What is getting annoying during last few years is the Co-Installations a lot of (typically free) software uses. I’m am in particulary annoyed when it is opt-out instllation so if you just click through in default install you get software installed and if software which is installed has little to do with software being installed.
It is my expectation as a “user” the vendor has picked the default installation options to really provide configuration what most user wants and getting in some junk in there hurts my trust to the vendor.
One very annoying example I have to deal with comes from Sun Java. If you install Java it will trypically check for updates automatically and suggest you to install them. When you install updates it will try to sneek in Yahoo Toolbar Each time ! With updates every couple of months it is only matter of time when somebody like me forgets to uncheck the checkbox and get the unwanted crap installed. I surely did it more than once and had to clean it up with uninstall.
This stratregy probably works well recruiting Yahoo Toolbar users and may pay off in terms of number of users to Yahoo and Sun. Many computer users probably would not notice and would not mind – and I guess this is what the marketing in this case count for. Some other people (like me) get annoyed and loose their trust to Yahoo for getting in such spammy software distribution tactics and Sun for making it possible.
Back in Russia we saw little difference in the expenses and spending the cash in personal finance. Life was simple you buy something and you have expense – same thing. It was very interesting for me to learn in my life in the states this is not the same thing. It is very easy here to get an expense such as buying the car spending very little cash but having liabilities instead. If you count car as an asset you would see after your initial purchase only interest payments and depreciation are “expenses” while you may have a lot of cash flowing out paying principle.
With Credit cards another interesting thing happens – because you get about 1 month of interest free credit (if you pay your ballance in full) you have about 1 month lag between expenses and cash flow. If you spend a lot on a credit card one month it will affect your cash flow on the next month.
With income things may not be as straight as well. There is something called “Flexible Benefits” which can be used for child care or medical expenses which is seen as an income but does not directly become available cash in your bank account – you have to incurr expenses and apply for reimbursement to get true cash out of that.
These things get personal expenses much more complicated (though on the positive side they teach you bunch of concept you would need for business finance anyway). Because of these things I have been left more than once I felt somethat confused about financials – the change in the bank account for the month may not really match the expenses you had during it.