Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Swings and roundabouts

Hello, I renewed my insurance cover for my car this morning, it took about two minutes flat. The letter came last week from my broker, as it always does, two weeks before the current policy is due to run out. I did what I always do, pick up the phone and pay with my credit card.

You may ask, WHAT! You didn't go online and scour the comparison sites to find a better deal? You didn't play one off against the other, you didn't ask for a discount, you just coughed up your dosh and paid without question? Yep, that's exactly what I did.

I have been with the same broker for 40 years, every year I get the letter advising me of the cost of renewal, and every year I ring them and ask them to look for a better deal. They always come up with a cheaper policy. Now they don't wait for the phone call, they search before they send the letter, and tell me of a new company which will cut a few quid off.

Over the years this has saved me hours of my time, frustrating and confusing hours because I don't understand all the ins and outs of car insurance. It has saved me tearing my hair out, swearing at the computer, and mistakenly choosing the wrong policy. Yes, I know the broker is going to add their cut, but I think it's worth it, because two minutes on the phone and the job's done.

This is a family firm I deal with, they have been in business for 43 years, they know me, and I know I can speak to a real person any time about insurance matters. It's only like going into your local butcher or greengrocer, I am supporting a local business in my home town.

So, the twenty quid or so extra I pay will come out of my money saving in other areas. I could easily spend an extra £20 on my food bill, or go boozing for £20, or have a meal out for £20, or buy some bathroom smellies for £20. But I don't. It's swings and roundabouts, save a few bob here, and pay it out there. Shuffling money around and making sure I put it to it's best use to suit me.

Being frugal and living within your means is all about identifying what matters. I can easily trawl around the different shops to get the best deals for me, it suits me to do that. I get fresh air, I am getting exercise walking about, I meet people and chat, and I get the cheapest food. Some people prefer to do their supermarket shopping online, because they have neither the time or inclination to do it my way. It would do my head in to go to the Tesco or whatever web site, spend time searching for what I need, ticking boxes, arranging delivery times, and paying online. No no, chuffin no thank you. Pay more for your online shop, and claw the money back from spending another couple of hours or so on the computer trying to get your car insurance cheaper. Swings and roundabouts.

Some good comments on the last post, thank you for your input. Debbie makes a good point, spend a bit save a bit. When funds are low live on next to nothing, have a splurge when things are looking up.  Sue G's hubby bought some camera equipment, because they budget their finances well and can afford the odd treat. Pam has it sussed, channel any spare money saved from elsewhere, and buy a sewing machine. All swings and roundabouts.

I think a lot of my readers are as savvy as me, so please excuse me if this is all old hat to you. But as Anonymous (ha ha) mentioned, the people she used to work with were constantly complaining that they couldn't afford holidays, yet can afford phone contracts. No point in moaning people, you makes your choices, if there isn't enough dosh to pay for everything you want, you cut back on some things to pay for others. Simple as that, swings and roundabouts. By the way, my mobile phone is on PAYG £5 a month. Not a priority to have an all bells and whistles phone.
Thank you for visiting Tightwad Towers. Toodle pip.

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