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Thursday, June 03, 2004

Finances


After pretending to be a finance expert, and handing out advice left right and centre to all and sundry, I actually did something about my own finances today.

I have opened a new cheque account which will pay me more interest, has easy access to internet savings (even higher interest), got the paperwork for sorting out me a couple of ISA's, and applied for a credit card which does not charge the rip-off fee of 2.75% for every single foreign currency transaction. I might be a bit late on this one, given I am going to America next week, but still, it's a start.

I confess I am so crap. I still have a VERY large sum of money just sitting in my cheque account from the sale of the house over 2 years ago. It sat there because we were going to move it over to America, and never quite got around to it, then we split, then I lost my job and didn't know if I was staying there or coming back here, and then I came back and even went into the bank and discussed doing something with it once I got settled and had paid all the one-off bills I had to pay when I first came back. And still I actually did nothing. What a stupid waste of interest earning opportunities.

An aside - when I first went into the financial establishment, I thought I wasn't going to be able to open anything. I had no 'proper' id, I do have an old account with one of the original building societies, which is still in my maiden name and so couldn't be matched to me. He still explained how all the accounts worked, and told me to come back with a passport etc. Then I remembered that when me and X split, he had taken the joint account which we had had with this place. And I haven't signed anything to take me off the joint account. I gave him my name, and date of birth, and Bob's your uncle - I had complete access to X's bank account, and didn't need one jot of further id. And based on that, I could open up my own accounts without need for a passport, a bill, proof I am on the electoral register, proof of my blood type, my last eye exam report and proof of what I had for breakfast this morning.

Scary.

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