Living beyond your means

June 8, 2009

Heres a story:

A man subscribes to a service with regular payments required for operation. He neglects to notice that the service has not billed him for a period of time. Service provider decides to back bill the man. Man cannot pay the entire amount at once. Who is at fault? (given the title of this post you can go where I am going with this)

Take the position of man. He would argue that billing is not his responsibility. Correct, the business should be able to bill him reliably on a monthly basis.

Conversely, from a business perspective, it costs money to provide a continuous service. If there is an error in billing then logically you will rectify it. If the customer was overcharged the business is obligated to reduce the payment accordingly, on the flipside, if the customer was not charged then the business has the right to backbill the customer.

From my perspective, the guy is a fucking dumbshit. How can you not realize that you have missed several payments for a service you are using? Even if you didn’t realize it, wouldn’t you know that you have an extra amount of money in your bank account every now and then? If he doesn’t realize he hasn’t been paying, how does he even know he has enough money to pay for a tank of petrol even? Imagine the consequences if the world was full of people who don’t check their bank balances regularly. Petrol stations would be blocked by people who realized they have maxxed their credit cards and cannot pay, shopping centre queues would be congested by housewives who realized their bank account cannot afford their kids’ junk food fix.

What this comes down to is learning how to live within your own means. It is fine not to check your bank account, AS LONG AS YOU BUDGET PROPERLY. If the above person budgeted properly he would have been able to pay the lump sum backbilling because the amount he budgeted would be untouched. Budgeting isn’t rocket science, it’s a crucial life skill that you have to learn in order to survive in the world. In a Darwinian society, people like these would fade out of existence as more money conscious individuals are able to survive longer than they in todays economy driven environment.

I have heard stories of people taking several loans at the same time for different goods. For example, they have taken a loan for a new plasma when they are still paying off their car. Haven’t they heard of one thing at a time? Even though you physically have the TV, you don’t OWN the thing, the credit company does! I can understand the car loan because it is a large object and you may actually NEED it for transportation. And houses too, they would be impossible to afford when you need one because let’s face it, you don’t want to live with your parents when you have kids and/or are married.

So please, don’t be a dickface and go spending money you don’t have. Think of the people who have to deal with you before you trouble them with your own financial ineptitude.

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4 Responses to “Living beyond your means”

  1. Realissimo said

    I think your main point comes across abit muddled.
    Surely there’s a difference between taking out multiple loans (money you don’t have)
    Than spending money that’s in your bank account through billing error? (money you do have but can be argued that you shouldn’t)
    Don’t get me wrong… it goes both ways, the customer should recognise the error as much as the proprietors of the business

    Are you talking through some anecdotal experience at work?

    Remember, Insurance companies offer payment thru instalment for the sole reason that people find the small payments easier to handle than the one huge lump sum

    • sto67 said

      money you have budgeted for something on a periodic basis should not be money you use up because it was “just there”. that is how i see it. the way i see it, your spendings is not whatever you leave work with at the end of the day but what you have left after paying off all your responsibilities.
      and i refuse to answer your question on the grounds that it may be incriminating lol

      • realissimo said

        There still should be some place for flexibility here. I would chalk it down to a simple mistake rather than any “dickfacery”? You could say the business was being dickfaced for not realising their mistake sooner!

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