Filing stuff

September 8, 2008 at 11:48 pm Leave a comment

Palindrome of the day: Murder every trap, aide! More help! Pin a nipple, hero. Media party revered rum.

I really, really need a document shredder. One of the other things I neglected while I was ill was keeping my documents in any kind of order. Oh, I’ve attempted it a few times. Back when I was in ludicrous amounts of debt, I made a couple of attempts to figure out how I could pay it off. So I’d get everything in order, start writing down expenses, realise that I had £20 per month per food, then realise that I hadn’t included my £200 of credit-card minimum payments, before giving up and curling into a mewling little ball in the corner. Accurate filing of bank statements is pretty hard when you refuse to open them for fear of what you might see.

After I got really ill nearly two years ago, I had to sort my papers out a bit, just so I could find the disturbing amounts of documentation that you need to claim benefits. This was difficult because a) the whole of my flat had become my filing system and b) I was finding it hard to do things like go out, wash my clothes, shop, and so on, so trying to get my papers in order was difficult. I scraped together what I needed and shoved the rest somewhere out of view.

Since I’ve been better, it’s been step-by-step. So I started out by getting my stuff into one pile. Then it became a roughly organised pile. Now, after my most recent shot at it, it’s actually filed in a document holder thingy I got back in the days when I was more optimistic about my ability to be organised. And the things that are filed are mostly in date order. But the big thing I’ve done is decide what to throw away. So I asked myself, do I really need every mobile phone bill I’ve ever received? Every credit card bill? The electricity bill for the place I lived in when I was at university four years ago?

No. No. And No. I now have the last year’s worth of bills and credit card statements. I’m keeping all my bank statements because, weirdly I feel sentimental about them. They stretch back to a couple of years before I went to university. It’s strangely comforting to see the addresses I’ve lived at stretching back to the house I grew up in (well, from when I was 8 or so). My life and finances may have been chaotic and confused, but there’s a single unbroken record to trace back. Yeah, like I said, it’s weird. For broadly similar reasons I’m keeping hold of pay-slips, although I actually should keep hold of those for a few more years.

This all means that I now have a couple of cubic feet of paper I need to dispose of, much of which has personal information on. Hence the need for a document shredder. Although really, I can’t imagine what kind of volume it’ll take up when shredded.

To bring this to a nicely circular close, the reason behind all this sorting out of documents is that I’m making another effort at constructing a budget. It’s going better this time. No mewling yet, at least.


Entry filed under: Debt and Money. Tags: , , .

Random stuff Money/Recovery

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?


Self-righteous note about smoking

As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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