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.


Medical expenses


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


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


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.