Thursday, July 02, 2015

Thursday Finance: A lesson in Debt

Mr Micawber's [from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens] recipe for happiness:

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. 

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

Today I'm presenting a small insight into Marcus and Agata finances. It's been an expensive week for us so far.

Last Sunday Marcus had a cycling accident at the Romandie Classic.   The entrance fee was already uncomfortably expensive and the repair for the accident will be even more so.   It's another 4 digit number in Swiss Francs.  Ouch.

This week also marked our yearly Audi Car service.  We still goto the official dealer but in order to mitigate the costs

- We try to check the price of the service beforehand   (almost impossible in Switzerland)
- We have tried not to drive the car ever if we can make the journey on our bicycles or if public transport could serve and the environment better
- We even asked the dealer not to wash the car to make the service bill smaller.

It's both a depressing and sombre thing to say, but we have looked at the finances and we think this will be the last car we ever buy, we want to make it last a really long time.

To save even more money this morning Agata and Marcus ran to get to the dealer.  It was actually over 25 degrees Centigrade when we arrived exhausted at the dealer.   But we did make it, just before they shut for their Audi, Swiss 1.5 hour lunch break.

Since the service was booked 30 days ago we have had plenty of time to downwardly adjust our already frugual food shopping and we've covered some of the service cost that way.

So all in all, we are trying to live within our means, noting our earnings, and reacting to known and unexpected expenditures.

So now, perhaps this lesson could help some people and even a government or two.