Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Matters Financial

To help with cultural assimilation I am trying to gradually adopt Swiss attitudes and behaviours. This week I am beginning my Swissness financial training. Specifically, this so far involves:

  • Learn not to tip. Service is included and waiters are well paid. This feels a bit mean to me, the accepted compromise approach is to round things up a bit. Extra Swiss-points are available for grumbling about the bill and look mildly put out at having to pay it at all.
  • Don't pay the full price for any kind of public transport. There will be a railcard or a special deal for everything (and they are generally fantastic value). 
  • Use price comparison websites for everything. I have downloaded an iPhone app which tracks the price of groceries and alerts me, the savvy shopper, to the best deals in my local supermarkets.
  • Buy in bulk. Especially for household products like washing powder. Swiss people must have enormous utility rooms.
  • Never pay for anything in advance. In general, invoices have 30 days payment terms and consumers are trusted with credit a lot more readily than at home.

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