On Barclays Online Banking Website this morning I found this:
We are truly sorry for what has happened and that you have been let down.
It is our actions now and over the coming months and years that will make the difference.
You are the lifeblood of our business, and we will not allow ourselves to be distracted from what really matters – delivering for you, day in and day out.
My colleagues work tirelessly to do just that. The Board and I thank them for their commitment and for their determination to ensure that customers and clients are at the heart of everything we do.
I also thank you for your business. It is our responsibility to earn the right to retain it.
Reads rather like a grovelling apology to me, and rather pathetic.
They want to keep my business?
To be honest, as a consumer, I’ve had no complains about Barclay’s so far. They’ve provided me with the banking services I need. However, about as loyal as the average bank – give me a better deal elsewhere, and I’ll switch in a heartbeat. Offer me better rates on my savings and investments, and I’m gone. In any case I’ve never believed in putting all my eggs in one basket, so I have savings and pensions money in other places.
Having said that, they’re all a bunch of rogues, and there’s not much to choose between any of them these days.
Probably best just staying where I am.
There are no safe havens in which to put your money any more, he writes. It’s the same on the jobs front too. There are fewer and fewer jobs that can be considered safe any longer. Large corporations and small businesses alike are laying people off, and for the self-employed in many cases it’s getting harder to find work, or at least good enough paying work.
Yes, Mint.com can be frightening reading when you consider Louis’ scenario above. However, all Mint.com is doing is presenting your financial data to you in a way that’s easier to understand at a glance. Pie Charts and graphs abound, and it’s true, that a picture is worth a thousand words. I particularly find the pie charts useful for seeing just where that much money went this month. I often find myself drilling down to click on a category to see just how we did spend that much on a particular category, and it’s surprising how much you can actually save once you’re truly more aware of how much you’re spending on it.
A couple of bucks here and there, doesn’t feel like you’re spending much, but of course it adds up. Most of us can do the math. If, for example you buy 2 lattes five days a week at $3.49 a time, that’s $34.90 a week. No points there for being able to do such a simple calculation. However we rarely think of something like that in those terms, but more like oh, it’s only a few bucks a day, and then trot out an excuse to ourselves (always the hardest person in the world to convince to change, and the easiest one to make believable excuses to).
Look at that pie chart, and you can see how that chunk adds up in a month ($139.60), and in a year (based on 50 weeks – $1745). That information was there all the time, in your bank statements (assuming you use a card to pay), but when it’s presented in a clear graphical form to you, it has much more impact.
Using Mint.com is saving me money, alas not on coffee, as I almost always brew my own each morning!
Tags: bank statements, bringing home, charts and graphs, chunk, excuse, fewer jobs, glance, investments, large corporations, math, mint, much money, pie chart, pie charts, safe havens, small businesses, uncertain terms