Tag Archives: debt

hardly anyone out and about where i am

8 Jan

london 9.11pm 11.1C dry night monday  4.16pm 8.7C cloudy. sun set 4.10pm allready but still quite light tuesday 2018

it was quite a sunny day earlier, blue sky too.

i live in the centre of london but the streets around me are always empty of people. it is strange when i think about it. why are these streets not crowded? it makes me realise that even in a tourist city like london, once you are away from the tourist areas , you can be all alone and have the place to yourself.

i think it is true of any northern city, because the cold keeps people indoors. if london were in the tropics, i think its streets will be thronged with people, because it will be too hot to stay inside, and people will conduct their daily lives outside for everyone to see. thus giving the impression that the city is full of people.

here london has the same amount of population as bangkok, yet whenever i am in bangkok, i am just inundated with people , people everywhere. but in london, i get times like this where i dont see anyone walking along the pavements i pass by on the bus  to the short trip to the postoffice and to the library. it was about 1.30pm too when i would expect office workers to be out and about, but no. even the post office was almost empty. granted there are not many offices along the lupus st. if i had been around at the office rush hour, i would see more life in the streets as there will be lines of office workers walking to and from the station and bus stops to the offices in marsham st where the govt departments are. 

the cold keeps people indoors i think,(it’s not that cold really, but it does not encourage people to sit outdoors,especially when the sun is very weak) but the effect is that of a deserted city… like… where are the people??

i read in the papers that there is a lot of personal debt per household. about £15,000 the average unsecured debt (which exclude mortgages). it does not sound like a lot, but it means some are having more than that if u take into account that there might be plenty of people like me who dont have personal debt. and it is this month when all the bills start coming in. reading that article further, i note that it includes student debt. so the debt may not be that high if u take out the student debt. 

But the TUC’s data include student loans on top of personal loans, credit card, overdrafts, store cards and payday loans – while the Bank’s report, which was released last week, does not include student loans.

if that is the case than maybe the figures are halved. £7000 per household. which does not sound like a lot… haha. those individuals who have high debt will suffer, but it seems to me in the big view of things, it wont knock the economy sideways and cause a crisis.

frankly i think personal debt will not capsize the economy, no matter how large. it is the company debts , bank debts and hedge fund debts  and overspending of countries (that is huge debts generated by countries) that will capsize the economy and cause another stock market crash. 

tesco whole chicken promotion

31 Aug

london 11.48am sunny 19C friday 2018

fresh whole chicken 1.6kg for £2.56 in tesco, today. i saw their advert in the free newspaper metro . it is about £1.60/kg. frozen chicken pieces in sainsburys is £4 for 2.5kg… so this whole chicken is cheaper even that that. and you get breast meat , so more meat than those chicken pieces. it is well worth buying to cook and or freeze for another day. the only problem is my freezer dont have room for whole chicken, otherwise it would be perfect. i will definitely buy 2. and most probably i shall roast both and then cut one up to freeze. its more economical to roast two whole chickens at the same time in the oven. but i am glad that tesco is selling these cheap chickens . they do it about twice a year, i think. selling cheap chickens in their promotions. when it happens, it is a chance to pig out on chicken. haha. and/or fill up the freezer. added 8.38pm. i went to tesco justnow and they dont have that cheap chicken. interesting, they advertise it but dont stock it. maybe it will appear tomorrow. and the advert came out 1 day too early. 

there is news now about wonga going bankrupt. wonga was quite famous in its day with its old people puppets singing its praise. it was very popular providing credit easily via the internet. but their very success brought on a fierce backlash against them, and now they have collapsed. most of us have been told these high interest credit companies are a bad thing. but this guy, a guardian reporter says it is not always so. he was helped he said when he was a struggling reporter to pay up his outgoings before payday, without getting into the red with his bank account and having to pay overdraft fees. he said even though the interest on the £100-150 he has to borrow , is about £15, (which comes to zillions % APR,)it was still cheaper than the overdraft fees which can be as much as £50.

he gave another viewpoint, from someone who is earning too low to cover his monthly outgoings and rely on wonga to tie him over that short period. it makes u realise that when you are poor, it is difficult to get credit, and then you get into debt and more money is lost paying interest on it, or paying the penalties for going into the red. he works for the guardian and is still unable to pay his outgoings on the salary he gets… it really surprised me. he cannot be the only millenium in this situation…

added 8.41pm. i discussed it with ian, when i met him for our monthly get together in the ageuk canteen in tavistock square. he said he would not get into debt and borrow. and i agree with him, because i know i wont either. i would eat the metaphorical salt fish and rice if i have to. but i notice nowadays people dont seem to be so strict with themselves. perhaps the ease of easy credit is at fault and those who criticise loan sharks like wonga are right that they create the demand by making it so easy to get credit put people at risk of getting easily into debt.

added 8.50pm. read that coca cola had bought costa coffee chain for £4billion. costa is 2nd largest in the world after starbucks. so it looks like cocacola is gearing to invade starbucks territory.

why so much concern for individual credit card debts?

4 Apr

london 9.16am 12.6C cloudy 2017

this morning i read two, here, and here, articles about increasing household debt and saying it is a bad thing. one of them is a comment on the main article. they liken it to the mortgage scandal in america where poor people were given mortgages to buy homes that they cannot afford the premiums.

but this is different, i think. it is credit card debts. the amounts owed are not as big as a mortgage to buy a house , which is likely to be in the hundreds of thousands. and when someone who has a mortgage cannot pay it, the whole amount is lost, when they default, with the banks unable to resell the house or if it does it is at a huge loss.

but it is different with credit card debts. for one thing the debter can just pay the minimum. it can be as low as £5. so they end up paying a lot of interest but they dont go bankrupt. the bank need not write it off as a dead loss, and it does not come up in the banks bottom line. 

so i fail to understand why they are concerned about it. each individual debtor will suffer , but only that they are forever having to pay interest on it, and never reduce the debt… but as long as that person keeps his or her job, they should be able to service that debt, by paying the minimum. but the economy will simply go on. these individuals wont affect the economy.  even if they dont continue spending, which is not a given, there will be plenty of others who will spend on their credit card. the only thing i can see that will stop the economy is if everyone becomes like me, who dont spend at all….and we all know that will never happen. 

added. i just have a thought. i wrote the above with the idea that the economy will not suffer even if household debt is very high. but i just thought the individual will suffer… until i realise hang on, not so. 

take this scenario, you are poor, existing on income support, and if lucky your accommodation is paid for by housing benefit. so u start getting lots of credit cards, and u spend, spend spend. haha. and only pay of the minimum £5 every month… ok, now your debts increase , added by interest . well, so what. haha. u just continue to spend, and just pay the £5 minimum. this can go on for along time, till u build up substantial debt of maybe 60,000 . you can then get cards that offer u free interest and start juggling it , paying off one, and then when that interest free period is over, use another card with interest free period to pay that off… just go on doing so until u die. hahaha. you might say that is not going to happen, what bank is so stupid to let u do that. well actually my friend , john, who is staying with me on a visit from america where he lives told me his ex boyfriend did just that. the guy got aids, and have built up substantial debt on a range of credit cards, juggling them… and he died owing huge amounts. what i am saying is u dont even need to have a terminal illness. 

you can be healthy like anything and still this strategy will work. lets say finally the banks got wise to u and start stopping the card and sending u letters. well they are only letters, you can bin them straight away and laugh. then they send in the bailiffs, well so what , u got nothing anyway. and all the stuff u bought are either sold, or old, or broken or given away. hha. 

what can the banks do now? nothing, it is not like the old days when a money lender can send round thugs to break your leg, is it? hoho. so u are sitting pretty and the debt piles up. then one day u decide right i think it is time to declare bankcruptcy. so u scrape up the money for it and get to be declared bankrupt. well that gets the banks of your back. haha. and after what 2 yrs? 3yrs u are out of bankruptcy ready to start the circus all over again. what a lovely life , dont you think?

added 10.38am thursday 6.4.17 10C sunny. i just read this article about more women than men are in credit card debt, and read the comments, such a lot of them, and saw one that said his ex wife changed her name by deed poll,  even though she is a declared bankrupt. and so carried on getting credit cards. 

 

no savings when u earn £50,000 a year. why?

26 Aug

london 00.12am friday 2016

these families earn £50,000 a year, about £3400 a month after tax; yet they are in debt and have no savings. why is that? the daily mail gives us a breakdown of a few of these families’ expenditure.

it is difficult to see what they are doing wrong. because there are no details. for eg, one family had over £1000 a month on utilities… telephone, electricity etc. that seems rather high. just halving that will give them £500 to play with. child care seems to take a big chunk of their income. i am still of the old school where children are not expensive. my own family have 6 children, and my parents were able to cope and still able to educate all of us on a teacher’s salary. but maybe cost of living in uk is high unlike in malaysia during the 60s and 70s. perhaps if i had married and have children, i too would be finding it difficult to make ends meet. being gay has saved me from a lot of that. but it is still surprising that even earning so much they cannot save. but what about those families who earn far less, how are they able to cope. 

modern life is just full of contracts.

18 Oct

london 4.31pm, 14.7C cloudy sunday 2015 sunset 6.01pm

law of contract is very pervasive, it inveigles its way throughout the fabric of modern life. and if u are not careful it can throw up hidden costs. take for eg this news item about a group of students sharing a flat or house. one of them died, from an overdose of ecstacy and the others were so upset that they did not want to live there anymore, so their university got them other accommodation. but they still have 6months of their lease to run. the landlord offered to allow them to sublet and find new tenants to take over but they did not accept it. so now the landlord is sueing their parents who are their guarantors for 6months rent. and i daresay costs as well. the parents say he is awful to sue them for that, but it is the law of contract. very clearly states that the students have entered into that, signed and sealed and have to pay up. any court will uphold that. 

then there is this case of a mother having to pay the debt incurred by her 21 yr old mentally handicaped son. it seems the mobile company kept sending him new mobile phones, because he managed to convince them to send it to him, (god knows how he did it, quite clever when u think of it, even i could not see how you can convince them to send u so many mobile phones just like that) and he sold them on and of course those phones have to be paid for.  which the mother says the company was irresponsible to have done it. but yet again, the company is not to know that the son is mentally deficient. the mother should have put the contract under her name and gave the mobile phone to the son. that way any request for new phones etc would go to her. it is her mistake. but i suppose she wants someone else to pay for her mistake. quite a common thing in this country. 

teh tarik time

5 Jan

london monday2015

I have been saying to garfieldblog that writing on my blog is like yakking away  with a teh tarik in a mamak stall in KL with friends and kakis. (legs in malay, dont know what the origin of this word is to refer to good friends but we just use it.)

 I have come back from the budget supermarkets aldi, asda, to buy loads of toilet paper. one lot is 6 rolls of double size rolls, 400sheets. this is for the wc. another pack is from asda who sell theirs of 12rolls of 200sheets. the latter is perfect for hand tissues. i first saw them being used by hawkers in malaysia. they take out the central cardboard and pull out the central bit and use it as hand tissues. then even that was getting expensive, so they resort to selling packs of tissues to customers.  but the lesson of the previous way of using toilet rolls for hand tissues stayed with me and so i bought one of those containers and am using it in my flat.

Digital StillCamera

from the label i see it costs Rm$2.10. i bought it years ago, maybe 7-8yrs ago. wish i bought another one haha. they are very useful.

simon had been telling me he found out he can transfer his credit card debt into a interest fee card that dont charge him interest for 12months so allowing him to pay off the debt without paying interest. it is basic economics.

it surprised me that he did not know of it. ah well, it is no wonder his finances are such a mess. haha. he had been paying about £75 a month in interest, he said, so the debt must be rather large. well better late than never i suppose. like i said, people are poor because of ignorance.

i laughed and told him knowing you westerners u will start buying some more stuff and defeat the whole purpose of the exercise. and he said ya, that happened to his friend, who cleared his debt on one card by transferring it to another interest free card, but the wife took the old card and bought more stuff. hahaha.

Ah well, it is only money. haha.

people are booking their air fares now as the urge to travel is on them. that is the thing about westerners, they so like to spend even when they cannot afford it. they want it now, and pay later. that is why businesses like to set up businesses here, so many people who will spend even though they cannot afford it.

thrifty people like the japanese just dont spend, and so the economy stays still. stagnant.

My friend john says he has booked his flight to goa, in february 2015. it is a long flight with a stopover in mumbai and a 4hr wait, going there, and a 8hr wait coming back. i would not have bothered but john wants to be bothered.

just this morning i see in the papers some british families with children were stranded in mumbai because their flight from goa was late and they missed the connection with BA. it must be really late, because they usually give 4hrs between the two flights. ( it seems there was long delay in the airport to get from the airindia goa flight into the other). BA was so fully booked for later flights , the only ones available was 8days away. it is just after the christmas new year holidays so they are all coming back that is why the flights are so chock a block full. those flights over the christmas are not cheap. john paid £678 rtn for his but it is in february. 

well, we hear of it because they all start to tweet about it. haha. nowadays these things get thrown out worldwide for the world to see… who cares really but because of tweeter, everyone knows and start re tweeting it. and it appears in a national newspaper. in fact more than one newspaper reported it. when i read it i thought sigh only john would bother going there. typical english person go half way round the world for what?? esp when india has just passed a law that makes gays illegal there where before it was legal. we should boycott india. 

 at least he is going there for a month, rather than these rich families going there whipping in and out for 2wks with kids too.

but it does make all of us here in uk rather pleased to see them having all this trouble haha. it must cheer those up who cannot go abroad. haha hee hee.

oh but we must not be uncharitable. haha. so banish the thought. 

added. i am seeing a old program of room 101, where they nominate their pet hates to be dumped in room 101. one of them nominates the barbeque, he is a tv chef, and the MC said maybe because u are a professional showbiz cook and want us to think cooking is difficult. whilst cooking is just making food hotter.i thought that is funny.

dont open other people’s post

28 Sep

london

this is a timely reminder not to open other people’s letters. this article appeared in the daily telegraph today. the heading intrigued me because why was she hounded by a debt collector for someone else’s debt?

a previous occupant of the flat she bought had debts for ground rent unpaid.

it turned out she opened the letter and then tried to contact the debt agency. once they know her name, she was fair game.

the article concluded with a list of ‘to do’ to stop it happening… but the only lesson from this is ‘dont open mail that is not addressed to you. just return to sender. that’s it.

that was how i have been dealing with mail that came to me with other people’s name on it. i cross out the address and write return to sender. and post it, you dont even have to put a stamp on it, as the original stamp will be accepted. it does not take up much time to scrawl return to sender and post it back to the sender. more work for the post man but that is what he do anyway.

the article goes on using her experience to complain about the debt agencies and to highlight govt bringing in legislation to deal with it. but remember anyone who is pursued for debt by these agencies  wont be involved if there is no debt in the first place. and so that named person has incurred the debt. the debt might be disputed but that is a matter for the court if it ever comes to that.

most people would pay up, or try to disappear and not leave a forwarding address. or even leave the country. haha.

as for this person getting involved, it is her own fault for opening someone else’s mail and then being too busy body about it by contacting the agency.

she is a financial journalist too. cant say i have a lot of confidence in her after what she had done. the only advise she or anyone with any intelligence should give here is don’t open mail that is not addressed to you, and if u do open it, don’t contact the sender to say you are not the one . ha.

her soul just really really wants to make her life difficult. 

i just want to write something

14 Aug

London

I just want to write something today, even though I don’t really have anything specific that I want to write about.
So I shall just write on anything that comes to mind.

My life is lovely. I have no anxieties or worries. I suppose if I have any it would provide me with something to write about.

But my soul don’t want to create troubles just so I can dwell on them and rant about it. So I don’t generate any problems.

You might well ask but what if something turn up out of your control? Of course it can happen. But when it does I simply let it ride, accept whatever it is and as in all things in life, it never lasts.

Or if it does, I adjust to it, and incorporate it into my life and soon I forget about it. Haha.

Sometimes I find I like it better than before… so the mishap becomes a blessing in disguise.

Let me give u an example. My hot water boiler in the bathroom went kaput. This was about 5yrs ago. I repaired it for £200 but after about 6months it stopped working again.
It came to a decision whether to buy a new boiler at about £1000 or do without . I decided to delay it.

I simply rode with it, and accepted it and began to boil water in a kettle for my hot water. I can still shower as i have an electric shower, not that i use it much as I use the gym for my showers and shaving.

So after a year or so, I realised it was no great hardship without a boiler.
Long ago I have stopped using my gas heater for winter … and found out that I don’t need heating in winter.

So now that I don’t have the boiler on and  it was the only thing in the flat that needs gas, I decided to switch off the gas supply completely and so I am now in the happy position where I don’t have a gas bill.

So u can see, a series of apparent mishaps turns out to be blessings in disguise. It got me to gradually accept that I don’t really need those things.

That is why I am not in debt. To me it is very easy not to be in debt. I just don’t buy anything that is not necessary, and so I never spend more than I can earn.

I think it is because I don’t think of buying things as something that is a treat.
I hear people say I shall treat myself to an icecream, or cream cake, or that furniture, or car or whatever.
I don’t think of my life as a series of treats.

That way I am never tempted to buy something because ‘I deserve it’.
I base my decisions on buying things on ‘do I want it’?

It makes it very easy .

I think what u say to yourself is very important in determining how your life is lived.

 

 

 

disliking someone on first impression

3 Aug

London
There was a tv program about a survey finding 50% of people living in uk find it difficult make ends meet. Someone said, don’t go shopping.
I find it very true.
I went to the aldi thinking of buying just the peaches that are in their special 6 items, I got 4 peaches for 69p which is rather nice, though as usual, the reality did not come up to expectation. I remember peaches I bought in capdagde that were juicy and sweet but these were not… maybe too unripe at this stage and I should wait for them to ripen some more.
I can understand people spending more to buy ready to eat peaches. it takes the wait out of the eating. It is difficult to know when the peaches get ripe enough… u wait too long and it becomes too soft…

and ended up spending £4.50. Granted it is buying things that I will want in the future, or being tempted by grapes 400mg for £1.09… but still… I got giant frozen prawns which at £2 each is the cheapest anywhere. Prawns are my favourite, as they go in everything and are quick to cook, and now it sits in my freezer. I go through these 200mg packs very quickly.
They are ideal for a quick meal. and now that asda is selling ramen noodle  back to 11p each instead of 15p, I shall be using a lot more of them in the instant noodle meals.
Last month I used up 3packs of these frozen prawns !!

But it just goes to show if u go to a supermarket u do end up buying things. I know others will not be so disciplined as I am and end up spending lots more than me.

So I think this may explain why so many find it difficult to make ends meet.

Also, they borrowed money in the past and are still paying it off… because one thing I have found out when u borrow, it is real difficult to pay it off piece by piece… the interest keeps raising the amount u owe, so that u will be paying 3 times more than you borrowed by the time u finished paying it off.

Simon told me of it. I happened to ask him how come he don’t go to phuket much , like he used to. I was surprised when he said he is still paying off his debts. It seemed that last time he went about 2yrs ago, he borrowed money, (and then lost it on his way there, silly fellow) and it seems he is still paying it off.

It amazed me, why he is still paying it off after so long…

He is hopeless with money… I think his soul wants it. I figured even if he pays off his debt he will find some way to get into debt again… maybe start gambling and incur triple amount of debt and make things worst. As it is , I guess u could say this debt is keeping him from spending more. He is the kind of person who just don’t have the discipline, and so need this kind of enforced discipline to prevent him from getting into worst debt.

U might be asking how come he cannot save and pay it off. He smokes and he drinks. Enough said. haha.
I bet anyone who said they cannot make ends meet you will find they have these two habits. The drinking habit is the one that destroys their savings.

I am very tolerant of others, otherwise I doubt we can be together for so long. i daresay he too is tolerant of my foibles, (glad that he too dont mind no central heating and  me not even switching on the electric heaters in winter.haha. though of course he could switch them on himself, but he does not)

I figured his life is what it is… no point getting angry at him, making the excuse that anger is for his sake. Haha. no, i dont do that… imposing what i think he ought to do , onto him. 

My feelings is that everyone has their souls desire, and if his soul desires this kind of hand to mouth life for him, so be it. Haha.

I live my life, and so able to provide shelter and a stable life for him, and he can come along for the ride. I like him around and being with him, whilst letting him do his own thing, and he let me do mine. And we get along very well and enjoy our life together. i hope i give him a sense of perspective, that you can be very happy with very little money and that money is not everything. get into debt if u like, manage it,  but dont let it overwhelm you and not see that life is really very wonderful.

Talking of tolerance, I got an email from a friend who gives parties, telling me he is not accepting another friend of mine to his parties. I introduced them to each other, as the other friend wanted to be invited to the parties.

But my party host said he did not like what he said, and more importantly how he said it.
I don’t know what they said, must ask my friend about it , but I do know that this friend don’t give a good impression when u talk to him over the phone or on email.

When he first contacted me, I felt the same too. Haha.

But he kept in touch, and after a hiatus, which I thought meant he too was not keen, he called me and told me he had a broken rib, and was out of commission that was why he had not been in contact.

Well, it might be an excuse , but we arranged to meet, as we had said so long ago when he first contacted me, and finally we did meet.

He lives in a nice house in Mayfair, inherited from his parents. He lets two rooms to mon-fri lodgers, who are straight. That way he gets income as maintaining a house can be expensive. With a flat , the cost is shared amongst all the other flats, but not if u have a house.
That is why if u are a pensioner, get rid of the house and buy a flat instead or like him , rent out rooms.

He is an older guy and set in his ways. As I suspected, he has views and they are very firm views. He likes this and not that, he wants this and not that. Quite a common thing with most people, but especially the old.
(or rather, let me qualify, if it happens in a younger guy or a good looking guy, we all forgive it.haha. Looks and youth can get u everywhere . don’t believe those guys who say otherwise. If it is an old guy, we are less tolerant of it. A sad fact of life )

I am used to it and tolerant of this; and let it slide. But I guess it might rub my host friend the wrong way.

 

 

 Image

 frozen prawns200mg are from aldi £1.99, ramen is from asda 11p. (i have noticed even i can be fooled. it used to be frozen cooked prawns at that price. but now i see from the picture that it is raw prawns. hmm not as good value as cooked prawns. i wonder if they have cooked prawns and i picked the wrong one. still maybe raw prawns have more flavour when cooked?)

added.8.8.13 i have eaten all the prawns. raw is not as nice as cooked. with the raw prawns, after cooking they shrunk, unlike the cooked ones. the prawns look big when u take them out of the pack, but after cooking they shrank a lot ,whilst the cooked prawns remain quite big after cooking. i shall buy the cooked frozen prawns from now on.