February 23, 2006

# 51

Here's another feature about where I live.

Payday is a once-a-month affair; across the board for everyone with a pulse. I believe for many people it's the 15th of each month, unless the date falls on a weekend, in which case it's brought forward to the preceding Friday or not spoken about until the ensuing Monday; depending on your employer.

For me, a person accustomed to weekly deposits into his joint bank account in Australia, where mortgage payments are deducted with the precision of a caterpillar traversing a leaf shortly after the influx of geld, the monthly arrival of what was rightfully mine (to share) was a sweet sensation with sour aftertaste.

For about a week and a half, money was like a new pair of undies: there was always a way of getting another quality day in before throwing them out from a second-storey window. But unlike a pair of undies thrown out a window, money rarely made its way back into my life, at least not until about a month later.

The more time I've spent here, the more I've come to realise the extent of the monthly pay system's brilliance. If one allocates adequately for bills, which arrive through the mail slot a day or two before the pay enters the bank account, rent and existing incidental costs (foot lotions, hand creams, face masks, power tools, rubber gloves, industrial strength bath cleaners), then sets aside a pittance/just enough for entertainment/non-nuclear capable devices to avoid another month of life inside a cave, one can live reasonably well without encountering regret. The big bang bonus of this concept, if it's executed properly, is that one can save generously in the process and transfer funds offshore (a.k.a. to your account back home).

With this system less seems to be more, in the sense that fewer is morer: fewer times to worry about having or not having money; fewer occasions to decide how the money will disappear; fewer occasions to walk with a grudge to the post office to pay yet another billski; more funds in the account to balnce the offset mortgage in one's favour; more time to plan what to do with all the cash that's piling up until your safe return back home. I'm leaning towards the acquisition of a sea kayak (with ultra comfortable seat) without feeling guilty.

I get the feeling that if the concept of a monthly payday were employed across the board in Australia, the landscape of the country would change to one of fire, brimstone and politicians' bodies scattered sporadically to discourage repetition of such seemingly foolish work-related decisions.

But the model seems to be working here.

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Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I'm liking it monthly, I have to say.

I haven't been paid weekly since I lived in Perth. It sucked.

Kaufman said...

I think if I were moments into the work force for the first time and relied on regular dousing in alcohol and love juices, I'd be spewing blood consistently.

But I'm not and can see the sense in it.

Banks are bloody crowded on the 15th, which is why convenience stores with cash dispensers are a beaut alternative.

Yep, tis good.