A Fin24 user’s tendency to seek out emergencies has resulted in him not being able to even afford a slab of chocolate for his mom on Mother’s Day. He writes:FOLLOW the trend! is what most financial analysts would say when asked how to make money.
The only problem is that trends tend to become blurry when you are too close to the graph, and you end up not seeing when the trend is heading to hell.
My self-made trend started with my very first salary slip when I approached a bank to open a cheque account. I walked out of there with an overdraft, and my very first credit card which would only be used for “emergencies”. I had a new mountain bike before the weekend was over…
I changed employment a year later, working for a bank, and before the first week was over, I had my second credit card, which HAD to be kept only for emergencies because I had a lot of emergencies the year before, for which credit card one was used.
During the next year, I managed to obtain 4 more emergency cards, and for some reason emergencies came to me in abundance.
I had to join a gym, for which I had to have proper running shoes otherwise I would damage my knees, which in turn would result in me not going to the gym, and therefore would mean wasting my gym membership.
That made perfect sense, and I forked out thousands for the right accessories.
The trend was trending south but I wasn’t paying attention, because I was occupied with juggling payments on 6 emergency cards.
Just as I thought I was not going to make it, the banks came to my rescue; they decreased the minimum amount due on my account from 7.5% of the outstanding balance to 3%.
How nice of them? And everybody say they are greedy! How can they be greedy if they even increased my credit limit now that my monthly obligations have decreased?
Present day extract from my life in chronological order:
Ensure all minimum amounts due on the 6 credit cards are transferred first thing in the morning to ensure funds are in credit cards by the next day.
Day after salary day:
*Ensure all available funds in credit cards are withdrawn and deposit cash into bank account.
*Go to Woolworths and pay more than minimum due with card to earn eBucks, and buy monthly groceries for the full amount paid into the account (R800). (Note to self: Ensure food is bought before statement date, otherwise interest charged decreases the amount available for food.)
*Pay rent and wait for MTN’s debit order.
Start of the new month:
Fill up car with enough fuel to get to work and back.
Day before bank charges is charged on account:
Drive to Engen and fill up with remaining funds, and also use eBucks earned to buy fuel.
10 days before salary day:
I truly hope I am the only person “living” like this, for which I have only myself to blame.
My over indulgence and tendency to seek out emergencies where there are none, placed me in a position where I could not even buy a slab of chocolate for my mom on Mother’s Day, as Woolworths and the 6 credit cards are overdrawn.
I have now declared war against my downward trend before the next interest rate hike wipes me out, and so should anyone else who notices the same trend in their lives.
We only get one life, and I certainly do not want to live mine spending money I do not have.