Time is flying

Lockdown has eased

Yay. Less restrictions. We can do more things. We’re no longer restricted to going out for just exercise, food, medicine and safety, and only for an hour a day. We can go further—25km rather than just five—and there’s no curfew. We can eat out, provided the groups within specified guidelines. The hairdressers are open.

My hairdresser booked me into my regular 11:30 Saturday slot as soon the announcement. Then she sent me a message to ask me if I wanted it. That’s service. She did that for all her regulars, so much so that even when I arrived on Saturday (the announcement was the Sunday prior), she was still turning people away as she was booked up for the next three weeks just with the regulars.

To be honest though, outside of a haircut, little has changed for me.

Tax deadline looms

31 October is the deadline for tax returns if you’re doing it yourself, and the tax financial year itself runs from 1 July to 30 June. We do our own tax (except the super fund, which we leave to the experts). Because so many of our receipts are electronic nowadays, one thing I do as part of the process is export my bank transactions to a spreadsheet and compare them against the receipts.

Given that COVID-19 has been around since the start of the year, and the first round of restrictions came into play in March, with more severe restrictions commencing from August, it’s been interesting to see the change in my spending over the last 12 months.

Mostly, it’s all about the food. I can’t believe how much I spend on food. Less eating out, obviously, and more takeaway. More expensive takeaway—many local businesses simply switched their menu from on-premise to takeaway but didn’t change their prices. (Takeaway is the Australian term for take-out.) What surprised me most, however, was how far back I started doing this. March and April, rather than August. Eight months, not three. I know this year has flown by but reading the patterns it feels as if time has been compressed. March to October is a blur, and it doesn’t feel like that long.

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