I was listening yesterday to the BBC’s morning phone-in and they were talking about debts and especially how people have got into trouble over Christmas.
If I look at my finances over the last year, they have improved somewhat and I felt that although I’m living on my savings until my house is sold, I’ve probably got almost a year more before my avings run out, than when I moved here in December 2010.
So what major savings have I made.
The first is the the television, phones and broadband. I like Sky Sports, and the big saving is that I can’t have an obvious dish here, as it’s a Conservation Area. Although, I could probably hide one on the roof! I did try Virgin by cable to get Sky Sports 1 and 2. Now I’ve switched to BT Vision with of course Freeview. I now pay about £50 a month to get phone calls, broadband and Sky Sports 1 and 2.
I don’t seem to miss out on watching anything I want to, but the saving is a thousand on Virgin Media and a couple of thousand compared to Sky.
Note that I only rarely watch films on television and generally stick to the four BBC channels, the two Sky Sports channels and radio.
The biggest saving is not having a car. I don’t miss it one bit, although perhaps it would have helped on Christmas Day to get to my son’s. But with the amount of money I save, I can afford the occasional black cab or mini-cab.
Getting rid of the car has other benefits too in addition to the obvious financial and logistical ones.
You walk a lot more, which is obviously good for you. I always walk with my eyes open too and I see things in shop windows that I might like to buy to improve my lifestyle or things that are just interesting in the street.
Walking is a real joy in a city and in no way inferior to walking in the country. In fact, I think it is more thought-provoking.
So how many people with serious debt problems have still got the expensive television, the full Sky and an expensive car?