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You know the saying,'The best laid plans of men and mice...'

I love a good plan. I spend a lot of time planning things. I like ticking of lists. Sometimes though I find that I have forgotten to add all the things into the plan that will make it work...

Take, for example, my plan to pay 'all the things' before Christmas. By all the things I mostly mean school things. You see, we've never been able to pay all the school things before. It will be quite an achievement and I have been looking forward to it for many, many years now. I've been looking forward to being 'just a regular parent'. Constantly going cap in hand to school administrations is soul destroying. Why anyone would think people on welfare like being on welfare, is beyond me. No one likes being the person who can't afford anything.

I was talking to a young colleague a couple of days ago. She hasn't had children yet and didn't realise that public education isn't free - and in fact, it can be very expensive depending on the school zone. Yes, there are charities that help, but they are so overburdened that there is no way they can meet the needs of all the families not managing to buy uniforms and books, or pay for excursions and camps.

So, this year, I have been very excited. I've laid out my plan, figured out the total and when different items are likely to be due. I've figured out exactly what I need to put aside for each item. It's all very well thought out...

Well, I thought it was.

I was all set to pay for Bryn's year 7 camp, sent Dave off to the school on Monday to pay it. He came home and reported that there were insufficient funds on the card. Insufficient funds? I didn't understand. I'd actually seen the balance of the account drop by the correct amount during the day and believed he'd paid the camp fee.

When I had a closer look, I realised that while money had, indeed, been paid out to the high school, it turned out to be music tuition fees, not the camp fee. Bugger, how did I forget about the music tuition fees? I was suddenly $500 behind the 8 ball. No worries, I could easily catch up this Thursday - and that is the plan at the moment.

But then, I came home last night and found a school notice on the kitchen table. It was requesting payment for Bryn's swimming lessons. $118 isn't a lot in the scheme of things anymore for us (it used to be everything!), but I simply haven't budgeted for it. So, now I'm having to rejig everything, and the part of me that grew up in a household of constant financial battle feels anxious.

It'll be fine, it is just that as a person who likes to plan, I kick myself when I get caught out by the unforeseen.

Back to the drawing board.


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