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I went to school this morning hoping to do three things: 1] pay my condo dues (advance payment until May to avoid incurring any penalty as I won’t be around next month to beat the deadlne), 2] return all borrowed library books (today was the deadliest deadline and I didn’t want to incur any penalty as well), and 3] get my travel grant and/or Research Incentive cheque(s).

Was able to tick the first two from my list of things to do. The third one was a no-go, unfortunately. Apparently, although the grant was already approved, the travel grant cheque is yet to be signed by the powers that be. The office of the Vice Chancellor told me the cheque should be ready for processing by the end of this week.

#3 is a big deal for me since I had both the travel grant and the Research Incentive cheques in mind when I computed my UK budget. I didn’t want to dip into my savings account too much, you see (that’s for my retirement, as I’ve previously blogged here), that’s why I was banking on the grant and the incentive to tide me over when we reach the Kingdom.

A bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to do all three tasks, I left the office and passed by the ATM machine just to check if I could withdraw some money from my payroll account. The thing was, I could still remember the balance from the said account since I withdrew some moolah from it not a week ago (paydays for us DLSU folks fall on the 10th and the 26th of every month). But upon checking the balance, I got a pleasant surprise. The money in my account has multiplied, by almost 4!

Money, money, money. Must be funny. In the rich man’s world.

What, in Griphook’s name, happened?  I wanted to be ridiculously happy over the turn of events (who wouldn’t want more money in their account, right?), but I also wanted to understand the multiplication of my figurative bread. Was it a case of bank accounting gone wrong? Was Fate playing tricks on me? Was it a geminio spell or something?

Good thing I was able to pick up and sign all my payroll slips when I went to the Accounting office earlier this morning (sans the Travel Grant cheque, oh well). I hurriedly checked the data and oh my, my longevity pay was already in the account!  That was it! And I wasn’t even expecting it, how silly of me.

See, all tenured Full-timers with at least 10  years under their belt are automatically up for a longevity pay, equivalent to a month’s salary. It’s not exactly a full month, though, since there’s the tax that you have to factor in, but if you submit a published paper, then you get it 100% tax free. I didn’t submit anything this year, opting instead for a Research Incentive (also 100% tax free if you submit a published or about to be published paper, which I did, last month). For some reason, I totally forgot about the longevity thing.

I was just so happy about it I totally forgot about lunch, hahaha. It was a good thing, don’t you think? I mean, one moment I was distressing over my cheques which are yet to be processed, and next moment, there I was, staring at the screen, wondering about my good fortune. God really works in mysterious ways. 🙂

Or was it a case of Wesley Gibson about to be abducted by Angelina Jolie, being prepped for training a la Wanted?

The amusing thing here is this: the entire longevity pay would suffice to cover my entire UK budget—food, accommodation, tours, etc. for both London and Scotland. I wouldn’t even have to wait for the two cheques anymore. I’m good to go. I guess those cheques will go straight to my Retirement fund.

Some of you might be wondering what’s with this sudden preoccupation over money matters. Now let me set one thing straight: I’m not exactly rich, no. I do live a comfortable life, that much I can say.  I’ve been called ‘kuripot‘ (tightwad) by some relatives before. I guess it’s fair to say that I’m just wise about my money and how I spend it. I don’t save all my moolah at the expense of comfort, or my little pleasures. I love going out with my family and my friends once in a while.  I’m not much into clothes and shoes and bags but I simply can’t control myself when it comes to books and DVDs. I mean, saving my money at the expense of my intellectual and emotional satisfaction just doesn’t cut it. And yes, I love love love going to the spa. I spend my money on these things. And then there’s the monthly bills that I need to pay, of course. Whatever remains goes straight to my savings.

I’m not rich. The house I live in is not my own, it’s my parents’. I do have my own crib (almost fully paid for, yeah! It was a 10 year struggle, mind), yes, but since I’m on sabbatical, my penny pincher self realized that it will be cheaper if I stay at the family coop, than continue living on my own (think laundry and ironing, food, water bills, electricity, internet, cable, etc. and you’ll get my point), at least for the duration of the sabbatical. It’s a financial tactic.

But I’m no Scrooge. I know how to have fun. And now that I have enough moolah to get me by comfortably in the U.K., then I’m quite certain all will be well.

The three witches/Powerpuff Girls are actually planning on catching the Lion King over at West End, huzzah!

No worries, indeed.