Something that I am not overly familiar with is the process of saving money; I set a certain amount as savings each week but that is really as much as I do. Though I am proud to say that I shopped around and managed to score FFXIII and BF:BC2 for a grand total of $130 (from cdwow) which I am very happy with! Considering everybody is charging $100 for FFXIII alone, I would say that is a fair bargain, the only issue is that I might have to wait for delays in shipping but if it saves me $50 off both items then I am willing to wait, especially when I have a bunch of games in need of completing!

I also realized today that I have never bought an FF game despite my proclaimed love of the series. I remember playing FF7 first, I think that was the first game I had ever finished because the story was so compelling. Then I went backwards and played FF6 which had an even more epic story and I reckon even better gameplay. It wasn’t long until I backtracked the entire FF series to FF4, where I stopped since the original 3 didn’t seem to have the same depth and gameplay. I was even tempted to buy the collectors edition but for $130 you don’t get a lot besides a music CD and some random prints which I would probably never look at save the moment I open the box. Saved once again by frugality, yay.

My friends preordered BF:BC2 for $80 each whilst I got it online for $55, so that is yet another bargain I managed to snap up. Hopefully I will gather enough people to form a casual clan, that way we can get some organized fun going on! The likes of which I haven’t seen since my BF2 days.

I also found out that the HDX-BD1 was recently released and is only $30 more than the HDX1000. Just a FYI, this is a media player where you shove in a hard drive and it will play whatever is on it, very convenient for me since I have a 1TB disk lying around my desk with nothing to put it in and I am also quickly running out of disk space due to my movies and anime, mostly anime. What I have gleaned so far is that the BD1 is fairly glitchy since it is a new product and people have not managed to get a lot of advanced features working properly. Though to be perfectly honest with you, I would be happy if it manages to play all my anime and my music too. Later I could tack on a BD drive since the unit is supposedly compatible with bluray playback. However I might wait until the features are more mature before splurging on this.

If you may have noticed I have been going from a scale of tightass to self indulgent and the most expensive thing I plan to do is to move out, which will happen in the next week or so. I need to prepare myself for the move and I have not planned anything as of yet so it will be very interesting. If anyone has any advice on a first move now is a good time to tell me!

Sinkhole

December 14, 2009

Despite being the season for giving, I have realized my bank balance is getting a bit low lately and I have been launching an investigation of my spending to find out what I have used my money on in the past month…

Petrol: $380
Car transmission: $2800
Games and anime: $110
Fun stuff: $80

So I have gathered that my money has been primarily sunk into the car this month. I have also sold my headlights for $350 cash so I have been using that to pay for my fast food and going out mostly. But really the petrol is a phenomenal amount, $380 worth of petrol in a month. Even though I average about 14-15L/100km I still managed to fill up about 6 times in a month, though admittedly I had to fill up 3 cars during the past month. Also I put about 15% of my income into savings and another 15% into board/rent so a lot of my money goes into that, leaving me with not much to be perfectly honest.

I guess I will have to keep track of these expenses and try to get on top of my saving, since the next thing I am aiming for is a house. That might take a good few years.

Two Saturdays ago I went to browse at JB and managed to score myself a bunch of 2nd hand xbox360 games and I am pretty happy with my purchase. I spent around $130 for 3 games and a wireless charging kit for my controller which is pretty damn good value I say (comes to about $30 a game).

I bought the following:

  • Armored Core: for answer
  • Blue dragon
  • DOA4

I have been playing AC for the past week and it is such an addictive game! I mean who doesn’t like giant robots who kill each other? It is in the same “simulation” vein as Mechwarrior but much faster paced like Virtual On which combines the best of both worlds, fully customizable mechs with awesome gameplay and unfortunately poorly presented story. I have played through most of the missions and still have no idea what the story is about but it is so much fun I just don’t care anymore! Although it is a bit frustrating in that the difficulty levels are seemingly random. Buying parts is also an expensive affair and it is hard to earn money off the limited amount of missions you can undertake. I think they are going for replay value as there is no way of buying all the parts in 1 play through, but I am up for that.

Blue dragon is one of the best known JRPGs for the xbox360 and although I haven’t started playing it yet I am quite excited to have laid my hands on it for so cheap. They say it takes 40 hours to finish, which is about right for an epic adventure. I only worry that the comparatively weak plot and DBZ art style will put me off but at least it was cheap!

DOA4 is a rather interesting game, a very different fighting game than what I am used to in terms of difficulty, depth and sheer amount of babes on the roster. It’s just too hard to play the damn thing and I am having troubles learning moves because the learning curve is so huge. There is only 1 punch and 1 kick button with a grab command and “free” which is like a block or parry. Too much thinking if you ask me, I just want to beat up the other guy! But cannot beat lovely virtual ladies trying to kill each other.

I also bought Tales of Vesperia and it arrived in the mail today. Quite happy that I found it cheaper than retail but I have too many games to play to start it. I have played Tales of symphonia for gamecube and liked it quite a bit, and since most Tales games have roughly the same control scheme the only thing left to ponder over is whether or not the story is any good!

Onto more serious business, I need to buy new tyres for my car 235/45R17 front and 255/40R17 rears and was quoted $1000 for pirelli pzero neros fronts and kumho rears with alignment and fitting. Then I went elsewhere and was quoted $575 just for kumho asx fronts and kumho mx rears without fitting and the alignment. Alignment and fitting will probably cost around $200 max so I reckon it is a better deal. When I was told the price I couldn’t believe it was so cheap! I was expecting around $1200 but I am glad that it does not have to be the case. I also need to replace my suspension bushes (cost unknown) and change my brake discs because they are getting very thin (around $4-500+installation). I am going to be rather poor these next few weeks…

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.