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Beginning to Budget

Sunday, November 30th, 2014 by Paul

I have spent quite some time reading over my bank statements for the last three months. Because I rarely carry cash and generally use my EFTPOS or credit cards, this has been quite an instructive exercise. I have been able to see exactly where I have been spending what little money I have.

Most of my regular bills are paid by automatic payment and that takes care of them. Or so I thought. I don’t always have the payments coming out at the time when there is sufficient money to cover them. I haven’t really worried about this because I have an overdraft facility.

My wife pointed out to me that the red OD by my balances does not just stand for “Oh dear” but actually costs me money too. In fact I pay for the privilege of having an overdraft and I also pay interest on the amount that I overdraw. So this is quite an expensive bit of disorganisation.

I spent an afternoon ringing around the electric company, the council rates department, the kids’ schools and the sundry other places that take my automatic payments to ask if I could change the dates. Without exception they were supportive and quite happy to change. I suppose it is in their interests to make sure that customers are as happy as they can be when spending their hard earned pennies.

I have changed the payment dates to the day after my largest income day. There were two reasons for this. Firstly, it will allow for any times when the payment may be a little late, such as public holidays. But secondly, and for me most importantly, it means that once a month I’ll be able to look at my bank balance and pretend that I’m rich. Hey I know it’s not really true, but a boy can dream can’t he?

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