...no really, I do. (Emily - please ignore the fact that I decided to do it at A level for a minute here, I got a U anyway)
Every time I do some Maths, I get horribly depressed.
Usually it's because it's payday and I've just logged on to my internet banking and transferred over half my wages across to go on my rent. Then I have to divide up the money left onto council tax, water, gas and electric. Then I take one look at the amount that I have left...and buy myself some books with it in an attempt to distract myself from the fact that I'm skint.
I don't think that's going to work this time.
I've just had my gas and electric bills for the last year. Now they're not actual bills because I have those pre-payment meter thingies. The ones that I decided to keep an eye on like a grown-up.
I read them again the other day and once again had to press millions of buttons on the evil gas meter and just one on the lovely electric meter. I carefully wrote down the numbers in the same way I'd written them down before so that I could compare the figures - and then I found a letter from British Gas with a nice little booklet in giving me the new prices and checked that they matched.
Well when the bills came today I thought that I would be very very grown-up and do some clever Maths to work out how much it cost me last year (cos it doesn't tell you that, just how many kWh's you've used) and then how much the same amounts would cost me this year.
I really wish that I hadn't bothered.
WARNING - MATHS FOLLOWS
Electricity usage = 4126 kWh.
Last Years Rate = 11.89p per kWh + 11.72p per day standing charge.
355 days between 31/08/07 and 20/08/08 means that the standing charge total was £41.61.
11.89p x 4126 = 49058.14p = £490.59
£490.59 + £41.61 = £532.20
This Years Rate (so far...) = 13.10p per kWh + 11.85p per day standing charge.
Using the same amount of electricity as last year at this years rates = £582.58.
Ok...that's not too bad I guess.
Now for the gas.
Gas usage = 19923.33 kWh.
Last years first 2680 kWh rate was 7.501p. So 2680 x 7.501p = 20102.68p = £201.03
Last years rate for the remaining amount was 2.865p. So 17243.33 x 2.865p = 49402.14045p = £494.03
Total gas cost = £695.06
This years rates are 9.084p for the first 2680 kWh and 3.814p for the rest.
Using the same amount of gas as last year at this years rates = £901.13.
I had to work that through again to make sure I hadn't made a mistake...but I hadn't.
This year it will cost me more than a months wages for my years gas. That's just a little bit wrong, surely. Surely?!
Last year I would wear two jumpers, tights under my jeans and fingerless gloves at the computer in an attempt to keep warm...I don't quite know what more I can do this year.
All that is why Maths is hateful. Yes, ok, I get that it's useful for allowing me to work all that out. But now I need to go and buy books...big thick books...for building a well-insulated book hut for me to live in!