Servicing my Fiat Panda

Being Frugal – Servicing your car & fixing your car

Long time readers of my blog will know that I’ve been on a mission to save money & generally live a more frugal life. For a while life became very extravagant & very expensive. I’ve only just managed to correct a lot of the financial mistakes made during a foolish & stressful part of my life & I’m always looking at ways to save money.

A little over 3 years ago my beloved Land Rover developed a gearbox fault. It cost a lot of money to have repaired & the repair failed, so I ended up selling it for next to nothing. I then bought a sporty Mini Cooper S which cost me a fortune & after 6 months I sold it to buy a Mercedes estate. This cost even more money to run & maintain and after less than 18 months of owning 3 separate cars I was at a point that I could no longer afford to run a car (silly financial decisions & lots of expensive repairs). It was at this point we sold the Mercedes & used the money to start paying off debt. This would be the beginning of paying off almost ยฃ20k in unsecured debts. Read More....

Downsizing my cars

Downsizing & life changing – Update

It’s been a while since I last did a downsizing post. I think it could be as long as a year since I did any kind of update. So here is a little recap. A little over a year ago I was living with my wife in a 4 bedroom town house with aย  garage and all the trimmings. I was driving around in a lovely Mercedes-Benz C230 estate. We had more space than we could ever use & a car which felt far too flashy. The events that lead to this point essentially boil down to a major family trauma & long recovery (which is still ongoing). It was a very stressful time & made us both act out of character. Read More....

A Year Without Spending – Day 31-41 – Ten Days off from the blog, much to report.

Well like I say, it’s been 10 whole days since my last post on here. I’ve had loads of stuff to do over the past few weeks which has included saving heavily for our Landrover (we got rid of our spanking new car at the beginning of the year in favour of getting a quality used car). This was for two reasons, firstly the new car thing just wasn’t us, whilst we had no trouble with it, and it was great to drive, it just didn’t suit us, and the depreciation was becoming sickening. Secondly, we are planning on travelling around Scotland this summer, and we need something a little more rugged than a VW, so the Land Rover it is. The not spending has allowed us to put a lot of money aside for the Land Rover and it will be great to buy it eventually (note at the start of this thing I Stated that we would buy a car this year, and it was exempt from the experiment). Read More....

A Year Without Spending – Day 28-30 – Liverpool trip & Podcasts

Thursday saw us taking a train to Liverpool to see some ‘capital of culture’ culture. When we lived in St Helens when I was younger and more handsome we would take the train to Liverpool all the time, but since moving to Scotland & Manchester for the better part of 7 years Liverpool fell out of favour with our more ‘Cosmopolitan’ tastes in cities. Vicki & I both remarked on the train that it must be 6 years since we took the train to liverpool, which is a long time for someone who used to spend every day in the city. Read More....

A Year Without Spending – Day 21-24 – Old Friends & No Spending on anything but food

Now that I'm 100% healthy again, the spending on medicine has stopped, and fingers crossed I'll stay healthy for the rest of the year as I'm rarely ill. This leaves my only expenses as food & drink, Housing costs and utility bills. These things alone seem to cost a fortune, but the not spending (which has rubbed off on Vicki, although not to the extent I'm cutting back) seems to be having a positive effect on my outlook on life, my stress levels and ultimately my bank balance! I'm managing to pay a lot extra off my Credit Cards which is great, and I hope to have the wretched things paid off by the summer.

A Year Without Spending – Day 20 – Free Magazines thanks to a good friend!

Mini Magazine & Mini World - Kindly Donated by a friend
Mini Magazine & Mini World - Kindly Donated by a friend

Today’s entry is a thank you to my friend Steven Almond as much as an update on the no spending front. Ste had been trying to sell these Mini magazine online, and when the buyer didn’t pay for the items he kindly drove them to my house and donated them to me. This has been a real life saver, as there are around 40 magazines of varying age from the Mini Magazine & Mini World varieties. I love Mini’s and always have. I’ve owned three of them, a 1275GT Clubman that competed in Lombard rallies, and 850cc Mini auto which was really cute, and a de-seamed & modified Mini 1000. The reading material donated will satisfy my Magazine lust for at least the next year if I limit myself to a new magazine from the pile each week. Read More....

A Year Without Spending – Day 17/18/19 – Still not spending & trying to entertain

Well today brings much of the same, got quite a lot of things to get done. Unfortunately we both rediscovered Twitter and have since become addicted. I use the twitterific app on the iPhone and Vicki normally has her laptop glued to her in the evening. I'm following some of my favourite people including Robert Llewellyn, Jonathan Ross & Rik Mayall. Russell brand also started following me last night so there goes the neighbourhood ๐Ÿ™‚

A Year Without Spending – Day 16 – God Damn Consumer Electronics

Remote Control Woes
Remote Control Woes

Well today it happened. The crap consumer stuff I buy finally decided it was time I owned a new DVD player for the office. This really is the most stupid device I’ve ever come across. It was a cheap ยฃ10 DVD player from Asda that I bought a few years ago for the sole use of watching DVD’s in the office. It has been used for around 30 DVD’s in that time, as I often watch movies on the big HDTV in the living room. So today I come to watch the last few episodes of Red Dwarf series 6, and god damn, the remote control has died. Read More....

A Year Without Spending – Day 14/15 – Feeling Better & Still not spending

I'd love to say the not spending is getting to me, and making me angry and full of angst but it really isnt. the only thing I do miss is popping into town for a browse, but staying away from the town is the best way of avoiding temptation. I'm still trying to source a camera to do the year without spending podcast for the site, but it's prooving harder than I thought. I need a minidv camera on loan from anyone, if anyone has one they don't use please do let me know.

A Year Without Spending – Day 13 – Almost Human

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Epson Recycling stuff arrived in the post
Epson Recycling stuff arrived in the post

Finally back to writing the blog, after what feels like a lifetime of sneezing and moaning and groaning. Things got so bad yesterday with the fever & temperature that I found myself in hospital (well the walk in centre) for an emergency appointment to find out what was kicking my ass. Apparently, after a pee test and various temperature measurements, it was decided that I’m suffering from a viral infection which cannot be treated directly. The order of the day is to stop myself overheating by keeping the layers of clothing off, and to take piles of paracetamol and ibuprofen to try and control the fever and aches. I must admit I feel a lot better than I did 24 hours ago. Read More....

A Year Without Spending – Day 10 & 11 – Illness

Hi Guys. Just a super quick post to let you know why i didn't post yesterday or today. I've been struck down with round two of this illness and the cold seems to have developed into a chesty cough and sinus pain. I'll spare you the details but safe to say I'm not in the frame of mind for sitting in front of the computer and typing an entry. Hopefully all we be well tomorrow and normal service can resume.

A Year Without Spending – Day 9 – Home Entertainment

During this next year I'm determined not to buy books. I'm heading down to St. Helens library this week to re-activate my youth Library membership, in the hope that I can find stuff in there which is relevant and not out of date. We also have an abundance of books on our bookshelves as Vicki is a hard core readist (I would say reader, but she is a little more hardcore than a reader, so a new word has been coined to describe her). I'm going to raid the bookshelves for inspiration. I already have my eye on the copy of George Orwell's 1984, and may even give some of the Penguins Banned Books selection a go.

A Year Without Spending – Day 8 – Shoes & Views

One of my big worries for this year was running out of shoes. Seeing as though I'm a 25 year old guy, and I tend not to wear the type of shoes that can be easily repaied (I wear skate shoes as they are tough as old boots, but still look modern and young), so keeping my feet in shoes for the year was going to be a real headache. Repairing old shoes is out of the question, and sourcing cast offs from family and friends would be almost impossible as nobody I know is a size 10.