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 a  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.

Prior to this we where very minimal people. We have never had much space or fancy things. We lived an honest life & always managed to do a lot on very little money. Life was simple. It then got very complicated. So last April we got rid of everything. We sold the Mercedes, got rid of the house & moved back with family to get back on our feet. We sold off a ton of stuff on eBay and started simplifying every aspect of our life. It now all fits into a small storage unit & will load into the back of a Ford Transit.

With all that stuff came a lot of finance, which has taken us the past year to clear off. But here we are, we have far less stuff, hardly any debt & everything finally seems back in order.

In September we bought another car. We lived without one for 7 months & it was a great period. We walked everywhere & hired a car to visit Scotland every few weeks to help with the family. But in September we bought our Blue Peril. It’s a 2005 Fiat Panda. It’s bright blue, classless, says nothing about our status and costs next to no money to run. We average 56MPG and insurance & tax is minimal. We have driven 8000+ miles in this little car & it’s a major statement of how we intend to live from now on. No flash, no status items & no debt. We bought it with 22k miles on the clock, all cash & even paid the insurance up front.

As you can see from the pictures below, our car ownership started to spiral. We went from an old Land Rover which I loved, to a flash Mini Cooper which was a total blip & then onto a Mercedes which was madness. We now drive this little blue beast & it makes everyone smile. It’s a zero stress car & has been a huge catalyst for our downsizing & change. I think we are even going to drive it across to Amsterdam in the summer. How cool!

Downsizing my cars
Downsizing my cars

So the house has gone, the car is sorted & we are looking for a new more modest house. Definitely as small as possible, perhaps just a 1 bedroom place. We are also playing around with the idea of building a tiny house. But at the moment we are weighing up doing that or planning our eventual move to Amsterdam. Needless to say it’s a fun time.

With regards the debt, we have gone from many credit cards & overdrafts to one 0% credit card with a much lower balance. We have paid off tens of thousands of pounds in debt over the past year & we are on top of everything. It’s really liberating.

I’ve also been reading Stuffocation by James Wallman & I’m working towards living with only 100 items. People say it’s impossible, but considering where I came from to where I am now I think it will be easy to achieve.

These posts are pretty hard to write so if you have any questions or queries put them as a comment below. I will answer any questions you have as honestly as possible & I’d love to help you guys achieve the same goals. My wife & I feel really liberated & free. I’m really looking forward to starting over in a new place, with a new respect for money & a healthier relationship with our own money. I’ve also come to realise that I love running my own little business & living off a very modest wage. If I ever went back to work now it would have to be to a non-profit. I would rather earn little & make a difference. People always say I could earn a lot with my skill set & education but I am happiest when I’m creating my own future & running my own small business helps me do that daily.

Anyway, ask away. I’d love to hear from you. I’ll keep updating you guys & when I start to downsize even further I’ll do more posts.

John Large

John Large - Uber Techie!

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