a note on pea-counting


About my fear of finances and an insight into saving money once those fears were overcome.

I don't like dealing with finances, doing taxes etc. But now that I'm self-employed, I absolutly need to. So this has been a fear/hate thing for me these last moinths. I used to push those tasks away from me further and further... pushing them to Sandra who has volunteered to take care of the paperwork.

But just two nights ago I finally took a heart and started to enter dates and values into OpenOffice.org Calc. I hate spreadsheets with a passion. It's just not my world. But once I had some cashflow info inside that spreadsheet and started playing with some functions patterns started to emerge. For the first time I became aware of certain common expences...

One thing that almost immediatly sprang into my eye was this: we were in a habit of getting smaller amounts of cash from a local ATM. And that cost between 3,- to 4,- EUR extra per transaction. So getting 50,- the one day and 100,- the next would sum up to 8,- in extra cost! This was because the ATM didn't belong to the bank our account was with. But the ATM was conveniently located...

But if the money would come from the bank the ATM belonged to no such cost would be applied... And we actually have an account with that bank.

So within 2h of overcoming my fear of doing finances I had actually made a major inroad towards saving real cash!


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Martin Spernau
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