I thought it was a bad habit of the year 2014 but going to the shops in the new year I found the bad habit of the last year was carried over to the new. Going to a shop or filling up the car with petrol, which is now so much cheaper, one is confronted with the question, “Do you want a docket?’
What do those people think? Of course I want a docket. If I go to a number of shops I won’t remember how much I spent in each of them. I must know where and how I spend my money. After all, Mr Morrison, our new Minister for Social Services, keeps reminding me, it is taxpayer’s money I’m spending. One day he might turn up at my door and wants to know how I spend my welfare Dollar.
I write everything into a copy book, I’m keeping, for the purpose of proof, that I am not a spend-drift. When I get this silly question I always half apologise with the remark, that I’m forgetful. How would I know, without a docket, what I spent $17.80 on in one shop and $7.35 at the bakery? The way I budget, separate amounts on one docket will be deducted from different accounts. I know people treat their wallet as one account only. Not me! My wallet is only a temporary money container for many accounts. When I get home the different amounts are all being split up and everything has to be reconciled.
Before the advent of the PC I kept a journal, but now I keep a spreadsheet for that very purpose. My sister, sixty years ago kept a dozen or so envelops with different amounts of money in it. I keep my money in the bank and calculate all my transactions with the computer. If all balances at the end of the fortnight I’m happy as Larry. If not? Well, I’m not happy.
Not long ago a freshman just out of the Harvard School of Business had a brain wave. He actually calculated the cost of a printed docket and came up with the full cost of it. It could be a micro amount in dollar terms, but he multiplied this by the billions of transactions every year and , “Eureka”, he found that Millions could be saved in paper and ink. It would add to the profit of the trading companies. He sold this idea to the same ones and is now enjoying an easy life, no doubt, in the Bahamas,
The problem for us poor pensioners is to remember how much money we spent. Without the docket, I would be up the creek without a paddle, so to speak.