Money in, money out

The bank started it. The letter advised us that from this month on, the minimum balance we need to maintain in our account to avoid account keeping fees would be increased from $1,000 to $3000. That gave us the extra push to finally consolidate finances, closing our individual payroll accounts and redirecting everything to/from a single joint account.

With that sorted out, we received another letter from the bank. With the recent increase in interest rates, we were advised that our mortgage payments would increase from the 1st of July. Not long afterward, we got another correspondence from the bank, this time stating that from September, the fees for our offset account would increase. It seems like nothing good comes from our mailbox anymore.

Then, it happened. The electric company sent an advisory saying that starting this month, their rates would DECREASE in July. Ooh, is this actually true, a decrease?

My joy in that piece of news was short-lived though as we soon got another letter, this time from the water company. July seems to be the month to make changes as they announce their price increase. Would there be no end to this? Retrieving letters from the mailbox has started to feel like a gamble, would there be any more letters from service companies and would it bring good news or bad news?

As the first of July finally came in, I consoled myself that at least there’s that tax break to offset all these increases in our monthly expenses. As expected, we got a few extra bucks in our pay today. It seems like everything has cancelled out anyway. But are we out of the woods yet?

As it turned out, we got another announcement today in the form of an email from our ISP. Although there is no price increase per se, they said that due to the higher cost they are paying their wholesale service provider (Telstra). Instead of a price increase, our plan speeds (upload/download) would be halved so essentially it’s the same price for less service. They gave us the option to “upgrade” to a plan with our previous plan speeds for an additional $20 per month. After much research and deliberation, we decided to stay with our downgraded plan as transferring would mean a slew of transfer charges with only a small savings in monthly fees.

At this rate, it seems like that tax break (and more) is just going straight to the corporations. Oh well, better than no tax break at all and still having to contend with higher fees. It may hurt less, but it still hurts.

Published in: on July 21, 2006 at 11:15 pm  Comments (2)