Thursday, 22 December 2016

New Year without WiFi!

2017 WITHOUT WiFi !

It was time to renew our broadband contract. I never stay with the same provider for more than a year (so I can get the cheap introductory deals).

My Virgin Media bill was shooting up from nothing to £46/mo. I was expecting better and better broadband deals this time of year. I waited. But they never came.

It's like buying a big bag of sharing crisps. I'll NEVER pay more than £1 for a bag of crisps. It's just my principle. The broadband offers weren't low enough.

So here we are, out of contract and no WiFi.

The kids are horrified. If they could, they'd spend all day on YouTube. It's the holidays, school's finished and THEY DESERVE WiFi!

It's a form of cruelty. What sort of parent doesn't provide all the essentials - food, clothes and WiFi - for their kids?!?

On the other hand, I see it as an opportunity

If you've read my book Murder Your Mortgage in 7 Years you'll know that we've never had a TV.


In fact, it was a deliberate choice. One day I realised I was paying more attention to a screen than to my kid.

I reckon one can waste a lot of time and lose personal interaction watching TV. More recently I've been thinking about how the media shape our opinions.

YouTube has caused my kids to interact less with each other. We even started watching YouTube at the dinner table. There, we talk about what we see, but not about our lives.

But now we have no WiFi.

So what do we do now? As with the "NIGHTMARE" 5p charge for plastic shopping bags, we adapt. My kids are adapting and there are signs it's bringing back balance.

Yesterday we chatted over dinner and my kids are talking to each other a little more (headphones off, not listening to pop songs on YouTube probably helped)...

5-star book on Amazon!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

How to Buy a House in London (or anywhere)

After the publication of my book, Murder Your Mortgage in 7 Years, some people commented, “congratulations on a great book Orall, but I can’t even buy a house, never mind pay it off in 7 Years!”

It’s the elephant in the room.

There are always stories on how this generation will never own their own home. Here’s my quick, no nonsense, common sense take on how I would do it.

3 steps.

1. Flexibility
Pick an affordable location that allows you to get to where you need to, in a reasonable amount of time. If you’re in a major city his might mean moving to the outskirts or outside. If your rent is high you should probably consider this also.

A quick search gave me these useful links:

2. Schemes
What help is out there? There are a number of government schemes as well as other ideas like buying with friends.

Some schemes:

3. Saving
More savings, more options. Zero savings, zero options. You’ll need to increase your income and/or reduce your expenses and yes, saving will take time. My book Murder Your Mortgage in 7 Years gives details about how I did this.

That’s my quick take. Questions?

Monday, 8 February 2016

Are you gullible?

Humans are irrational. I’ll prove it.

We’ve recently had permit parking introduced in surrounding roads, but not in our road. Guess what happened? That’s it - everyone’s parking in our road of course. That’s not stupid. That’s perfectly logical.
No permits required
I noticed that many cars were parked for the entire week without moving. This, on the other hand, is irrational. Why would you buy a car and use it once a week, if that?

Paid thousands for the car, paying insurance, road tax, MOT and servicing. Perhaps maintenance and repairs. Not to mention that with each second the value is going down. Isn’t the occasional uber cab, car hire or public transport cheaper than all that?

Permits required

In short, I believe there are too many cars on the road. In fact, I believe that if you don’t have a young family and don’t need the car for work, it’s questionable whether you need a car at all. 

The Mortgage Killer reckons if you use it only occasionally then it's time for Autotrader.

Then there’s the way that people choose their car purchase. Advertisers show how cool and fun the car is. 

(Notice advertisers show cars on empty streets - when was the last time you drove on an empty sunny street in the middle of a weekday?) Forget all the glitter: how good is the car really?
It must be true that people fall for all the advertising gimmickry because, clearly, people buy rubbish or poor value cars. 

For the Mortagage Killer, the only way to buy a car is to go to e.g. and find the cheapest car that fits your needs, with the highest star rating. The saving goes on the mortgage!

In fact, as I explain in my book ‘Murder Your Mortgage in 7 Years’, that’s the only way to choose any product. For me, brand is irrelevant. Get the cheapest item with the highest star rating. It’s easy to sort and filter items on Amazon, Argos and so on.

Let’s start being smart about how we choose our stuff!

Saturday, 30 January 2016

We are swingers

It’s pretty clear to me that loyalty is stupid. It’s the ones that stay loyal that get stung.

And who do people blame? They blame companies for charging high prices. They might have a point, but it’s really our can’t be bothered-ness that’s really to blame! If you want to kill that mortgage quick you’ve got to get those expenses under control. Gas and elec is a key one.

By the way, where is it written that loyalty or loyal customers MUST be rewarded?

Lots of you know I worked for EDF Energy. Energy companies make money from our can’t be bothered-ness. I worked on the website and we made so many changes to it, because the government wanted to make things fairer and more competitive. But if people don’t bother to swing then of course they’ll pay more than they should.

As I said in my Amazon book, Murder Your Mortgage in 7 Years, it’s so easy. You just need your last bill, which has all the details you need for a comparison site like to check who’s the cheapest for your gas & elec. It’ll take less than 10mins and I reckon most people could save hundreds over the year.

If I said to you, “would you like £300?” most people wouldn't say no. I know it’s not quite as exciting as hard cash in your hand, but it in a way it is cash in your hand!

I swing everything. I've never been with the same broadband/ telephone supplier for more than 1 year. I get the special offer discount with the new provider every year. Same more or less goes for car and home insurance: I've heard loads of people getting stung big time for loyalty.

I've even recently changed my bank account of 20+ years last year. It’s really easy these days. I went to TSB. It was a no-brainer: 5% interest on my balance, 5% cashback on spending, access to a 5% savings account, plus £100 switch reward via MSE.

I swing everything because with my mortgage killer mentality, paying more than I need to feels like being ripped-off. When it’s getting close to your end of (phone etc) contract or your gas/ elec bill arrives, then check for better deals. You can’t go wrong with MSE when it comes to buying anything.

By the way, just checking: a swinger is someone who switches suppliers to get a better deal right? Well then, come join us in a swing!

MSE Bank Accounts
uSwitch for Gas & Elec, Broadband
Amazon book - Murder Your Mortgage in 7 Years