Friday, August 12, 2011

Passing Words

Independence Day is around the corner now, and no, this is not another blog on patriotism, which some of my blogger friends have covered very nicely indeed. Right now I wish I could be completely dependent on someone dependable to just memorize some stuff for me.

It was way back in 2000, that I opened my first Yahoo account.  That was my first ever account in anything and I loved it.  I coined a simple id and a really easy password quickly and used it happily for two years.  And then, I also got a bank account with an ATM card, my second ever account.  Well, these were the only two accounts for I ever had to remember anything and this happy state of affairs continued right through my college and then I landed my first job and boom!

I had a new bank account opened- a new password for debit card, net banking had three passwords, the demat account had one more password, gmail caught up with me, my office assigned a new email to me and a separate login account for its intranet, I opened a demat account, my dad sent me his internet banking account credentials to manage, I got a couple of credit cards from different companies with separate login credentials! I don’t want to even start on the other string of my online accounts on facebook, twitter, Netflix, iphone, apple, itunes, indiblogger, various  random sites such as shutterfly, retail stores –Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s where I had accounts and so on and so forth.  Each account that I opened told me that I should not write down my password anywhere lest it fall into wrong hands.  I tried memorizing and using those password remembering devices that locked with another password. I really tried.

But well, security is all important of course. One has to keep updating those dastardly things at different frequencies of a month, quarter or in a year.  The brainwave of writing them down and stowing them into a locker with a real key which I don’t have to remember (unless it’s a combination lock!) didn’t work for me since I forgot to update that hallowed sheet!  Still, security is what is key for various accounts of different levels of importance and hence the different requirements – no caps, no small caps, mandatory special symbols, spaces, my name should not be in the id or password, date of birth is not allowed either in either, no consecutive letters, no consecutive numbers, it cannot be simple, it has gotta be a jumble of preferably some indecipherable non word which is atleast 10 characters long!  To remember passwords using the blessed link ‘Forgot Password?’ one has to remember answers to weird questions.  I was given the idea of putting the same answer for all, sadly the same answers were not accepted either! And the buck didn’t stop there. Now it’s the ids that make  me miserable  with new accounts demanding new jumbles of my name as my id since there was no availability of even a pathetic mix backwards and forwards of my first, middle, last name and date of birth  (maybe I made that id and forgot the id and password!).

At this point in time, I am pretty much living on my credit card which I had fortunately linked to my bank account to be debited automatically. Since I have pretty much forgotten all my debit card pin numbers, and the banks have already reissued me new cards thrice, I am too sheepish to ask for more and for fear that they will freeze my account due to suspicious activity! My bank account online has locked on me after entering the incorrect password 5 times and I cannot reactivate it as it requires my atm pin which I have forgotten and reactivating the atm card with a new pin requires atleast the phone ‘TIN’ whatever that is!  I am in trouble! I hope now, the sabziwallahs in Mumbai accept credit cards soon or I will have to turn to my friends and family for cash (I know that’s a good excuse, right?) or sell jewellery for cash! Now I can only pray that my credit card bill has been paid for and my salary continues to drop into my account. God help me!

Monday, August 08, 2011

It's raining Discounts!

SALE!, Discounts, Deals, Going out of Business, All Things Must GO!, 50-80% off, Clearance, Special Offer!  These are indeed magic words. Magic for the retailers and magic for the buyers.  They mean only one thing…’SPEND!’ 

I needed that ultra colorful now ugly winter scarf I bought after winter which I wore only the day I bought it.  Groupon is so cool too.  I really did need to indulge myself on a New York cruise for $50 on a cold biting day.  Well, no, I didn’t need it, but it was cheap!  I also spent more getting to a salon across town since I bought the ‘deal’ on Living Social. 

I need to buy a new wallet now.  I am waiting for the season end sale to start.  My old purse does not fit in my all my discount cards from Macys, JC Penny, Kohls, Target, Shoprite, Airlines, Hotels and also need to have space for all the mailer coupons they keep sending.  Hopefully, I will buy something at Macy’s season end sale (spring/fall/summer/winter), there is also a Macy’s sale during Christmas, Thanksgiving, July 4, Labor day, Black Friday, New Year or the Biggest two day sales all year. Well, no dearth of sales.  I am sure I can get a deal!  Jewelry anyone?  These wonderful sales include diamonds.  We got 70% off on one I bought.  70%! Really. They do have excellent margins and do make money by selling high value fine jewelry at throwaway prices.  I should probably check and see if I can buy gold for half the high price these days back home.  I don’t need to invest in the stock market then maybe.  The returns if I sell the discounted gold will be phenomenal no?

Drat these discounts!  I am running out of space in my cabinets with all these coupons, mailers, cards, tired of deleting and clearing my bombarded email accounts and wasting my time on searching for these deals. Are they really kidding me by selling everything for half the prices and still staying afloat! I have to be on constant alert to not default on the payment of bills in those million accounts. If I do miss out, which I do sometimes, I end up paying more than what I would save which is sad.  And I absolutely do not revel in standing in harrowing queues at fitting rooms which are usually inundated during a blowout sale. There is also plenty of chaos and everything is dumped higgledy-piggledy on hangers, floors, dumpsters.  What happened to the fun of shopping in peace?

How I wish, there were no more sales, coupons, rebates etc.  That everything was fairly priced for all and I wouldn’t have to waste my time finding these wonderful deals.  I hate Groupon and Living Social! They make my life more difficult.   

 Money saved is indeed money earned, but if I don’t spend on worthless things at all, perhaps that will be more money earned and more space around me to keep what I do need!