Car insurance over 10 months, but taking 11 payments?

Does your car insurance take eleven payments to pay for a ten month payment plan on your policy?

Email quote "10 months at [insert monthly amount]"
Checked my bank, I'm only getting 1 month payment free a year.
So where does the other payment go?
Another corporate business mystery, that always seems to come out in favour of them and not me...

Frugal blog: Carboot sales, no dig gardening, money

Carboot sales used to be fun places to spend an hour or two, pick up a bargain when people are having a clear out, not anymore.

A variety of stalls now, selling fruit and veg (that they cannot shift from their shop), stalls that are the same week in- week out (travelling around various sales buying and selling), charity shop staff from a nearby town (using their position to obtain things that "might sell" on the cheap in the charity shop they work in, selling them on at carboot sales) and the "everything wrapped" obviously bought from a cash and carry to try and sell on, stalls.
Very few stalls are now just someone having a clear out of their attic or bedroom, etc.

I spotted one item I almost bought a week earlier (at the same sale) the stall holder wanted £4 for it, I thought about it, then declined.
This week, the very same item (an old collectable) was for sale on another stall for £8. No thanks.

No dig gardening planting out is finally complete, I feel a bit of a fraud now, nothing else to do on it except wait for things to grow (if they do).

It looks a bit silly, with various mesh protection all over it, but that's just to stop the birds from eating the seedlings as they come through and to stop the neighbourhood cats from leaving messages all over it. It's generated a lot of interest on the street, lots of jokes, etc.
For an unused so called driveway, full of rubbish and stone/plaster/concrete/ash, it wasn't being used. Work wise it hasn't taken much, a bit of raking the compost and being patient while the old carpet did it's job of killing off all the grass/weeds is all.
You can see some pictures on the gardening blog (select from the top if you are so inclined) and if the veg comes through, it will have paid for itself a couple of times over by the end of the summer. 

Money doesn't go far these days, wage comes in, then almost all goes back out the other side.

I hit the markets again this week for fruit and veg, where there was a "food event" taking place. Various stalls all over offering everything from gingerbread to indian cuisine. People stood in the street drinking at dinnertime, while people walked around aimlessly.
These pop up stalls were charging a fortune for their wears, I don't really understand how they manage to do it?

A simple bit of research reveals the sheer bull of their marketing. One of the stalls was hardly taking anything, no one around it, selling about 6 product lines, nothing much doing.
Yet when I took 5 minutes to look into their background, I was staggered to find the supposed value of their company.
In the space of two years, the value of their company has gone from around £16,000 to over half a Million pounds!

How could this be?

The company have listed their "goodwill" for the business at £1.4 Million alone!
Assets have been aquired by bank loans and their tax bill outstanding for the last financial year is worth more than our home.
It's no surprise that their own "goodwill" valuation matches the value of their luxury farmhouse I suppose.

I wonder if I should set up in business...

Frugal blog: Savings on car and other...

The focus washer pump saga continues...
A new one was ordered in, came in at £14 instead of the £10 quoted, then sat on the side waving at me every day, until eventually I crakced and thought I'd take it on.

Removed front wheel (wrong one first as focus forums told me it was on passenger side, it wasn't!), removed inside wheel arch cover, removed and emptied washer tank (hidden inside of wing), removed old pump, then put everything back in reverse order. In total, about 45 minutes work.
Roughly £70 per hour garage labour plus £14 part = £84
Frugalways cost = £14 for part.
Saving of £70.
It appears to be working fine again, but knowing my luck, it will fail when it starts to rain.

Breakfast skipped again, as is normally the case in holidays. Saving one meal cost per day.
Dinner consists of cucumber and cheese/spring onion butties.

I've been looking for compost for my "no dig" front garden patch - it was an old driveway full of weeds, concrete, plaster and bricks. Need around a 3 inch coverage to rake over the top, then old carpet back on top. About a tonne would be good but prices from local farmers are £45 a tonne bag, bit pricey.

Hit a carboot yesterday, just the usual tat, being sold for way over the odds, fascinates me to watch for things...

  • Sold from cars which are less than two years old
  • Sold from cars with private reg numbers...
  • Pre packaged things bought specially for sale (ie. non carboot sale)
  • Toys with broken/bits missing, not good enough for sale on bayE, so they slap a £15 price tag on them and "do a carboot"
  • Enquire about a price and they inform you "they are [insert ridiculous high price here] in the shops!" - Who cares? You are not selling them in a shop!

You can tell a lot about people looking at the tat they've bought and are trying to sell. Disheartening when gifts they've been bought are being sold, some people have no scruples.
Most of the old toys believe it or not, are available cheaper at toy fairs...

Jobs need doing: Washing the focus - outside tap needs fitting out the back - fence needs fixing (starting to rot) - half pallet of bradstone needs moving from back garden (although to where and what can it be used for is anyones guess) - sort out compost

A happy Monday to you all...

Local areas now dependent on supermarket donations?

How have we got here?

Example: A local park, mostly looked after by volunteers, "wins" £2000 funding from tesco. Hurray shout local residents.

Think about this.
First of all, that £2000 comes from tesco profits - coincidence that at the time of posting they are laying off 500 staff and closing their tesco direct due to not being profitable.
Next, the £2000 isn't free money that tesco have sloshing around their bank account, it comes from profits, not overall sales, but profits. That's profit from the products they sell from their local council bias, planning permission stores, that have closed down many genuine local businesses and been detrimental to local markets in many cases.
This profit comes from the pockets of the very same local people cheering about how good it is that tesco have "donated" or "given" £2000 to a local project.

Next consider this... YOUR local council tax stands at record levels, when was the last time you saw a reduction in council tax?
If your area is like mine, I cannot remember the last reduction.
This same council tax cost, covers parks and gardens, maintenance and upkeep, etc.
So I'm paying record amounts for services locally, yet the very same parks and gardens are dependent upon tesco's scheme of "donating" money?
Why are so many volunteers tending to parks and gardens in my area? Why not council staff that take wages from our ever increasing council tax?

I don't see how this set up can be considered beneficial to the parks and gardens and my family who use them.

My council tax keeps increasing.
Any purchases made at tesco, are over priced. (If they can afford to "donate" £2000 a time, then I doubt they are "running on tight profit margins").
Any profits from tesco are given to shareholders with no connection in my area, meaning money earned is spent elsewhere (as opposed to local shops profits being respent within my area, increasing commerce for where I live)
Tesco playing the "local" card, when in fact a proportion of their £2000 donation will be written off their tax bill, meaning even less for UK services, like health, education, housing, roads, police, fire, etc. The list goes on.
Tesco's very position locally, means that fewer businesses will survive, bring less business rate funds into our local council, meaning yet more tax increases and less money for local services, to cover the shortfall.
Tesco get free publicity out of it.

We, the local people, get £2000 spent on a park or garden, that we already pay for.

How we came to be in this sorry state, needs explaining, by those in power.

Frugal blog: Surprise bill

After a buzzing Monday, one of those where loads of little jobs get done, Tuesday (today) has been a day of starting fast and steadily getting more tired, something I do a lot these days. I run out of energy much quicker, tiredness plays a part, until eventually I land home at around 5pm and I'm zonked.

I've tried eating more fruit and veg through the day, tried extra couple of hours of kip, but nothing really improves.

The focus' washer pump has gone, in days gone by it would lead to a trip to the scrappers and a couple of quid, a quick lift of the bonnet and a simple replace job, connect the pipes up and away we go again, good as new.
In todays' "easier" world, it will now involve a ten quid outlay, two day wait for the shop to get it in and, I'm reliably informed from various ford focus forums, jacking the car up, removing the passenger side wheel, removing the wheel arch cover, then the windscreen water bottle. I'm told that the pump is located underneath this and can be changed via a bolt running through the top of the little water tank.
"Easier world" car work results in a 2 hour fiddly job, whereas a previous world job, was 15 minutes of messing with little that could go wrong.
Pound to a penny, when I remove the wheel arch cover, one of the screw heads will ping off or I'll need a special tool, etc.

There's nowt on the box again tonight, so I'll try and get an early night after reading a few pages of my latest book, "Working for victory" which is a diary of two women during the second world war, working in a tool makers factory.
54 hours per week they did on various shifts, to help the war effort, learning a new trade and having only one week per year off and one day off a week. Todays world wouldn't be able to stomach the workload, conditions or lack of holidays, that includes me.

The dog has started chewing my cheapo picket fence panels, put up in a useless attempt to stop her sitting in my strawberry beds!
On the subject of strawberry plants, could not believe my eyes when I saw B and Q (that bastion of do-it-yourself knowledge... not) were selling strawberry plants for £6 each!
If you want to save yourself some cash, speak to an allotment owner or gardener, they'll give you some for free. Starwberry plants should be moved in your garden beds every three years, you can also thin them out once they've flowered and they will sprout new plants out, once established, cut the sprouting stem off from the baby plant, hey presto, more strawberry plants.