I think when the bank is texting you more than anyone in your contacts list, that’s when you know you need to reevaluate some fundamental life choices. The messages are just as cold and emotionless, as the last text you sent your ex and you shudder at the contents of them.
ACT ******* 21 FEB 10:59 We agreed an informal overdraft to cover payment(s). To avoid the £5 daily fee, your account must be in credit at 23:45 today
I mean we are all wonderfully good at making empty promises. Dry Jan went well and truly down the shitter (5 painful days) and the resolutions of ‘New Year New Me’ have been well shot now that we’re coming into March. So just to ensure you really know you’re nailing 2017, in comes the text from the bank (HSBC to be frank) to let you know that you’re just- well not. Now this is what really pains me, the fact that said bank is informing you of your current pauper status is bad enough. But to only add insult to injury, they then go on to tell you that for every day you are in the red you will be deducted a further FIVE POUNDS!
This is when I tend to start compiling a list of all the useless things I bought over the last month, that at the time I thought were essential to making my life complete.
-An Uber from Stockwell to Brixton (journey time on tube – 3 minutes- if that) > reasoning: despite the minimal journey it would have taken on the tube, I was thinking of the walk to the tube and then from the tube. Considering external factors such as rain and how cold it was (not to mention late) I reasoned it was for my own safety to get an Uber.
-The new sandwich at Pret A Manger (every other day) > reasoning: It’s delicious! For those who are not aware of this new sandwich let me enlighten you of the chicken, avocado and mozzarella melt (with onions).
-Gym wear & health supplements (impulsive splurge) > reasoning: in a bid to be a better version of myself having read an article on wellness and questioning whether I really get all the multi vitamins I need. Successful trip to Holland & Barratt followed by TK Maxx.
-Copious amounts of alcohol (every weekend) > reasoning: it’s the weekend. No other reasons necessary.
-Coffee (every day/often twice a day) > reasoning: survival. Perhaps need to come to terms with the fact that I suffer from a placebo type effect where I feel that without caffeine, I slowly degenerate into a slug.
On reflecting on the above, it is clear to me that the gym wear and supplements should have been given the boot, everything else (although not totally justifiable) were essential in my moments of need.
So it came to my attention, having made it all the way to 25 without an overdraft, that perhaps the time had come, to actually get one. So after a rather pleasant conversation over the phone with the guy from HSBC, I was told the good news. I was officially eligible to have one and my god do I feel I can actually breathe again. No need to panic so much and no need to get the bastardly texts from the bank informing you of your reckless spending. Hurrah! You will agree with your bank beforehand on the cut off point of your over draft, whether that is £500 or £1000+ is between you and them. Of course that is not to say that an over draft is encouraged for the sole purpose of spending. It just gives you that little extra flexibility when times may get a tad tight by the end of the month before payday. Be aware that you should remain on top of your over draft, to avoid affecting your credit rating, as much as we would all love to assume the bank has just given us ‘free money’ to spend on whatever our heart’s content is.
Do not fear if you think you are alone in worrying about your spending. The Money Advice Trust published a report last year highlighting that half of the young adults interviewed often worry about money with one in five sometimes losing sleep as a result.
Online banking is a great way of keeping track of what you spend each week and small changes such as pack lunches (sorry Pret) and house dinners really do make a difference!
Whilst that text from the bank, kicked my arse into gear into getting an overdraft it also made me reflect on a couple changes that perhaps should have been made a little earlier. So as the saying goes, better late than never!