off to print out a list of all the products. When she returned, limping a little under the weight of the paper, she thrust it into my arms and with another bright smile wished me “have a nice day”.
A well known Anglo Saxon phrase came to mind ending in “off”.
I wish I’d acquired a broader education – if it wasn’t history, french or english literature I didn’t want to know. How much easier life must be for those characters who, like a sponge, absorb all the learning and knowledge thrown at them so that, in real life, they can fill in a tax return without spending the next three months in therapy.
So methinks no literary pearls from me for a day or two but y’all have a nice day now.