Snakeman slithers through life. Trying to sort the gold from the crap

October 4, 2015

Living frugally is finally paying-off.

Filed under: Uncategorized — nearrserv_e01c3158 @ 1:23 pm

Well, I have spent the last 12 months living as frugally as I cn and it appears to be paying-off.

I am in the best financial position I have been in for some time and even have an emergency fund in place. It is all down to discovering Dave Ramsay, an American financial evangelist, and another American by the blog name of MrMoneyMoustache.

It the past, I would change my car every year or two (always 2nd-hand, never could aford new) and had a liking for the latest technology. I have, however, now come to the realisation that it is not a requirement of life to own the latest PC/Laptop/Smartphone and that by purchasing the best car I could, even though it was at the very top of my budget, was a wise decision. Yes, it has had a few ‘niggles’ in the 3 years I have owned it, but these were all common problems and have been sorted very cheaply.

August 26, 2015

What comes around, goes around.

Filed under: Uncategorized — James Mead @ 9:43 pm

Now, anyone that knows me, knows of my views when it comes to schemes such as ‘WorkFare’ and ‘Community-based mandatory work activities’. Now, I am pleased to announce that, according to a news article on the BBC website, a serial abuser of the unemployed, Micheal Taylor, owner of Mistley Park Animal Rescue Centre in Mistley, Essex, has been found guilty of having under-age sex with two 13-year-old girls and is now on the sex offender’s register.


July 26, 2015

CheckoutSmart – This week’s ‘Frees’ and money-offs.

Filed under: Money-saving — James Mead @ 9:03 pm

CheckoutSmart is an app for iPhone and Android.

It is basically a ‘cash back’ style system but instead of cashback being given for purchasing insurance, searching for goods/services or signing-up to offers, it works by giving you money back on your weekly shopping.

Just fire-up the app, tell it you have a receipt to upload and then tel it which store you shopped at and on which day and it will give you a list of products on which you can get cashback. If you have purchased any of these items, select them, then upload your receipt by ‘scanning’ it in via your phone’s camera and then wait to get your cash back for that item.

They also have free offers and money off. I thought it would be a good idea to alert people to what is on offer. So here goes.


FREEBIES (just purchase, then scan in receipt to recieve a full refund within 3 days)

  • 1 Pint of supermarket ownbrand milk – valid 24 – 28th July at Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Morrissons, Aldi
  • Yeo Valley Greek style yoghurt (ginger, vanilla or coconut) 450g – valid 17 – 31st July at Waitrose
  • Coca-Cola Life 1.75L or Zero 1.75L – valid 01 July – 03 August at all retailors.
  • Emmi Choco Lait original 230ml – valid 17 – 31 July at Morrisons.
  • 1 Loaf Kingsmill farmhouse sliced loaf 800g (all varietis) – valid 11 June – 31 July at Sainsbury’s &

June 20, 2015

In the beginning………

Filed under: Money-saving,Uncategorized — nearrserv_e01c3158 @ 7:59 pm

In the beginning there was 1 man who, due to being in a low-income job, had amassed a shit load of debt. That man was me. Now, thanks to Stepchange and a TPP, I’m in charge of my debts rather than my debts being in charge of me.

Everyone craves the nice things in life, you know, cars, houses, beer and such like. Trouble is, these all cost money. That’s right, cold, hard cash.  Now, like most people, I had little money, but were there’s a want, there’s a way.

Loans, overdrafts and credit cards are great aren’t they ?. Just fill out this form, tick a couple of boxes and sign your life away and bingo!!, you are suddenly richer by a few £1k’s. Loadsa money, spend like you won the lotto. no need to worry, the minimum payments are not much and you will soon clear-off those debts. After all, credit is easy to handle, right ?.

Bullshit. If you pay just the minimum, it will tae you years to pay-off the amount owed as they pile-on interest in order to grab as much of your cash as they can.

Back in the tail-end of 2013 I had the misfortune of finding myself back on the dole after 30 months in what i considered to be a safe, long-term temp role. Having made the fatal mistake of taking-out yet another loan 6 months previously, I felt nearly suicidal at the thought that my financial mismanagement might well cost me my home.

At this point, i had my lightbulb moment. I needed to face my debts head-on and fast. My first call (after a restles night’s sleep) was to one of my credit card providers who put me on to Stepchange. Within 6 weeks I had all my debts in a TPP and instead of worrying about how to pay my debts from my meagre benefits, I found myself in a position of being in control of my debts. Roll-on to March 2015 and, after a few agency roles, I’m back in a permanent job and earning proper money again.

As of today, I a also in the position financially that I can cover my entire months outgoings from my main account and even have the beginnings of an emergency fund.

I still have £10k of debt that I need to work on, but I am in a position where I can even begin to start to consider paying extra amounts to each debt over and above the £1 a month Stepchange pays them.

I have also come to the conclusion that I really don’t need the latest technology. Nor do I need  to replace my car every year or two years just because it is getting old.

Yes, I’d like to own a nice Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian (that’s the one with the leather seats), but do i really have the need for a diesel-guzzling 4WD pick-up ?. It would be nice to won a vehicle that says ‘get out of my f***ing way, i’m coming through’, but I’m a handyman, not a builder. My little Berlingo can hold just as many tools as the pick-up, but it costs a hell of a lot less than th pick-up to run.

Now, my new mantra is “do I have a use for that” when deciding to purchase something. I am a sucker for tools and was drawn to a tile cutter saw being sold in Aldi. The old me would have bought it and stuck it in the cupboard ‘just in case’. However, the new me decided that as i have no idea how to tile a wall (as can be proven by my attempt to re-tile a wall at work (albeit with the old tiles that had fallen-off)), it would be a waste of money and besides, if I did find someone to teach me to tile, that would then be the point to start looking at such tech.


Well, that’s me. I’m sure to be adding more insperational musings with regards to money and finance over the coming months (or I might  just get tired of blogging and go do something else) so please call by every once in a while.


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