When Celebrating A Lucrative Investment I Accidentally Spent Double The Profit

This one time my best mate Scott Newton and I spotted a fantastic Term Deposit rate at the bank.

  • Interest rate: 6%
  • Minimum investment: $600
  • Term: 6 months
  • = Profit: $36!

We could not resist!

We were poor high school students at the time but we scrounged the cash together and we each made our deposits.

We were so proud of ourselves and our sound financial decision making, that we celebrated by spending our $36 profit immediately.

We both bought some clothes and a nice lunch.

6 lean months later we were dismayed to find only $618 back in our accounts!

“Only $18 profit? Surely the bank has made a mistake?! We spent twice that amount to celebrate!” we cried.

But then we realised the error in our calculation. We had forgotten to divide the profit by 2 because of the interest rate being annual, and the term being only 6 months. Oops.

This was a harsh lesson for Scott and he somewhat overcompensated for the mistake by becoming an Accountant and now a Chief Financial Officer.

I Raided Rubbish Bins For Aluminium Cans Because The Comalco Cash-for-Cans Was So Lucrative

This one time my best mate Scott Newton and I raided all the rubbish bins within a 4 block radius of a “Camalco Cash-For-Cans” machine.

The year was 1988 and this “Camalco Cash-For-Cans” vending machine stood outside the BP station at 1275 Amohau Street, Rotorua (the BP station is no longer there).

The principle was simple. You placed a aluminium can into the slot, closed the door, listened to the crushing noice, and then the prize wheel would spin just like on a pokkie’s machine in a Casino.

You could either win:

  1. Nothing
  2. A can of Coke
  3. A Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar
  4. Or a small bag of plain Bluebird chips

But the thing is, we were winning something every 4 cans!

No wonder the machine was in place for only a few months – they must have been losing money hand over fist.

That’s why we spent most of our weekends fishing coke cans and beer cans out of rubbish bins and dumpsters behind bars.

Yes we got dirty, yes we got old beer on our shoes, but we ate like kings!