New Zealand – Update from Paradise

Moment of awesome

Ever heard about this Dutch guy, who prepared a Mexican Fiesta in New Zealand satisfying the hunger of some Australians? Nothing beats introducing people to new cultures, even if they are not your own. Seven weeks in San Francisco have made me crave Mexican food more than I could ever imagine. After spotting a cart on the side of the road that sold organic avocados I couldn’t help but get two bags. I could just see myself scooping my nachos in a mountain of guac, licking the bowl clean as to not waste a single calorie of the green gold. For days I closely watched the avocados ripe, waiting for the perfect moment to whack them open. When finally, on Friday 13 January 2017, Opoutere witnessed a Mexican fiesta that made the people go loco! The celebration was kicked of by a family picture featuring one perfectly executed set of bunny ears. As the Spanish would say, we were living the vida loca! IT WAS AWESOME!

Read more about this week’s adventures. Read More

Earth porn

Sunrise over Opoutere bay.

Food for the hungry soul

Article: Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think

Super interesting and hysterical read on why we care so much about others’ opinions, how to stop caring about it, and finding your Authentic voice. The authors or this blog (“Wait, but why“) dig into everyday problems and shine light on worldly issues. I love this site and if you like my site, I’m sure you will too.

A word of wisdom

Good ideas are always crazy until they’re not.

– Larry Page (one of Google’s founders)

Dash for cash – Bank charges

You have been reading this website for some time and you are a good little saver. High five! As a reward for your newly adopted money-saving habits, here is a good little life hack to save some cash right now: waiving your bank charges.

Most people think there is no way you can negotiate your bank charges. For a long time I thought similarly, until I stumbled upon Ramit Sethi. He mentioned that with one easy call you can waive bank charges, credit card fees, or even negotiate credit card debt. I thought I’d give it a try and here I was 5 minutes later enjoying my free lunch! I’m not paying any bank charges this year.

How did I do it?

The script you use for this is pretty simple. It goes as follows:

“Hi, how are you? My name is Vince and I have been a loyal customer of your bank for a few years now. The other day I stumbled upon an ad of another bank that offers to waive one year of bank charges. I’ve been with you [your current bank] for a few years now and really enjoy the relationship. However, times are tough and I would hate to leave for a simple money issue. I was wondering if you could waive my bank charges for this year?”

Let’s analyze this script. First, I mention I have been a loyal customer for a few years (which is true). I haven’t had any debt and have a good payment record. All in all, I’m a good customer for the bank. They don’t want to let me go. Next, I mention that I would like to stay with my current bank but that the bank charges might be a reason for me to do my banking elsewhere. Remember: times are tough (and they are!). I then mention that I would hate to go for a simple money issue, indicating I don’t really want to leave. Finally, I ask if the person on the other side of the line can help me. Who doesn’t want to help, right? It’s important to formulate this question well. Avoid making it a yes or no question, as the answer will often be ‘no’.

When I called up my bank with this script, I was surprised how easy it was to get my bank charges refunded. They simply said, “ok, we will deposit your bank charges for the year right now”. A few minutes later, I had 40 EUR deposited in my bank account. Quickest money I ever made. Why would a bank be so easy about this? It’s because they want to keep you as a customer. Acquiring new customers costs them hundreds, if not thousands, bucks per customer. Do you think they will let you leave for a mere 40 EUR? (If you’re having trouble answering this rhetorical question, the answer is ‘no’).

Sweet, I love me some free lunches. Can I get more?

Loving the abundance mindset! I’m sure there are customer service reps that are not as easy as the one I ambushed. Don’t let this demotivate you. Just try again with one of his/her colleagues later that day. If that still doesn’t work, try a few days later. Eventually you will manage to get your money that will inspire you to lower your insurance payments, gym membership, and all sorts of other services you are overpaying for. There you have it, your stairway to penny-pinching heaven. HAPPY SAVING!

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2 thoughts on “New Zealand – Update from Paradise

  1. Hi Vincent,

    Looks like you’re having an amazing time. I enjoy the reading your blog posts. More pictures though, please!

    BTW …. Andy and Steph are getting married the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving this year. It will be in Jamaica. May you should put that on your itinerary.

    Be safe and take care.
    Your mother from the states.

    1. admin

      Thank you for the invitation. I’ll see if I can work it into my plans. Jamaica sounds amazing!
      Thanks for your message and the compliments, always fun to read. I’ve put in some more pictures this time, last week was indeed a bit low on graphic satisfaction 🙂

      Talk soon,

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