February 10, 2004

Ants Rule at Start of New Year

It's early into a new year, so I sit and glumly stare at the bare-to-the-bone balances in our bank accounts, bled white by the twin spectres of registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and annual mortgage pre-payments.

You see, I've always been a grasshopper, while my wife is firmly, nay, fiercely, in the ant family.

Of course you know the story: The ant works hard all summer building a house and caching supplies for winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs, dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper, with no food or shelter, dies out in the cold.

Near eleven years of marriage have changed my thinking, but I still find the first few months of each year difficult. RRSP limits must be filled by the end of February to take advantage of tax breaks, and the sooner in the year that one can make one's annual mortgage lump-sum principal pre-payment, the more interest one saves.

I know all this coerced saving will do me great good when I'm too old to enjoy it, but jeez, I haven't bought a new computer in nearly three years! What about that new 8-megapixel Nikon digital camera that was just released? Toys, toys, TOYS! I'm becoming depraved, er, I mean, deprived....

The one thing that keeps me sane is Net Worth. Banks like Net Worth.

I must admit that it is nice to see Net Worth growing. Slowly.

I must also admit that with all our cash gone to RRSPs and the mortgage principal pre-payment, Net Worth will continue to grow, unlike if that cash had remained accessible to my flighty fingers.

Kudos to my lovely wife, who signed us up for life insurance on the day of our civil (near no-cost) marriage :-), and who has stuck with me ever since.

You're my rock....

Posted by Paul at February 10, 2004 09:09 PM

I had the surprise of my life when, recently, my wife Tomoko and I went back to Japan. One of her goals was to gather and combine her assorted insurances, postal savings, various Sony plans and pensions.

After spending the better part of two days traveling between Tokyo, Sagamihara and Yokohama (I was assigned to carrying bags of cash!), we finally gathered at the local Kichijoji CitiBank.

I placed the bags of cash onto the counter and went to sit and talk with Mom who came with us(for Hanko reasons).

Tomoko suddenly looked in my direction, smiled and rolled her eyes (I had taught her the roll but she was not yet very good).

When she was finished, she came up to me and whipered in my ear the amount of money she had just deposited. It made my day! I bought dinner that night. Japanese women know how to save.

Posted by: Michael Busha at February 12, 2004 05:18 PM