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LeeT

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Everything posted by LeeT

  1. 1. Pay off debt. 2. Try to negotiate a better rent deal by paying a few months in advance. 3. Buy all next years tobacco and alcohol before the budget. 4. Bulk buy long life food to get bulk discount and beat inflation. 5. Use your cash ISA allowance, this year and next - probably Santander. 6. NS&I index linked bonds. 7. Gold/precious metals. 8. Equity ISA, this year and next but don't ask me where. 9. Buy a brick to show off to your friends that you have more equity in bricks and mortar than many of them will have in 2 years time.
  2. and for comparison from Statistics.gov Family Spending 2009 Households spend £471 a week This is a chart showing average weekly household expenditure on main commodities and services Average weekly household expenditure on main commodities & services UK households spent an average of £471 a week in 2008 compared to £459 in 2007. Household spending is analysed according to an internationally agreed classification system: the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP). Using this classification in 2008, household spending was highest in the transport category at £63 a week. This included £21.10 per week on purchase of vehicles, £31.80 on the operation of personal transport (such as petrol, diesel, repairs and servicing) and £10.50 on transport services such as rail, tube and bus fares. The second highest category of spending was recreation and culture at £60 a week. This includes TVs, computers, newspapers, books, leisure activities and package holidays. On average, £13.60 a week was spent on package holidays abroad, compared to £1.10 a week on package holidays in the UK. Housing (excluding mortgage costs), fuel and power was the third highest category at £53 a week. Food and non-alcoholic drink purchases contributed £51 to weekly household expenditure - £13.10 of which was spent on meat and fish, £3.70 on fresh vegetables, and £3.00 on fresh fruit. Non-alcoholic drinks accounted for £4.00 of weekly expenditure, and £2.10 per week was spent on chocolate and confectionery. Average weekly household expenditure varied according to the age of the household reference person. Those households where the reference person was aged 30 to 49 spent the most on average at £582 a week. Those where the reference person was aged 75 or over had the lowest average household expenditure at £217 a week. ----- I've not done any comparisons myself yet. So how much will my £5k in NS&I index linked bond lose after this change. I'm being shafted again aren't I? OK, so I've spent 5 minuts on it now. From 2009 RPI weightings housing and fuel and light weightings are 236 and 49 of 1000 = 285/1000ths From the bar chart housing fuel and power looks to be £52 pw from a spend of £471 = 110/1000ths Why the huge discrepancy? Is it something to do with household having 2.5 people? 2.5*110 approx= 285
  3. From the attitudes of many on this site I'm surprised nobody has suggested a career as a benefits scrounger. They say the basic pay is OK, but the perks are great. No taxes, free accomodation, easy hours, work from home etc. I'd also thought of pawnbroking and bailiffing as areas to investigate for recession proof investments (along with riot shield manufacturers). I think the solar panel installation/home efficiency/domestic flood protection areas sound good if you're a handy man with a van.
  4. God I hate the 'hard-working family' stuff almost as much as the fuss about 'child poverty'. Why not focus on 'hard working people' and 'poverty'?Sorry, I'm single you see so I get no help. Rant over. Except to say why the hell should children not be poor? Last time I looked you couldn't employ them until they were 14, and then only part time. Surely it's only proper that children are poor?
  5. Hey, I'm just a lowly kitchen porter scrubber type but I can do a mean BLT. BLT is definitely within the realm of amateur competence. There's much worse things to let an amateur chef loose on....good sharp knives for one.
  6. Apologies in advance for me being bitter and twisted. I think that public sector pension schemes have tended to be over generous and it's true that final salary schemes bear little relation to investment performance of the amounts contributed. I'd also agree that it's the general tax payer that gets to unfairly foot the huge bill for them. Private sector pension schemes also receive a tax break on contributions though. a break which only those who are paid enough to have surplus income can benefit from. Many of the private schemes are underfunded and will likely rely on the Pension Protection Scheme to bail them out, and in turn the PPS will likely rely on the tax payer to be bailed out itself. It's the people who are too poor or too frivolous to contribute to one themselves that are the real losers. To complain only about public sector schemes seems to me to be rather like the pot calling the kettle black. All pensions get subsidised by the tax payer, it's just a matter of degrees of unfairness. I guess means tested benefits offset this to some degree for pensioners without or with little of their own pension provision, and pensions can be seen as a form of deferred taxation. These factors do offset the tax breaks of pensions. I was taught before I left primary school not to put all my eggs in one basket and to save for a rainy day. It seems that the pension problem has until recently been massively compounded by peoples over reliance on it as their only retirement saving vehicle, even though most didn't save much. Now everybody else has noticed that it's all a great pyramid Ponzi scheme and nobody wants to contribute it's about to collapse. The whole system is screwed, public and private. Thank God we can all rely on our houses as a source of wealth for retirement.......what's that, HPC?......oh doo dah.
  7. 1 bed terrace for £40K, Bradford Council will pay £4487 pa in housing benefit. You'll need to get 3 of them to spend the £120K though. That's an 11.2% max yield, (=£1121.75pcm for 3 of them) and not uncommon round here for 1 bed hutches. Non DSS rent is realistically nearer £60 to £65 pw. In 2002/3 these were £16K to £20K sort of ball park if memory serves me.
  8. I've only skimmed read this lengthy thread so apologies if I have the wrong end of the stick. Boom Boom 'The underclass is not populated exclusively by Epsilon semi-morons, and it is a dangerous act of hubris to think that it is'. Thankyou for acknowledging my existence. Why does Boom Boom seem to be challenging HPC001s living expenses? They seem entirely reasonable to me. I live on less but live in cheapest Yorkshire and not London. ----- Here's my breakdown of costs in a shared house of 3 people Rent = £1350 Council Tax = £280 Gas,Elec = £320 Water = £72 TV License = £48 Phone, TV, Broadband = £120 Rent plus bills = £2190 3 Holidays per year = £75 (bus to festival, I steward so free camping, food shop at Lidl). Dentist = £200 (private, 2 appointments pa plus £100pa to cover occasional work). Travel (excl holiday) = £20 (bus to parents twice a year). Clothes = £50 (mostly boots, socks and undies). Baccy = £250 (light self roller). Odds and sods = £250 (toilet roll, wash up liquid, fuses etc) Non food expenses = £845 Food = £780 (own cooking and a supermarket end of day shopper, I also live in majority Asian area so can get dirt cheap staples in bulk). Total before luxuries = £3815 By the time I've kept my computer and HiFi on the road, bought the odd game and gone out for my quarterly drink total expenses rise to £4000 - £4100. ----- Minimum wage would be a cinch to live on, that's the beauty of not living alone. I can't help but think that the 'Minimum Decent Wage' idea is based upon the idea we should all have a right to those aspirational luxuries the wannabe middle classes currently enjoy but will be reconsidering when their jobs feel less secure and they haven't had a pay rise for a few years. I do agree that tax credits are a shambles, artificially prop up businesses, drive down wages and are massively inefficient to administer. They also create workplace inequalities where one employee may effectively receive more than another employee doing the same job because one is entitled to tax credits where another isn't. Just the usual edit for typos
  9. You say you can buy at a big discount at the moment. Is this a genuine friends and family discount or a discount to reflect the fact that the property is not really worth what was previously being asked? If you were to buy would you need a Buy to Let mortgage or does your cash comfortably cover purchase price, fees and any work you need to do to get the property into rentable state and still leave a comfortable financial buffer for things to wrong elsewhere in your life? Is your current job very secure and do you currently have enough slack each month to cover current living costs plus mortgage and maintenance on the Buy to Let and cost of living increases where you are now? How confident are you of getting the rental income you need? Would the council pay enough housing benefit to cover you if your tenant became unemployed? As any house you buy would be away from where you live, do you intend to manage it yourself or use an agent. ie do you prefer hassle or expense? My feeling is that with very careful property selection and no mortgage, buying in the North and perhaps Wales, you might be able to buy something on which the tenants housing benefit will give you a good yield. Property prices may crash, but a cheap property will fall less. In years to come it can be a fixer up and sell property. I still think that any gains are going to be very small in comparison to recent years and quite possibly less than sensible alternatives for a lot more hassle. eg 1 bed terrace for £40K, Bradford Council will pay £4487 pa in housing benefit. £40K is still around double what those were in 2002 though. In short, I'd keep the powder dry and hang on for a few years.
  10. Well, I'm no financial guru but this is what I understood from the report. The reporter says it's 'Repo 105' not 'Quanto 5' (I think you misheard that) that Lehman used to hide assets off balance sheet. Apparently it's all very complex and it will take some time to fully digest the implications of the 2200 page report but it looks serious. Here's a couple of related stories. Linklaters faces fall-out from Repo 105 ‘Repo 105’ accounting in focus What’s in Repo 105 Repo 105 'Repo 105' at the heart of Lehman report Maybe change thread title?
  11. Luton South, Luton North and Ellesmere Port and Neston are all Labour seats that they may lose at the next election. See here for info on marginality (is that a new word?). Sounds like a bribe to me. Then again, we used the car scrappage scheme as a method to subsidise overseas car production with tax payers money, so it's only fair we subsidise domestic production too. Perhaps GM had Labour over a barrel. Knowing what GM closures did to Detroit may have helped make the decision to subsidise easier. Edited to add this link to Automotive Assistance Programme page. I especially like this bit 'The Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP) is a support package that aims to unlock up to £2.3bn in loan guarantees, and exceptionally loans to the UK automotive sector. Programme support through the Temporary State Aids framework is available up to end December 2010. The final maturity dates of such loan guarantees and loans can extend beyond 2010. HMG loans may be provided under the AAP in exceptional circumstances.' Also, this is a loan and will therefore be paid back with interest just like those to the banks (clears throat...ahem!) Of course the fact that the former 'General Motors Corporation' went bust last June and is now renamed "Motors Liquidation Company" doesn't really inspire confidence in the management. Let's hope the new 'General Motors Company' will have the ability to repay. Still, I'm sure the interest rate will be very high commensurate with the risk involved. This Wall St Journal article also covers this new loan guarantee and loans from other European governments.
  12. I don't know why things need to be compared to the size of Wales but it seems people are supposed to understand things in those terms, so here goes. Multiple Miggs said: 'YES THATS RIGHT sheeple the uk government debt is increasing at the rate of £15 billion OR 75,0000 peak price £200k houses EVERY MONTH'. 'The total number of dwellings in Wales at 31 March 2008 was estimated to be 1.33 million', from Welsh Assembly doc. 1.33m/75K = 17.73 So in words that the man on the Clapham omnibus would understand (Sheeple is so patronising). UK government (ie. mine and yours) debt is increasing by the value of all the houses in Wales every year and a half. Actually, it's worse than that because Welsh houses are cheaper. That's before any house price crash too, this would have the effect of shortening the time to accrue an added debt the size of Wales or extending Wales to take in Cornwall and Devon too, or a large chunk of Cheshire. Given this threat to their housing stock it will be interesting to see how Plaid Crymu do in the election. PS I take it the second equation posted above was to solve the roots of a cubic equation, I've not seen that one before, it's certainly less memorable than for a quadratic.
  13. I heard that insurance deal which caused the drop on Monday morning has become unwound. http://www.forexlive.com/ 'Cable has jumped again, now above 1.5050, and GBP/JPY is back at 133.50 (resistance levels at 133.75 and 134.00). This is all short covering on the news that the Prudential deal might yet be scuppered which would then involve significant un-hedging (if that’s a word!). Cable resistance is at 1.5100'.
  14. From the article 'The couple quit their jobs and began selling on eBay in February 2006 using a s400laptop bought with cash from Matt selling the tools of his old trade.' Sort of burned his bridges there didn't he? So if it all went tits up and he needed to go back to carpentry he'd have to buy a new set of tools (on EBay of course). What a prat.
  15. I'm new to this Equity ISA malarky and need a little help on fees. Many of the supermarkets seem to offer substantial or 100% discounts on initial fees in unit trusts and OEICs. So if I went for Unit Trust A and a couple of months later wanted to switch to Unit Trust B would I get the big discount on Unit Trust B initial charges? Now, I believe unit trust managers may levy exit fees if units have not been held for long. When do these tend to kick in and how penal are they in general? If I pick trusts with small spreads can this form the basis of an investment strategy with low fees? I'm sure I've missed some basic points somewhere and need to do more reading. I can't see them letting me do this without clobbering me for a few hundred quid somewhere.
  16. I've opened the same account. You can still open the Santander version of this account in addition to the Alliance and Leicester one. Hey presto 6% gross on £2500 in each account. Halifax are paying £5 net pcm (bonus) on some of their current accounts too, though they pay a 0% interest rate and have a funding requirement. I've opened all 3 (A&L, Santander and Halifax) I'll keep the Halifax barely in credit and £2500 in each of the others. I have an additional £1000 which flows between them to meet funding requirements. Result is a net £300 interest pa on £6000 total in these accounts. That's 5.00% net rate or 6.25% gross. (Don't quote me on the maths, but I think I'm right). In addition I have £5000 in Index Linked NS&I certificates and £7500 in NS&I 3% 1 year fixed Cash ISA. The Santander cash ISA looks interesting, I'll follow that up. I need to shift some out of an underperforming A&L cash ISA, I'm also thinking of getting a US dollar account to in the hope of some exchange rate gains, though interest rates on these seem generally poor.
  17. OK, so I think we're all agreed that 56K repo flats in Manc is bunkum. I don't know how many of you seasoned property watchers are aware of this site but I've found it useful for researching new developments in my area. Here's the Manchester page. Skyscrapercity - Manchester Make of it what you will. Edited for typo
  18. I'm trading Brooke Bonds too. My dad used to work for them and I get tthem for 99p for 80 pyramids. Way cheaper than the full market price. At the moment I'm in to the tune of 5 boxes in my cupboard but will stock up further at this price.
  19. Well, I've been waiting for a readjustment in house prices since 2002/3 or so. I'm cash rich (in comparison to the folk I know anyway) but thinking about moving some of that into equities to avoid poor interest rates on savings. Having £400 income pa doesn't help either (yes I need a job as I'm not entitled to benefits). If anybody is in a position to offer me a job in Bradford I'd love to hear from you. Currently renting a shared late victorian back to back Cheap as chips and nicer than it should be for £112.50pcm rent.
  20. Papag, You forgot to mention our cut throat pound shop scene. Competition is so fierce in this sector that we'll be having 50p shops soon. We have a good selection of pawn brokers and pay advance shops too and more than enough phone shops. I'm convinced the city centre is still going to be shafted for a long time to come . I was talking to one of the construction guys working on the Park In The Heart today. He reckons costs of £26m for the project before over runs. That's £50 each for every man woman and child in the city. Thank god I live in a shared house and our lowest band council tax gets split 3 ways.
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