Wednesday, 16 May 2018

And Then It All Went Splat

Or Crack! or Krak!! or Kapotski!!!
My laptop's screen decided to retire last Friday, getting darker and darker till I could only make anything out if the room was pitch dark. And 150 Euros to repair it, bearing in mind the fact that I bought it in 2013, made replacing it seem almost a bargain. Almost.

The Dutch pension system kindly keeps a small part of each monthly pension payment to one side for us and pays this out every May as Holiday Money. Everyone's used to this Big Brother arrangement, since employers have always done it as well and they add a bit extra so, depending on your salary, it can be quite a respectable amount. Involuntary, but painless saving.

So, you say, everyone in Holland goes on lovely, extravagant holidays to the Azores or Mexico? … well no. Everyone in Holland dusts off the family tent, climbs into the family car if they have one or a bus if they don't and drives to a French campsite, preferably one near the border. Or they stay at home.

Why doesn't everyone splurge? Simple. The holiday money is always paid out in May. Everything, including my old laptop, knows this and waits till May to expire. On the rare occasions that one's white goods can totter on another year then the sofa springs will all go boing! and poke out through the upholstery, someone will spill chocolate milk over the carpet and the curtain rod will detach itself from the wall.

There is junk mail thundering through every letter box in the land, offering bargains galore in everything from fridges to trampolines. I think the yearly Holiday Money could be renamed the Personal Kapotski Fund. Or, in my case this year, the New Laptop Payment and a dash to England to see daughters and grandsons on the leftovers.      


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I think buying a new laptop is great use of your Holiday Money -- after all, the Internet opens up the WHOLE WORLD to you! Enjoy England too. Hope it's not rainy when you go.

materfamilias said...

Marginally better than having to use your Holiday Money to repair or replace a fridge, at least. . . I hope there are a few enticing bells and whistles on your new laptop to make the Learning Curve fun. And thank you for that interesting explanation of Holland's enforced savings plan.

Joanne Noragon said...

Just purchased new electronics myself. Taking some getting used to, I'll tell you.

gz said...

I need a new laptop....hope mine doesn't get ideas from yours..

Liz Hinds said...

That is rather a splendid idea. Saving without the stress.

Jenny Woolf said...

I am sure that there is some rule that ensures we never have quite enough money for what we would like to do! I certainly have found that when looking at properties. I am not in the market for one, but like to look idly through properties for sale imagining what I'd buy if I were to sell up. I find I am always just a small but significant bit too poor to get what I would really like. (No idea what happens to all the places I yearned for when I was young and had a cheaper property to sell.)

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