Sunday, 29 November 2009

Downsizing in the UK?

Is it possible to downsize in the UK?

I'm not convinced that it is. What if you have never "upsized?" You certainly don't get a lot for your money. When I move out of the city I want space, with inspiring scenery, probably a semi rural existence.

The truth is that I have never really "lived large", I grew up in a hand to mouth existence. My childhood experience of poverty really stayed with me. As a result I always made a conscious effort to live well below my means, I never signed up for a monstrous mortgage. DH and I have always lived in modest houses, we have been careful to keep our living costs down. I always wanted to keep ourselves in the position that if one of us lost our job then we could live off the other person's salary.

The more research I do about house prices in rural or semi rural areas in the UK the more disheartened I get. Initially, when I started planning for The Escape I would not have entertained the notion of living in the UK, I always envisaged living abroad. But, I just don't think it would be feasible or practical to live abroad. But, I'm keeping an open mind.

We are not looking to buy straightaway after The Escape, I envisage at least a few years of having time out and living abroad for extended periods.But, we will need a base or a place to live eventually. You cant rent forever.

But perhaps I'm just planning too far ahead.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

No car

Our car was stolen recently.

We have a "secure" parking space with our apartment. Somehow someone got it out of the car park. There is a gate which you need a fob key to get in and out from. I have no idea why they targeted our car, its a 15 year old vauxhall, there were much more fancier cars in the car park than hours.

But my little car had been a trojan over the years, I was sad to see him go, he was low maintenance, low insurance and of course paid for a long time ago. We used him for a run around at the weekends and also to escape into the countryside at the weekends.

Now we have no car. Its been four weeks and still no car.

And we have no immediate plans to get a new one.

DH and I walk to work, we have numerous supermarkets around us. We have been taking a train to the countryside at the weekends. And we do a lot more walking without a car. Last weekend we counted up we must have walked about 10 miles!

DH and I have talked about getting another car but we cant really come up with an excuse as to why we need a car. So why purchase a car when we will have to spend on the insurance, tax and the depreciation??

Talking about cutting costs, I've also cancelled my gym. Sorry but it has taken me a long time to realise that gym's don't work (for me) long term. I don't enjoy the gym and I see it as a chore. I feel that I have to go because I am paying for it. The truth is the gym makes me feel stressed. Running on a wheel and staring at a wall with other sweaty bodies makes me feel claustrophobic and anxious. I could rant on about gyms but I am sure that there are some people who enjoy the gym. I prefer to get my exercise in the fresh air hiking up a mountain. So that's more money saved. Actually I'm donating it to charity.

I've also started using cash only at its amazing how much less we spend. More on that to follow.