Going To Work Costs Money

Going To Work Costs Money Have you ever sat down and figured out how much it costs you to go to work? Figures from the UKs Office Of National Statistics have recently compared prices on 8 of the UKs most popular commuter routes and come up with average costs for people travelling by Train or by Car. The average annual train season ticket across all eight commuter routes comes to £2,440, or 16p per mile (25.6cents). If you are paying monthly instead of annually, this brings this up to £2,808, or 18p per mile (28.8cents). In comparison a typical Ford Focus driver would pay £4,791.50 a year, or 31p per mile. This includes all the costs of running a car such as fuel, tax, insurance, … [Read more...]

My Favorite Time Of Year

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I call it Autumn. You might call it fall. I don't care its my favourite time of year. The sun was shining this morning so I took our little one for a push in his stroller while his mum had a well deserved lie in. This was my reward for an early start. A pound of Ceps, Porcini - I call them King Of The Mushrooms. And they tasted divine........ These little guys sell for £28 or $40 a pound - so it was a very rewarding morning. The forest behind our home is an amazing larder of free food at this time of the year. Sweet Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Apples, Sloes, Damsons and best of all about a dozen varieties of edible fungus. We even get the magic ones earlier in the summer on … [Read more...]

Inflation The Silent Thief

Inflation The Silent Thief

Inflation The Silent Thief I'm very pleased to share 2 items of news with you today. The first is that I have opened a savings account. Not a big deal for most people – but for me its the first account that I've ever opened that doesn't come with a card or cheque book. The second bit of new is that I've made a little extra money this month which I can allocate to my emergency fund. So I now have an emergency fund worth £1000 (or $1600). So what, small stuff - some of you might say. But for me it’s another important little step in changing the direction in which my life is going. Even though I've had much larger amounts than this in my accounts nearly every month over the years, … [Read more...]

Getting Organised

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I think I'm having trouble getting organised. Trying to juggle running a business, a family, a blog,  a side hustle and a very active social life has left me feeling rather frazzled recently. I'm beginning to question if I'm doing any of them particularly well?  If spreading my attention in too many areas means that I'm only skimming the surface in each? Lots of projects - lots of  sticky notes and reminders, a cluttered workspace - and a rotten short term memory.  None of this is helping me progress and I think its about time, that getting organised has to become one of my immediate priorities. Most importantly, am I giving my business clients a good value for money service? … [Read more...]

My Frugal Friends


My Frugal Friends As well has having a frugal ride - I also have three very special frugal friends. Their names are Fryer, Roaster and Zinger. The lady below is called Fryer and she is the boss. We bought them as hatching eggs from Ebay - popped them into a polystyrene incubator and 3 weeks later had fluffy new arrivals. Our house in the suburbs of Manchester has a great big back garden (though you can keep chickens in a much smaller yard without them being stressed by confinement). So we let them free range as much as possible. The chickens love roaming the garden each day, picking out all the pests from the garden, bathing in their favourite dirt bowls, and generally running … [Read more...]

Does Socialism Prevent People From Saving ?


Does Socialism Prevent People From Saving? Yesterdays post about 1 in 5 people never being able to fully retire because they have made insufficient savings got me thinking. The bank survey (HSBC) which I read stated that out of all the 17 countries included in its survey the USA has the highest levels of pension savings with most people having saved 14 years worth of income for when they retire. It also said that the UK had the lowest levels of pension savings out of any country in the survey. It got me thinking - why people in the UK the country which first introduced a pension system in 1908 save so little in comparison to others? Does Socialism Prevent People From Saving ? After … [Read more...]

Work Till You Drop

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Do You Want To Work Till You Drop ? At what age do would you like to ease off the throttle, kick back and start enjoying life ? Do you want to be one of those old people helping out in a supermarket when you should be enjoying your old age instead ? Most people have an idealised dream that they'd love to stop work at around age 55 while they're relatively young fit and healthy. Giving them the opportunity to enjoy life while they're still young enough to get the most out of it. The sad reality is that the majority of people won't retire at 55. They won't have saved enough in their retirement funds to be able to kick back at such a young age (unless they're one of the few who have … [Read more...]

Old Habits Die Hard

Old Habits Die Hard I’m finding out that its not easy to create new habits and I've wondered if I’m trying to change too many aspects of my life all at once. There is a adage – “old habits die hard” and I’m currently finding this to be very true. In a perfect world – I know exactly what it is that I need to be doing. Spending less, saving more, writing down my spending, earning more, starting an income on the side etc. But I’m not finding it easy to reverse the bad habits which have become ingrained in my psyche over the last 40 years of spending without thinking. Is it better to have a complete live overhaul – draw a line under things and make a massive change to your lifestyle? … [Read more...]

Saving For University Or College Fees


Saving for university or college fees is a phrase that brings on a cold chill which runs through the veins of most parents. I've just figured out that the cost of my eldest son going to university is in the region of £43,000 or $70,000 Here in the UK, it wasn't an issue which concerned us until 1998 when a "socialist" government led by Tony Blair introduced tuition fees of £1,000 per year. These fees increased again in 2004 to £3,000 per year, and in 2012 rose again to £9,000 per year. Due to my domestic and financial circumstances saving for my eldest sons University costs have never been an option, and I intend to help him fund his way through University by making him an employee of my … [Read more...]

Something I Look Forwards To

I've been running my own business now for the last 3 and a half years. From a very slow start things have been picking up pace to the point where I cover my costs and can afford to pay myself a small income. Happy days. As time goes on, I'm slowly picking up a bigger client base - some of whom I really like and respect - and a couple of clients who make me cringe whenever I see their number on my caller display. I read a great blog post this morning, from a London based PR company Have a read of this...... "Here at the UK’s best PR agency, Just In Time PR, we’re very fussy about the clients we work with. We believe life is too short to spend time with people you can’t stand. So … [Read more...]