Due to the lovely uncertainty of Brexit we have been delaying getting onto the property ladder. Looking at some statistics it even looked like house prices might fall in the UK depending on the outcome of the negotiations.
I remember talking to my friend who has bought the house just before the house prices drop of 2009. We spoke around three years later and he would still not cover his outstanding mortgage by selling then.
I was petrified that the same might happen to us. On the other hand I constantly reminded myself that timing any market is a foolish game.
Country is currently getting ready to elect new parliament following years of complete fiasco negotiations and parliament blocking UK leaving the European Union. I won’t share my views on referendum, Brexit or election. It’ll just be better this way.
The fact that two prime ministers and majority Conservative government were unable to resolve this issue that they got themselves into has finally pushed us to look at buying. Times are very uncertain, but as far as I am concerned this is a sensible part of our ten year plan.
We thought that buying before Christmas in these uncertain times will be easy. Well it is not! Properties in good locations are disappearing really quickly. We recently went to see house which needed a lot of work including some new windows, doors and bathroom has also been trashed. Even doing the work ourselves it would probably cost in region of £10000 to get it to the right state.
People sometimes ask me how we are able to save over 50% of our take home pay. Well below is the answer to this. This post is long!
One of the biggest expenses we all have is our housing cost. Not many people are lucky enough to live mortgage or rent-free. There are a couple of considerations which everyone should take into account when deciding where to live.
First and very often an important factor for all is the size of the property. Very often people find themselves living in large houses far from work which they hardly use due to working all the time. We found ourselves the happiest when living in a tiny apartment a few years ago. It was very warm, the neighbours were fairly decent most of the time and the bills were minimal.
We are always considering the following:
"Happy wife = happy life! "
The above four are satisfied because Mrs Frugal can walk to work, this cuts down the cost of having an additional car. It also saves time which is handy since we have a dog called Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mrs Frugal can see him during her lunch break which is great. It makes her and the dog happy. Happy wife = happy life! Oh and yes I am a Star Wars nerd.
Rent has to be lower than the local rate, this is usually because the property is not of an amazing standard with a cheap finish and or is outdated. These things don’t bother us too much as long as it can be kept warm, can be cleaned and maintained, and there is no mould.
Since we delayed getting onto the housing ladder due to Brexit we had the flexibility of where to live. We are currently considering buying a property, which is a completely new topic all on its own. Let's just say that we are not looking at the top of our budget and that I will need to learn a lot of DYI.
2. Saving vs investing, savings rate and automation
Sooooo everyone’s favourite topic of saving money. This is a very broad topic, but the key things to consider here are:
“Poor people pay interest.
Rich people earn interest”
As we are heading towards Christmas I can already hear the Coca Cola truck sound and the “holidays are coming…..” song in my head.
Here are 7 ways you can save money this Christmas:
1. Plan ahead – lack of planning leads to buying items wherever you can get them on short notice. We usually make a list of people we will buy gifts for and write down what we are going to buy. We then write down what food we are going to cook and we can make a shopping list from that.
2. Make rather than buy Christmas decorations – gazillion YouTube videos are showing how to make inexpensive decorations. Some of the excellent examples below. Maybe you are yawning already, next tip might wake you up!
3. Make own alcohol – it isn’t too late to make some wine out of the kit and how wonderful it would be to serve wine made by yourself. It would make having that glass of wine a little bit more special. It also is a lot cheaper. Especially since you can sell equipment later if you do not wish to continue making it. While you probably won't make Miraval Rosé like Angelina and Brad, some of the kits enable you to make 6 bottles of wine at under £1 per bottle. Now that's a great Christmas tip!
4. Use store discount offers like the one at Ocado here, when you spend £80 you will get £20. That’s 25%! off your shopping. You can share this tip with family and friends. Every person who clicks below completes the form with their full name and email will receive an invite from Ocado to register and use the voucher. You will also sign up to my mailing list. Don’t worry I promise not to spam your email. Not sure how long this will last so get in there quickly and . . . . .
Claim your free £20.
Please note when you sing up for this I will receive a kick back from Ocado. New Ocado customers only.
My name is Witold, but I call myself a frugal alien on this blog. Why? Because I feel like one when talking to people about personal finance. I write about financial independence and ideas surrounding it whilst embarking on that journey with my wife.
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