Money matters

I spent an hour at the bank this morning. I am now officially skint. I had to open a very specific bank account, a Mietkautionskonto, into which I paid the deposit for my flat. The point in this account is that it belongs to me but I am not allowed to take any money out of it. The owner of the flat is allowed to take money out of it, to repair any damage I cause to the flat, for example. I could just have given the money to the housing association directly, but the advantages of doing it this way are a) I am informed if she requests to take money from the account, so she can’t spend any without me knowing why and b) I get to keep any interest that is earned on the money. Good stuff – if anyone out there ever plans to live in Germany you might want to make a note of it. But of course I couldn’t just open the account. In order to get the keys for my flat I have to prove that the deposit is actually in the account. So I handed over all the money that I had taken from my English bank account plus an extra 50 that Jan lent me. Then, having borrowed another hundred euros from Jan to pay into my normal account, I headed to the other bit of the bank, where the machines are, and transferred the rent for March to the housing association’s bank account. So I now have a total of 70 euros left in my German account. I just hope my wages go in before the student residence takes the rent for March out…

And now, having taken today off to sort out flat stuff, I’m going to have to arrange to leave work early one day next week so I can go back to the bank. You see, before the account with my deposit in can be opened properly I have to get some forms signed by my landlady then bring said forms back so that the bank can countersign them. And of course the bank closes before I get home from work every single day (and isn’t open on Saturdays – what’s that all about?). And since the only appointments you can make to see someone at the bank are for a whole hour (even if you only need 10 minutes!) I’m going to have to leave work about an hour early. Provided I manage to get an appointment on Monday or Thursday, when the bank is open til 6pm. The rest of the week they close at 4pm. I’m sure work are going to be really impressed with me…

So I have a flat…

That’s the good news. I signed the contract on Saturday. No going back now.
The bad news is I have to pay the deposit on Thursday, when I go to pick up the key. This is bad because the deposit is 3 months rent, or in other words almost all of my wages. I could manage it though, just about, if I actually had my wages. Unfortunately they don’t go in until the beginning of next week. So I’m resorting to plan B, which involves taking the cash from my English bank account. Yes, that would be the bank account that is already in the minuses and which no longer comes with an interest free overdraft because it’s been too long since I graduated. Not exactly the ideal solution, but the only one I have. Unless some rich relative decides to die in the next 2 days and leave me lots of money. Preferably lots of money that I can have immediately. Hmm, maybe that idea is slightly unrealistic…