Tric Kearney: 'I wake up and my first transaction of the day takes place, the transfer of money from one pair of jeans to another'

WATCHING television the other night I tuned into RTÉ’s We Won The Lotto, writes Tric Kearney. Who hasn’t dreamed about what it must be like to not have to worry about money?

I was in London recently and strayed into the watch department of a very posh department store. While waiting to be thrown out for wearing jeans from Dunnes and a coat with no label, I gazed into gleaming glass cabinets,

fogging them up with my breath as I tried to make out the prices.

It wasn’t that I needed glasses to see the numbers, but that I was having trouble figuring how many zeros I was looking at. I stood by one watch in particular and if I counted zeros correctly, it was close to the value of my house.

Imagine being so rich you could wear such a watch?

Sometimes when out with friends we have the ‘What would you do if you won the Lotto?’ conversation. As we’re usually on a night out at the time, the ways we choose to spend our money are generally not as practical as in the cold light of day. However, their consensus is always, winning it would make them happy.

But would winning a million euro make you happy? Well here’s a shocker, I decided years ago to never play the Lotto, in case I won. I can hear many of you groaning, and I admit it does sound ridiculous. However I had my reasons, the main one being that yer man and myself live on different planets when it comes to money.

I go by ‘reach into my pocket and hope I find some money in there,’ while he’d never be caught patting his pockets in panic at a till, realising his money is in the jeans he was wearing yesterday.

It’s not that I’ve no respect for money, it’s just that my storage method isn’t the best. I don’t use either a purse or a handbag so my money’s resting place is either my jean pockets, my bedroom floor or sometimes, in the case of my debit cards, the lost and found in my local shopping centre.

So if I won the Lotto can you imagine the rows yer man and myself might have? He’d want to invest it wisely for our children’s university, weddings, future houses, grandchildren, and all manner of possible events. I’d want to spend it, now.

My children agree with me about it being a good idea I don’t play the Lotto, but they do so because they believe I’m careless with money. I think I’ve been harshly judged.

Most days my daily budgeting works like this: I wake up and my first transaction of the day takes place, the transfer of money from one pair of jeans to another. I don’t check my account balance at this point, but I’m pretty confident there are a few rolled-up notes and some coins in it.

Before 9am, withdrawals have already been made.

“Mum, can you lend me €2 for the shop?”

“Remember, after-school study money’s due today.”

Because my family insist on being fed, groceries must be purchased and short of owning a cow, I can’t keep us in milk. By nightfall, my account is seriously depleted.

Last night, I dipped into my pocket to check my balance. As I did so, a sizable number of coins tumbled across the floor disturbing the night’s television viewing. Yer man and my gang tut-tutted and one commented: “Mum, you’re such a disaster with money.”

So today I bought myself a Lotto ticket. If I win, I aim to prove them wrong. Not that I’ll tell them, but if you see me searching in a purse instead of my pockets for money, take it as a clue.

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