Month: June 2014

Bank Charges

Overdraft fee

Bank charges

I freaking hate banks. I wish we didn’t need bank accounts and just went back to dealing with cash for the rest of our lives. Yeah I know that sounds silly. I just need to rant a little.

I went to the bank a month ago to ask them to change the date of an automatic payment that goes off my checking account to my credit card. I used to get paid on the 24th but now I get paid on the last day of the month. I asked them to move the payment to the 1st of each month. When I took a look at my bank account now I saw that the payment went through and there is no money in my checking account. And if I don’t have money in my account, they charge me $170 each time it happens. That $170 is a big blow to my budget.

I know if I go to the bank and complain it won’t change a thing. That bank charge is going to stay there and they probably still won’t change the automatic payment to the 1st of each month. I can’t believe it. What a crappy way to start my weekend.

I also made a very long post and saved it to drafts. That entire post is just gone. I can’t find it. I’ll retype it later and post it again. I’m off to bed and staying there until I feel better for losing out on money.

Until next time.

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Medical expenses

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Its winter here in the southern hemisphere and I’ve been hit really bad with the cold. Not only am I physically sick, but my finances is sick too. I never expected it to be this bad. I mean when I started working for my current employer I purposely chose the medical aid with lowest monthly contribution (the one recommended for 20-30 year old). But that backfired on me this year.

During January/February I had terrible back pain. I went for two doctors consultations before I was finally told to go see a physiotherapist who sorted my back pain out in less than two weeks. I only have 10 free consultations per year, so the one consultation was wasted. And I also racked up medical costs for pills and a cream that didn’t work.

In March I traveled to another country and suffered from food poisoning so bad that I ended up in hospital, my first time I ever spent any amount of time in hospital. I raked up a bill of $900 of which my medical aid scheme only pays half.

In May I got the flu but I thought that I should not waste my consultations. I just got some flu medicine and paid out of my own pocket for it. Its not done yet. Three weeks ago I developed a nasty cough. I just bought cough syrup. We had a tight deadline at work so I pushed through the entire week which took a big toll on my body. Finally I couldn’t take it no more. Got some time off work to recover. My wallet didn’t get time off. Admin fees, medical fees and medicine had to be paid for.

Today I came down with the cold again. This must be the sickest I’ve ever been. What rotten luck. More medicine. More medical bills. I couldn’t afford to pay cash for the medicine so I had to charge it to my credit card. Total cost in medical expenses over the past two months totaled to $277 and year to date is $727. That is much more than I ever expected it to be.

I do realize now the importance of staying healthy and having an emergency savings fund. More fruit and vegetables and some exercising is in order. First things first, I want to get well soon.

Until next time.

A little bit of history

history-apr-2013

I’m not too sure what to blog about today since I don’t have much to report. So I decided that I would share a little bit about my history…how I got to where I am today.

In high school I considered myself a smart kid. I was definitely in the top ten best performers in my grade. I killed it at math. It was my favorite subject too. I was the only student to get a distinction at math in my entire school. I thought about studying actuarial science when I finished school but I never got a scholarship for that. I was disheartened and had no plan B. So I took a year off from studying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I knew it had something to do with numbers, but I didn’t exactly know what.

My folks told me to study to become a chartered accountant since they earn a boar load of money and I was good at accounting as well. They took out a bank loan to pay for my studies. After my first semester I knew right away that this wasn’t for me. I even told my parents that but they insisted that I stick with it a little while longer. I complied and passed by first year, no problem. At the end of the first year they went ahead and applied for some scholarships for me. I managed to land two interviews with Deloitte and KPMG. In the end I chose KPMG because they offered more money towards my tuition.

Fast forward to my second year and I’m loving the college life. I got to learn so much about life that I could never learn from a textbook. It’s fitting cause I hardly picked up a textbook. In my second year I got dealt a heavy blow as I failed my first subject which would force me to do an extra year. I was very disappointed with myself but my parents were very supportive. Even the people at KPMG.

In my third its where it all went wrong. The party life took over. I hardly studied. I just did enough to pass all my second year modules and some of my third year modules. But due to some technicalities (I don’t want to get into them here) I was forced to start working the next year and put my studies on hold.

2012 was the year I started working for KPMG but still had one more year to do to complete my degree in accounting. Working as an auditor was an interesting experience. That’s the first time I really got to learn about money. Before my parents gave me money but now I was doing it all on my own. No more help from mommy and daddy. I was pretty miserable that entire year.

2013 I went back to school full time and I was determined to get my degree and set things right. But that first semester was an absolute disaster. I fell back to my old habits and it just got worse. I hardly finished the year when I had to go back to KPMG and tell them how I manage to fail all my modules but one. Long story short they cancelled my scholarship and I was finished. I couldn’t afford to go back to school. I was living in my parents house and I was pretty miserable. NO JOB. NO MONEY. NO DEGREE. And credit card debt of about $7K. Oh did I fail to mention that I got a credit card in 2012 and managed to max it out at $7k in a year and a half.

The light at the end of my tunnel was my girlfriend. We just started dating just as I got the news that I lost my scholarship and was unemployed. She managed to keep me motivated. We weren’t even living in the same city. Took me 4 months to get a job close to where she lives.

I am now an accountant at PKF with some credit card debt and some other consumer debt of about $2k. It’s not a train smash. I’ve read a couple of personal finance blogs here on WordPress and some people are in much worse positions than I am currently. I am counting my blessings everyday.

So that’s my short history. I left a lot of details out because I wanted to keep it short and it’s almost bedtime when I was typing this. Just going to do a quick spell check and hit publish post.

Good night.

June 2014 Goals

stock-investing-goals

I haven’t set up my budget yet, but I have a clear idea of what I need to be spending my money. I reviewed my expenses last month I spent a lot of my money on beer and entertainment. So I’m trying to lower that expense. I also spend a lot of money on take-out during lunch times with my girlfriend. Sometimes she pays, sometimes I pay.

I’ve planned to cut out the take outs and make something at home and bring it along but that hardly ever pans out like I planned. The easy stuff that I could prepare at home are usually the things I don’t really like to eat like cheese and salami (or ham) on bread. I want something cooked, like sausages. But cooking sausages in the morning is a no go. I already get up so early already.

Still trying to find a way to cut expenses but I have also been looking into increasing income. I am in the process of selling my Xbox. It’s just lying around at home and I could make some cash from it. I was going to buy myself a cellphone with the money but thought that I would rather just get a DSTV Walka and pay my credit card with the rest of my money.

Also thought of getting back to playing poker again. But I keep failing at keeping track of my results and going to all the way. It’s worth a try though. I need some extra money. I’ve even started betting on the World Cup games and made some good money. More than double than what I started with. I’m trying to not get carried away. Too much on my plate already.

Anyway, June is almost over. Half way through anyway. So I will just keep the budget I have from last month and work with that for the rest of the month. The way things are looking like, it’s going to be a hard winter. One thing I can be proud of though is that I am at least keeping track of all my transactions. I think it’s starting to become a habit.