A timely read

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I have just been reading about car finance deals soaring to an all time record high, which ties in nicely with my previous post about consumerism. My thoughts on consuming less is very timely indeed. The problem I see with the car finance deal, is that you are essentially thinking it is the best deal out there, but how much does a 3 year warranty, 1 year insurance and no more than 10,000 miles per year really cost? Surely financing a car is more expensive than paying for a car outright with cash?

A second hand car is not the end of the world. It’s just not what the Jone’s are driving. Who cares? No body, but you. I have had a car on finance and it is fair to say; I won’t again. If I’d just been able to fast forwarded to where I am now. Know what I know now, I never would have done so.

Take your current car payments, mine some 4 and a bit years ago, were £264 per month. Now save that for 6-10months. That’s £1584–£2640 in cash that is saved. “What am I meant to drive in the mean time?” Buy something cheaper. “How, I have no money?” This is the vicious circle that (I know) “pushes” you into taking out finance. So “find” £500 to get yourself started. There are numerous vehicles out there for around £500 and if you rock up with £400 cash in your hands, you could probably walk away with the £500 car and £100 in change. A quick search online gave me 2,288 cars under £500 – they won’t all be perfect, but there’ll be one for you. One located:

£500 Volkswagen Golf 1.6 SE 5d 105 BHP TRADE CLEARANCE – GREAT VALUE

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Buy the car and drive it until it goes pop. Even use the £100 towards a good servicing, to lengthen its service to you. It’s a car! Not a person. It is meant to be used and used until it is no longer usuable. We, as consumers have a responsibility to slow down in our mindless consumption – the earth is only so big and can only disppose of so much. Where will the “unwanted” stuff eventually go?

That car, based on the £264 saved over two months, gives you £528. Now imagine that the car lasts you 12 months. That there would be £264 saved, over the coming 10months giving you potentially £2640. Even if you could save only half of that, it’s £1320. Although the bracket is slightly higher; there are 23,861 cars available at £1,500 or less! So in theory, in a year you could have purchased another new (second hand) car. Keep repeating this method (use the car until it goes pop) and before you know it – you would have a brand new car, but with no finance. Obviously the newer the car that you keep purchasing the longer it is likely to last. Don’t forget though, brand new cars go down in value before you have driven off.

This is similar to what Dave Ramsey talks about over and over again. Get rid of your car payment. Live on less than you earn. It works. It is as simple as that.

 

Consuming my anxiety

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I’ve stopped worthless consumption and my anxiety has near enough gone.

I knew the car was due to go in for the MOT. The last time this happened – it does every year – I was anxious about stuff being needed or it failing. Sure enough, those expected additional tasks were needed. That feeling was the same every time the MOT came round and had been for years. With those needed fixes, come costs. Costs that I could; not; afford. Back into debt I went.

This time, the feeling was different though. I went in with the emergency fund funded. I went in with the actual money needed to pay. I walked out content. Nothing further needed. The difference, when I walked in this time, I had a buffer. I had the reassurance of having cash to resolve most problems if they came up. But nothing was wrong. No need for additional money. Money, which can now be used elsewhere if needed.

How did I have this buffer? I put this down to my meaningful consumption of less. Thanks to consuming less, I’m saving more. In saving more, I can give myself more financial support with required worthwhile things like MOTs and servicing. There was a time when it was a heightened anxious sensation, with fear of yet more un-affordable issues. This is life. It is happening right now. Welcome to life. It happens everyday, but yet living beyond my wage created a debt prison.

Now though, living far below my wage. Reducing the amount of stuff that is consumed, I am saving more. In having more financial stability; worry, stress and anxiety is reduced in most cases, if not, than non-existent. All thanks to the minimalist lifestyle.

The chat about working more hours, living on less than you earn and hitting debt hard is one thing. However, just approaching it entirely by a simplistic outlook, for us, wins. Before you know it, the minimalistic lifestyle will deal with everything. Once you’re behaviour, your mind-set and a habit is formed: you will win.

Gone shopping

What an experience that was! Since watching, reading, living a more meaningful, purposeful and worthwhile minimalist lifestyle I have not been “shopping” at all in 2017. Today, I went “shopping”. However this wasn’t for me, it was for the boy as he needed, needed new shoes as his old ones had holes; where there shouldn’t be holes. We successfully found him some new shoes. He walked out of the shop after we paid, with a big smile on his face. So did I. 

In fact I walked around the entire trip with a growing smile. I realised that I was in no way tempted. Not one bit. If anything it became a comforting reality that my mind set had altered. I’m not saying I’m never buying anything ever again, purely that I won’t be giving in to needless consumption. I had not noticed this about my mindset this year. After all my “normal” shopping experience is the weekly food shop. Shopping never was a past time and certainly will never become one.

This change, coupled with removing temptation like unsubscribing and not watching as much commercial TV is helping massively. It leads back to the ultimate combo: minimalism and frugality. It’s changing my future self and changed my past (debt prison).