Slice of Chaotic Life

The daily life of a celibate middle-aged man.

Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

Enough money for now

Posted by Itlandm on January 24, 2012

After the months of renting two houses, after the expenses of moving, the large deposit, the furniture and curtains etc, I had debt both on my credit card and my day-to-day account. (The literal translation would be wage account, but I think it is common in English to call them checking accounts or some such. I haven’t seen checks for a couple decades here in Norway, we are more advanced when it comes to economics, but it is a form of transactional account.) In Norway, this type of account usually has a symbolic positive interest on deposits, and a much higher negative interest on loans, if available at all (as it frequently is, within limits). The interest on loan / overdraft is comparable to a credit card.

I use Skandiabanken, which is a pure Net bank and offers more favorable conditions than other banks, but a somewhat narrower spectrum of services. Probably not available outside of Scandinavia.

Anyway, I decided to accept some degree of debt and just go on with my life, not making any big lifestyle changes, just paying a quite modest amount to my credit card account each month regardless of whether and how much I had actually used the credit card. In the months with less tax deduction, I would pay off significantly more. Being single and with only small debt, I pay a noticeable amount of tax. Of course, in Norway taxes also include various mandatory insurances, both health insurance and pensions savings, so the actual tax part is not horrifying, not at my income level at least. The sales tax is somewhat horrifying, but you don’t pay that on rent. Don’t let the government know I said that! They will probably start wondering why they didn’t think of that.

Anyway, I decided to just enlist time in my service, and go on with my life. And so I did. Last month I realized that even after paying off the rest of my credit card debt, I still had more money than I needed to pay my bills. It’s been a while since last time. That’s when I bought the Galaxy Note, a dubious thing to do but pretty typical of me. I tend to buy things I don’t need if I want there to be more of them in the world of the future. Kind of voting with my wallet, if you will. But the wallet has not been exactly fit for voting in this way for a while.

Well, evidently this month again there is money sloshing around, despite the Note and the unexpected dentist visit. So that is nice. It is a shame I can’t continue to pay that same amount into my credit card account when I don’t have debt there. I really should find some way to continue to push it out of my transaction account. Seeing money there is likely to confuse me and may cause purchases. We don’t really want too much of that. What we really want is to save up for the next moving expenses. With the asylum seeker upstairs now talking very loudly and dragging things around after midnight, moving may become an increasingly tempting option.


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Paying bills

Posted by Itlandm on October 23, 2011

Usually I pay the bills on the 15th or so, but this month there were no bills at the time, so I waited a little longer. Also, some bills arrive after the 15th but fall due before the next 15th, so I have to log on twice a month anyway.

Anyway,  it is not exactly a problem to pay my bills, neither technically nor financially. Even though I am barely middle class by Norwegian standards, and pay a rent suitable for a whole house or nearly so, I generally have more than I need from month to month.

I have a credit card account that I pay into each month, and that I use if I buy something more than living expenses. I used it when I moved two years ago. Back then I paid double rent for four months, in addition to paying four months in advance for the new place, so I guess in a manner of speaking I paid triple rent for four months. That is a bit when you are renting a whole house alone (even a small house), so I ended up borrowing a bit back then. Also the moving cost a little – that was when I moved to Riverview, the move from there to Mandal cost me almost nothing. But anyway, I’ve paid it off. Or rather, I still have a small amount of credit card debt, technically, but also have more than that in the debit account most of the time. If I pay it off completely – and unless something very unpleasant happens, that won’t be far off – I think I will have a separate savings account instead. Less impulse for impulse shopping that way.

But I’ll probably be back in debt again next time I move. In the future I will probably need to hire movers, and those are hideously expensive here in Norway. So I won’t have a problem with getting rid of my money. And I do intend to move eventually. I am not in a hurry right now, but I may be if a larger family moves in upstairs. I was up there once and it seems there is no hot water tank there. Meaning that the whole house uses mine. Luckily the family with the toddler moved out and the place is empty now, but if a large family with small children moves in, that could get hideously expensive. And while the price of renting a whole house has risen a bit over the last year (Norway is still in its property boom with fantasy price growth), it may well end up cheaper to rent a whole house elsewhere. But not right now. Right now I rent half a house and the other half is empty, which is for me just as good as renting a whole house and only use half of it. ^_^

Anyway, banking here in Norway is done on the Internet. It is many years since last I saw a check, something like 20 years or so.  Most of my bills come in electronic form also, but a few come in the mail, so I have to fill in a few numbers on the screen rather than just press a key to pay. Still, it is pretty easy. I can see how this large gap of abstraction can make it hard to think clearly about money for those who have a lower level of cognitive development. But mostly I think people’s money problems are a matter of being unable to control their impulses. In Norway, I mean. In your flearidden and inferior nation, all bets are off. But here in the zeroth world, it is mainly a matter of not wanting everything you see.

I still want yogurt, though. Lots and lots of yogurt.



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