Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yes Verruca ~ it's the bank's fault...

Don't you just love waking up early ~ to sunshine :D

No spending or bill paying required today. A good thing too ~ poor old NAB is having 'technical issues' and no pension has been paid into the account. Heard a lot of bitching about how terrible it is salaries have not gone in, wages have not transferred out, automatic transactions have not occurred ~ do people with incomes really put themselves that close to the wire without a little 'secret stash' for emergencies??   Just asking...

Now I can hear the swearing and cussing of 'who does she think she is', 'where does she get off' and thinking how can I be making such generalised statements. Believe me when I say, we used to live pay to pay, enjoying dinners out, weekends away, takeaway and such without putting anything away and wondering where it all went week in week out. Pay the rent, buy the groceries, buy CDs, go out every Friday, Saturday, use a taxi and whinge about how little we were paid for the work we did. Been there OK?!

I am a NAB customer whose disability pension did not get paid into the account as scheduled. Am I left stranded? No. Am I going to starve? No. Am I inconvenienced to the point of mayhem, agony and financial crisis? No. Can we manage for a day, or two? Or three even?  Yes we can.  Why?? Because even on a pension with a mortgage, children, hubby on carer payments and (now) $26,000 of debt to pay off, we 'squirrel' an emergency buffer of $10pf - 10% of our income - away for emergencies and unexpected events (like broken talus bones) to ensure we have enough to carry us for about a month.

Each time that buffer becomes a month buffer - one full payment of approximately $600 can be paid into our Line of Credit, or onto our (NAB) VISA card.  It's a habit we had while earning a regular wage and one we have maintained in $5-$10 increments every single week. Sure - panic might set in from time to time because having an 'emergency stash' of $300-$600 can be scary - but no where near as scary as having a $zero emergency fall back. 

As seems to be the case this weekend with so many screaming they are in trouble, inconvenienced with the none receipt of their weekly, fortnightly and monthly pay cheque. Come on grown-up peoples - get your personal finances and butt coverage in order. If only in a small way...

Yes - the NAB's services are substandard - especially as society expects - no, demands an instant fix or 100% timeliness in the banking, telecommunication and insurance industries' business practices.  Yes - I agree business offering a service should provide, especially when charging fees for the privilege of simply using that particular business over any others (sadly I have to include Hellstra's stranglehold on landlines in that statement) but sometimes things go wrong and, regardless of whose fault it may be or what technology failed to perform to ones expectation (including that of the relevant service provider) - cover your own behinds people and pre-empt the unexpected but not totally unavoidable with some sensible saving practices.

Has there problems with banks and technology in the past? Yes. Did people not learn anything when this happened a few months back? Especially those who were customers of NAB and previously affected. Was there nothing that suggested individuals should be a little more prepared for the 'just in case'??  Mind you - when the Commonwealth automatic teller machines went on the Fritz and issued more cash from the whole than requested - heaps took the 'chance' to access extra funds than their entitlements. Sure ~ just about everyone was asked to repay after being tracked down via personal identification numbers entered into the ATMs ~ and the Commonwealth had to do the tracking for weeks of those unwilling to advise the bank of the overpayments.

I didn't plan to break my spine and reduce our two incomes to one within a year of acquiring a mortgage.  We didn't plan on a global financial crisis to reduce that one income by 20%. We didn't plan to fall dependent on benefits for a period of time (be assured, this is not going to be case within the next 6-12months). It was never the plan to spend four years as a single income family with a newly obtained mortgage.

But we did plan to live within our means, have the capacity to fulfil our financial obligations on one income, adjust it to fit that dictated by the GFC and to save 10% of our income(s) when there in whatever capacity. We did plan to be able to cover our obligations on a single income and not rely on two full time wages. This is how we had around $7000 when I first became incapacitated in 2007. This is how we were able to have an additional year paid onto our mortgage without dipping into those savings. 

These savings paid for medications, doctors, surgical appointments, scans, therapies and transportation before disability support payments (and the all important pension card with its medical and pharmacy discount entitlements) were granted. Which all aided our request for a period without mortgage repayments while we adjusted to a weekly drop of 50% on that single income to benefit payments only in August last year. 

So really ~ what are people complaining about a 24 hour delay when we used to have manual payments. We are a society of Verruca Salt's and we "want it now" ~ when we can't we have a tantrum, expect 'Daddy' to fix it or we will grab and scream until we get it, only appeased until the next 'thing' comes along.

Just saying...


  1. Love the Veruca Salt reference Mands!
    This is probably a silly question, but since I'm not a NAB customer, and haven't been following the news, I don't know- is it just that money hasn't been going in to accounts, or can people not get money out either? As even though I have an emergency fund, its in my bank account. So I gies my question is, should we have cash stashed away? I used to do this but now feel it's ubsafe (even if it's not much)...

  2. I couldn't agree with you more Mands

  3. How right you are. I don't understand why people don't have an EF in their house somewhere.

    We always have had, always will but mostly now it is used to lend to the kids who haven't implemented the same idea yet. lol.

    By all means have an EF in the bank but I would not rely on being able to get to it if needed.

    i think we all need to look after things ourselves a bit more.

    Good post Mands.


  4. of course your post makes perfect sense. in a perfect world everyone would have an emergency fund stashed away to be used when needed, however sometimes life isn't perfect and things get in the way and we make bad choices or thing come and bite us in the arse when we least expect it LoL - does it sound like i'm speaking from personal experience much :-P

    we did have an emergency fund saved up, close to $1500 but then we also had a credit card that was into the thousands and we were obviously paying more in interest on the credit card than we were getting on the money in the bank and so it made no sense to have that in the bank and the credit card still high, so we decided to pay it off the credit card. it provided the chink in the armour of that debt that we needed and now it's coming down at a very steady rate and we should have it paid off within a month and a half [hopefully].