After several weeks of trying to puzzle through and narrow down the details of my financial history, which involved more than one large chunk of time spent going through my bank records and copying down each transaction of a particular kind, then adding them up with a calculator, I just noticed that my bank has an "Export" button that allows me to extract the data as a spreadsheet. What has been sloppy, multiple-hour work could easily have been meticulous calculations that took less than an hour to create, permanently save, and manipulate in whatever way conveniences me. Like, if I had done this right the first time, I could really quickly figure out exactly how much I spend, on average, on fast food per month. Or what percentage of my spending is at the cafe at NECC because I can't be bothered to arrange to bring food with me to school. Or work out how much I'm spending on gas and project how that's going to change when I start regularly going to a job that's a half hour north of me.
I've been trying to figure out how to re-work my income and spending in a way that will allow me to move out of my parents' house slash friends' couches and right now my spreadsheet has a list of things I'm pretty sure I routinely spend money on, and a guess at how often I do it. My Hulu Plus account has a solid projection on it. Vitamins? Not so much.
It was a major breakthrough about a week ago when I figured out that I had been counting food twice -- the amount that was part of my actual monthly spending, and the (much smaller) amount that I was guessing it would cost me to not starve when living on my own.
Does anybody out there know how to adult? Because I was not prepared for this in my 12 years of state education and 18 years of parenting.