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!


  1. Apart from the safety of keeping your money in banks rather than under the mattress, we are forced to use them ... Nobody pays workers in cash, so many things are only available with a card. In Australia we have more regulations on the banks than some other countries. The government supported the banks when the crisis hit but the banks still have no compunction in making huge profits and paying those at the top ridiculous wages while charging people for even thinking about banking (a bit of an exageration...but you know what I mean). I have as little to do with them as I can. I use a debit card and only use my credit card in an emergency. As soon as I have paid off the mortgage, they won't be seeing this little black duck on their doorsteps too often.

  2. It is the best way to be. Wouldn't it be lovely to have no mortgage and therefore only have to worry about the best rate of interest for your money? A bit more frugal living and that can come around a bit sooner. Thank you for reading Hazel.

  3. over here in Chicago my neighbours fathers house went on the market in February and has nt had a single showing. My son and his wife just bought a house that was listed at $300 a year ago for $l75. They have let their condo (I guess with no mortgages being given out the rental market is good as people have to live somewhere)
    Things will turn around but not before everything gets a lot worse.
    I cant believe that the bankers are in prison and that no real reform has been undertaken.