Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Holiday goals changed to doing nothing

Well, I made it to Halle and even managed to only miss one rehearsal. Although I have to admit that although I was at the Friday rehearsal my voice was not always quite as present. It was another great weekend and I really enjoyed the performance on Saturday night.

As always, it was fantastic to meet up with old friends as well as meeting new ones. This time round we even made the effort to participate in one of the non-singing activities, dragged ourselves out of bed early one morning and went off to see the State Museum of Prehistory. The few hours we spent there were not enough to do more than scratch the surface of what this amazing musuem has to offer. I'd highly recommend it if you are ever in Halle and will definitely be going back there.

Since the Happy Birthday Handel weekend coincided with Karneval this year, we even got to enjoy the parade on Monday before we had to leave. When I got back I was tired but happy, always the best way to come home from some time away, I think.
This year we also discovered the Irish pub in Halle, called Nante's (Nante is the nickname of the guy who owns it). We had a great night out there - they let us borrow one of their guitars and we started a really fun singalong session.
I now have the rest of the week off as I needed to use up some holiday time. I had planned to spend the time sorting out my balcony. The tiles badly need to be cleaned and then I wanted to buy some stones, soil and compost and get my pots filled and ready for planting a few things. If I got very adventurous I thought I might manage to finish painting my CD shelf. And maybe one or two other things as well. But instead of all that, I think I'm switching to just doing nothing at all. Well, that's about as much as I've done the last two days and it feels about the right speed so I'm just going with it. But even doing nothing I've still gotten one or two things done. Today, for example, I took out the documentation for the bank I opened up an investment account with and then never got around to actually setting up properly. I knew that had dragged on a bit and so when searching for tax-related stuff recently I had put anything I found dealing with that account into one place.

It took me several phone calls and resetting passwords etc. but today I finally got it set up. And I added in a current account as well as the investment account. This bank, ING-DIBA, does not have any charges associated with its current account. I've been happy with my current bank up to now but there are two reasons I've decided to bite the bullet and change. The first is that the selection of ATMs near me for my bank or any of its partner branches is really poor. The second is that I fell foul of their lodgement limit again this month. I thought it was 1,100 per month but it seems it's 1,200. I need to go back and check the last time this happened - I think they may have increased that amount and I didn't notice. At any rate, I was about 30 euro short of that last month, which means that I need to pay the 9.90 monthly charges. The current account, you see, is only free if you lodge at least 1,200 per month. This is the second or third time since I left my more-highly-paid job that this has happened. Since ING-DIBA doesn't attach those kind of conditions to their free current account, and offers free withdrawals from all ATMs, regardless of which bank, it just makes sense to switch. Even if I am kind of dreading having to trawl through everything to make sure I notify all of the places that I have direct debits set up with. In the meantime, I set up a savings plan to start investing in my first ETF fund. I'm excited. It's several years since reading something on Fiona's blog led me to Mr. Money Mustache and although my 50 euro a month savings might take quite a while to build up to anything substantial, it's a start. Or it will be, from the middle of April and then every month after that.

Tomorrow, I have to attend an organising meeting for the March for Science before running off to my choir rehearsal. And then all of a sudden it'll be Friday again and the weekend will be here. So, I'm not going to put myself under pressure to achieve anything else other than chilling out and trying to get rid of the rest of this cough. Yep, I'm still actually sick and totally fed up with coughing and sneezing. So a goal of doing nothing for the next few days is entirely appropriate!


Jane said...

I'm glad you had a great time away even though your voice wasn't tiptop! So nice you have some more time off to get back into good health once again.

Anonymous said...

Hope you're feeling better and enjoyed your week off to recuperate. Sounds like a good night out in the Irish bar - I smiled at the framed picture of Barry's tea :)

You've reminded me in the post that I really need to get going on finding a new current account too. At the moment I'm with Postbank for the last few years and they've started charging around €4 a month in fees, which while it isn't a lot, it really irks me that they've changed the rules on what I signed up for. When I was with HASPA (Hamburger Sparkasse) they used to change €6.50 a month and when I was unemployed that was really not a small amount of money for me and I asked if they could give me a simpler / free account. They said no and I moved to Postbank the next time I switched employer. I guess I take the principle of the fees very seriously! LOL!

I think as long as your employer knows the new account details, your landlord, and your utilities companies, everything else will be fine. Sometimes it's just the thoughts of the hassle of it all that stops me doing it. Is that laziness? Now I have a private pension through the Postbank and a kind of Bausparvertrag (although the stipulation in starting it is that I could always carry it with me if I chose to return to Ireland). It seems like a lot of hassle, so I'm dragging my heels.

Moonwaves said...

I think what's making me hesitate is not being sure exactly what companies I have direct debits with. It seems ridiculous that I don't have a list but there you have it. I have two annual bills that I've received recently, for example, but the direct debits won't go out for a month or more. And my "old" account was down on my tax return. It's just all such a minefield somehow. So far, I have to admit, I'm happy with ING-DIBA. It all seems very straightforward. And because I've been paying more attention than usual, I've realised that the Tagesgeld accounts I have with Commerzbank don't actually even earn any interest any more. I use them to save for annual expenses so there's never a huge amount of money in them really but I hadn't noticed that the interest rates had been dropping over the last few years so that it's now officially 0%!!! ING-DIBA only has a fraction more but at least it's not zero.