Saturday, September 03, 2011

How much is a good night's sleep worth?

Well, today the answer is 60 euro.

I arrived back late last night and after opening all the windows to let some air into the apartment I couldn't resist hitting the computer so that I could update my budget spreadsheet.  I had been keeping an eye on my bank accounts while I was away and had even thought to bring my list of codes so that I could do some transfers as soon as I got paid.  My overdraft balance is looking pretty improved at the moment but I have to admit I will need to withdraw money from that account before the end of the month as I have a few more bills due which are just about going to wipe out my current account.  I could have transferred less to the overdrawn account so that I was left with enough to cover the entire month but I think I will be far more careful to spend less when I know it's money coming from an overdrawn account than I might otherwise be.  I finally got the payment from the financial aid program in work - I had applied for that in relation to the tooth implant I had done last year (which cost 2,800 euro, of which I paid 2,500) and they offered me just over 1,200.  Fantastic.  It was paid to me with my salary and was partially taxed so I came out with 924 euro extra.  It's hard not to moan about it being taxed but really, it was money for free so how can I complain?  That money has been put aside to pay for expenses incurred while on holiday and also to pay for our planned choir trip in October.

I also finally received my tax refund, which amounted to nearly 1,500.  I have to figure out if that's correct now, based on the assessment notices that arrived while I was away.  I can't make head nor tail of them.  I seem to have gotten a big payment for 2008 (expected, as that was the year I moved here and I only worked here for five months as well as being able to offset some moving costs), a very small one for 2009 (when I had actually tried to offset some moving costs as well, which I had only received the invoice for in 2009) and then another big refund for 2010 (totally unexpected as I only had a few standard things to offset).  Mind you, if the one for 2010 is correct I'd be happy enough because that should be approximately what future years look like.  I think I'll need to get up early one day next week and take a trip down to the Finanzamt to check.

When I got back yesterday I saw a notice in the hallway that my upstairs neighbour is having a party this evening.  If I had known that earlier, I would have just stayed in my sister's for another day.  At least he has given a day's notice this time - he had a party last year not long after he moved in without mentioning it to anyone and I had to go up a couple of times before they finally turned the music (and the dancing) down to a level I could sleep through at two o'clock.  Having had a long day travelling yesterday following a lovely but not quite as relaxing holiday as hoped (families are just hard work sometimes!), I had been looking forward to a couple of nights' good sleep in my own bed before starting back to work on Monday.  With the prospect of a party raging above my head until the small hours tonight I decided that I really don't care about spending money on something that's a bit unnecessary and went trawling the internet to see if I could get a cheap hotel room for the night.  Yes, there is a possibility that I could find a friend to loan me their spare room or couch to sleep on, which would obviously be cheaper.  But I've been with other people more or less non-stop for two weeks and I really needed these couple of days to myself (which is why I came back a couple of days early in the first place).

I couldn't find anywhere for less than 79 euro online (for just the room, no breakfast) without having to travel for nearly an hour but when I was walking home from the market I realised that there's at least one hotel on that road that I pass by all the time and barely even notice.  I walked in, asked if they had a room and am glad I did, as they did have one and it's all mine for just 60 euro, including a full breakfast in the morning.  There's no bath so my idea of making an evening of it and having a nice long soak has been scotched but on the plus side it's only four minutes walk away from home so I won't have to spend half an hour getting there either.  Some might consider this a foolish waste of money but I think the hopefully good night's sleep I will get is absolutely worth it.


Dani said...

Moonwaves - €60 = ZAR600-odd. That's hectic!

But I hope you enjoyed the peace and quiet and the breakfast LOL

Moonwaves said...

No idea what you'd get for that many Rand but for comparison, a kilo of tomatoes at the market today was 4.40 euro, which is 44 ZAR. I bought a box cheese grater for my sister's birthday today and that was 14 euro. I was more or less mentally prepared to be looking at prices of around 100 a night - maybe that's why 60 doesn't seem too outrageous to me. On the other end of the spectrum is the possibility that this is just more of the spendthrift behaviour that got me into debt. I don't think so particularly but everyone will have there opinion on whereabouts on that line I am. :)

Dani said...

Moonwaves - 1 kg of tomatoes (from Woolworths - the expensive way to shop, but their quality is the best)
is ZAR40.00 / kg (+/- €4.00)

Cheese grater is about the same as you are paying - reckon China has something to do with that LOL

Nah - happen to agree - a bad experience with an upstairs party lad would probably also cause me to find an alternative.

Moonwaves said...

And I meant 'their', not 'there'. Ooops. That kind of thing has being (sic) happening to me far too often recently.