Friday, 17 June 2011
House sale and banks.
OK, so it's not great. I have not had a single viewing yet. I know the flat has only been in the market 2 weeks, but I thought maybe one person may have shown a tiny bit of interest by now. Seemingly not. Everything they say about the market is true, I know, but until you become involved you don't quite realise what sort of effect it is actually having. If the banks do put the interest rates up soon then it is going to be even worse. It seems so wrong that we are picking up the pieces for the banks hopeless and disgraceful behaviour. I am self-employed and know that I will only ever be given a tiny tiny mortgage now (hence one of my many reasons for moving up North) which, as it happens suits me. But it is so unfair, as in 8 years I have never once been late on a payment, never been badly overdrawn or had a credit card debt. But statistics say that I am in a high risk category simply by being self-employed and therefore cannot be treated the same as regularly employed people. Why are we having to put up with this, when it is their fault in the first place? Of course, problems come from greed. Greed from consumers always wanting more than they have which inevitably becomes more than they can afford. People just stretching themselves for that extra bedroom, or to have a downstairs loo. Greed from the banks wanting greater profits and greater bonuses so they can sip champagne at parties. Even now, considering I am 'high-risk' self-employed, I get offers from my bank for loans, greater increases on credit cards, higher overdraft facilities. They are encouraging debt where it is unnecessary and withholding it on the mortgages which people have more need of.
I was reading on frugal queens wonderful blog earlier today how she has scrapped her bank account from one which charges her £264 a year just to use it and gain nothing. In the past I have regularly been encouraged to move to a fee paying account (for a time Natwest tried to get me to change every single time I went into the branch, so annoying) and could never understand what was to gain. Big deal, a bit of free travel insurance thrown in usually and maybe a free £15 hmv voucher. But really what you got for your money was pretty much nothing. Banks are very good at earning money for doing absolutely nothing. Frugal queen has inspired me to give myself a bank overhaul and check they are not getting anything out of me that they did not legitimately earn. I imagine the majority of the people who read what I write are already pretty savvy at not paying for unnecessary items but it makes me realise that there is always more money to be saved. I have now saved £9000 towards my house move (earning peanuts in interest from my isa, of course) and most of this money has been saved simply by cutting corners here and there and I am proud to know that I am not lining the pockets of big corporations with it, supermarkets don't get much more than they should from me, banks screw me over with interest, but get no credit card debt interest or overdraft charges out of me, reusing and second hand is my first port of call and if I have to buy something unusual that I actually need then I try to go to a small independent shops as much as my wallet allows.
But I am no money saint, there are still other ways to save money that I have not yet discovered and I am always on the lookout for any new ideas and new skills to be learnt. All are welcome!