The Cost of P500

While reviewing my online transactions for March, I was shocked to see a Php500 deduction from my checking account. A quick call to my bank revealed that my account had gone below the Php25,000 average daily balance (ADB), hence, the Php500 penalty.

The last time I got slapped with a Php500 penalty was when we were on survival mode, making every peso count to pay off wedding related debts, credit card debts and everyday expenses, while waiting for my government salary to arrive. Of course the ADB went below Php25,000 back then and I swore that I would never, ever pay another penalty ever again.

That was more than two years ago and things have been going pretty well, so much so that I have not been as vigilant as I should have been. I've been so lax that I allowed that account to reach as low as Php5,000 several times in a month because it's the one I use to pay bills and draw checks on.

This month, I swore to keep the balance at Php30,000 and above just to pull up the ADB and it has pretty much screwed up my system. Where before I would pay bills without a thought to the ADB, now, I have to wait for my next salary or bonus before I can pay bills, just so I can maintain my Php30,000 account balance goal.

I know it's pretty extreme to be doing all this to avoid a Php500 charge, but it has painfully revealed to me how much I still need to tweak our personal finances. My officemates spend a good portion of their day wondering about when the next bonus will come, or counting the days until we receive our salary, and I always thought that that was a sad way to live your life. Now here I am doing the same thing. 

However, my dilemma is fairly artificial because I do have an emergency fund to dip into and investments that I can liquidate to save my ass if needed, so I can't really say that I'm totally dependent on my government salary. But the masochist in me refuses to press the proverbial escape button, telling me to fix this mess by myself, without dipping into our investments.

So now I'm drawing upon prior experience that PLDT, Globe and our cable provider do not charge late fees, that PAG-IBIG charges a minimum fee for delayed payments, while missing a Meralco payment means disconnection of services. In short, I am prioritizing what bills need to be paid, while ensuring that my account is sufficiently funded for past issued checks. And while doing all this, I find myself singing: "Ibigay niyo na....ang aming MID YEAR bonus!"


i'm singing with you. haha.
Jillsabs said…
LSS mo na yan!:p
Carlos said…
Haha! You're not alone, I obsess over ADBs too.

We use a joint ATM to pay for groceries and stuff. I always check if it goes below 3K. And I make sure to quickly fund it when my salary arrives - to pull up the average too. :D

Maybe switch to a checking account with a lower ADB? I think Metrobank's is 10K, but i'm not really sure about that or what the other banks' rates are.

...I really hate fees. I even walk to find my bank's ATM. the thought of paying ~10 pesos to get my own money just makes my blood boil. That's why I obsess over late fees, ADBs, and other penalties.
Jillsabs said…
Metrobank's ADB is 25k :(

I really should move to another checking account with a lower ADB, but I'm so used to my Metrobank online banking feature that it will take quite a bit of mental shift to make the change.

I think I'll just view this as a challenge, ensuring that I maintain the 25k ADB at all times.
Claudine said…

I really hate fees as well. The withholding tax is also a pain. Buti dito sa China tinanggal na ang tax.


Do you really need a checking account? Maybe you should opt to switch to a savings account and enroll all the vendors you need to pay for online transfer?? :)
Jillsabs said…
My checking account also functions as my revolving fund for bills etc. so that I only have to monitor one account.

Unfortunately, I do need a checking account for parking rental and other adult obligations :(

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