We have Rory aka A Guy Called Bloke to thank for this series.
The Curious Case Of … How Good Are You With Your Money, Money, Money?!!
As l explained in the introduction to this new mini-series – The Curious Case Of … these questions have arisen due to the responses l received on one of the questions in the last game of Fancy A Weekend Quickie?!! which was What are five of the biggest mistakes that people make with their lives in your opinion
This one is right up my street as I pitched in with Job, partner, house, car, expectations of other people.
My Dad told me I could have anything I wanted as long as I saved for it, so in my working life I lived by the rule of thirds: a third of my bring home pay to Mum for my keep, a third into savings, and the rest mad money for everything else.
I am not obsessed with money, just very good at making a little go a long way, asking three pertinent questions before purchasing anything, and used to being on a low income.
When we bought our first house in 1990, we got caught in negative equity, that is having a house worth considerably less than the mortgage on it.
We were both working, and in six years, saved like stink, going without holidays, meals out, and anything more than the basic necessities so were thus able to not only cover the shortfall, but also our legal fees for sale and purchase, plus a deposit on the next property.
When I was made redundant in 2001, I used my final pay packet to halve our mortgage. Shortly afterwards, Hubby also lost his job, so we cashed in our endowment policy, used the remainder of our savings, and cleared our mortgage completely. It left us with about £200 in the bank but was the best thing we ever did.
Living frugally became the norm for us, and still is, which is just as well as we are now retired without a state pension thanks to the government extending retirement age for women in my age group by 6 years, and our health is dodgy so working is not actually on the cards.
Our three questions were
Do I want it.
Do I need it.
Will my life end if I don’t have it.
On the boat due to lack of space and storage, this was modified to
Can I eat it.
Can I wear it.
Where will I put it.
Now they are
Can we repair it.
Do we need it.
Can we afford to run it.
According to the government website, we are, income wise, in severe poverty, which I find very tongue in cheek under our circumstances.
Because we have no debt whatsoever, live within our means, plan ahead and I’m a year ahead of the budget game, we actually probably live better than a lot of people who are working with an income of ten times as much as ours. We meet all our bills in full, eat well, are warm and dry, own a car, and our clothes aren’t designer labels but they’re clean and presentable, like us.
My Dad was right, and although we needed financial help with the bigger things like a house (and a car at one stage) I don’t feel I’ve gone without having saved for it first. In some instances, by the time I had enough, what I wanted either no longer appealed or it was cheaper than I’d seen it and I had some money left over!
So in answer to Rory’s question How Good Are You With Your Money, I’d say I’m pretty damn brilliant!!