Today is a very bad day.
I have to file my tax return. Isn't it funny how the first 100 days of staying sober go so slowly, and yet the twelve months between one tax return and the next scoot by like a Russian athlete on steroids?
I particularly resent the hours and hours it takes me to sort out all my tax paperwork and fill in the online forms, because my paltry income barely makes it above the tax threshold. Endless angst for a mere molecule in a drop, in the vast ocean of HMRCs tax receipts.
I remember doing my return last year. I decided to 'celebrate' part way through with a glass or two of vino. Needless to say, that didn't help much.
The other thing I remember about last year, is that I started January, as per usual, with a bank balance of, approximately, zero.
The excesses of Christmas had totally wiped me out. So, by the end of January I was well into my overdraft facility. By the time I'd paid the tax I owed, I was four thousand pounds overdrawn.
It took me months (and begging the husband for an emergency hand out) to get me anywhere near the black again.
My attitude to finances is very mature. I have two basic principles: (1) whenever you take cash out and your balance is displayed on screen close your eyes. (2) Towards the end of the month, when you go to withdraw cash, pray to the cash machine Gods and they will, hopefully, continue to provide.
But, yesterday, as I prepared all the numbers for my tax return, I had to wade through months and months of online bank statements, and I noticed an incredible thing.
At the beginning of January this year I was in the black. SOLVENT!
And, even more incredible: at the END of January I am in the black. STILL SOLVENT!
(This won't be the case, obviously, by the time I've paid Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs).
There is only one possible reason for this miracle (my income is down year on year, not up): I have saved a small fortune by not drinking.
Like the weight loss thing, it's happened slowly, slowly, drop by drop. So slowly that I didn't really notice it (plus I had my eyes closed). But, nearly eleven months later, I am approximately THREE THOUSAND POUNDS better off than this time last year.
Yet another fabulous reason to keep going, my friends.
And, by the way, if you're finding Fridays particularly hard right now, then read my post on Fear of Fridays (click here).
Now, back to that blasted tax return....