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Frank Hovis

Extreme Frugality Truck Driver

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No, not me. This lady:

30874BFF00000578-3436464-image-a-1_14548

Ilona Richards, 66, from Scunthorpe, gave up work at 59 and now lives comfortably on just £2,400 a year

THIS has been a big few days for a 66-year-old Ilona Richards, a retired HGV driver from Scunthorpe who has been named ‘Britain’s most frugal woman’.

She has been on TV and radio, sharing her money-saving tips on how to make a bottle of washing-up liquid last a year, why you should insist that visitors bring their own teabags and why, once you get accustomed to the ‘extra padding’ at the front, men’s pants are cheaper and comfier for women than ladies’ flimsy panties.

We have also learned that you can save ink by making your handwriting smaller; evenings are the best time to scour supermarkets for discounted food; and a zillion ways to save water, including limiting yourself to a weekly bath and the occasional strip-wash in the kitchen (‘You can have a perfectly good wash-down with two kettles of water’) — and only flushing the loo once a day, ideally with old bathwater.

Now I like the idea of this as a hobby; she clearly enjoys it (and I am intrigued as to how you make a bottle of washing-up liquid last a year) but I don't think this should qualify as an aspirational lifestyle.

The £2,400 (and it's the journalists story not her's) also looks a tad suspect to me given that she has a car and a computer:

Council tax: £1,200

Car Tax: £150, MoT £50, there must be some petrol - £200, parts - say at least £500

Broadband: £240

Electricty / water / gas (low use noted): £200

Comes to £2,140 so that leaves £260 a year or £20 a month for everything else including feeding her pets.

And fortunately for her she bought her own house when prices were fair, as otheriwse she'd be looking at £5k rent on top of that.

This sort of story does appeal to me as I dislike waste and wasteful consumption, and she is definitely one of those people that gets far more enjoyment from saving money than spending it so it's not as if she's suffering.

And for a change it's not linked with the reason young people can't afford a house these days is because they throw all their money away on gadgets rather than saving. As opposed to prices being insane these days so that a worker on an average salary wihout parents to support them financially has zero chance of ever buying their own modest home in many parts of the country.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3436464/Proud-named-UK-s-stingiest-woman-Visitors-bring-teabags-heating-s-softies-JANE-FRYER-meets-penny-pincher.html

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She's got (or had) a blog somewhere. I used to read it occasionally when looking for frugalista role models.

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Ask guests to bring their own teabags? F*ck that! I try to be relatively frugal but you can take it too far. Of course keep within your means, but if you invite someone over for a cuppa, or a meal, you're offering them hospitality. As for waiting in the supermarkets at night to grab he bargains .... hmmm, maybe once a week, but to be honest I'd rather be at home watching iplayer with a bottle of wine, or reading a book.

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That includes half my rent and ct.

Rent (half) is less than £50 a week for a 2 bed bungalow '

Fair dos I wasn't halving it.

I suggest you edit that other bit out and maybe, as I advised a friend to do in a similar situation, start discreetly purchasing gold sovereigns off the radar for cash.

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as I advised a friend to do in a similar situation, start discreetly purchasing gold sovereigns off the radar for cash.

Where can you buy for cash and how easy is it (in terms of AML and KYC)?

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Where can you buy for cash and how easy is it (in terms of AML and KYC)?

The cash converter type shops do so but the mark up is huge. Last time I looked the nearest proper dealer to me was in Birmingham so it wasn't worth it.

I'm not a gold bug but quite fancied having a few k in these, haven't bought any yet.

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I'd love to hold a decent quantity of physical gold (I have a tiny amount) but just got too paranoid about it. Ordering over the internet worked very well - but I started worrying about the delivery guy sussing what was in the small, heavy parcel and, thinking it was the tip of a large golden iceburg, tipping off his balaclava-clad and baseballbat-wielding pals.

I'd buy gold if I could do it securely - ie buy with cash anonymously from a shop.

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Thanks Frank....

I have it in hand for the most part. I`m used to protecting my assets and have done so for years.

I just don't know if or when the wife`s going to leave !

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I'd love to hold a decent quantity of physical gold (I have a tiny amount) but just got too paranoid about it. Ordering over the internet worked very well - but I started worrying about the delivery guy sussing what was in the small, heavy parcel and, thinking it was the tip of a large golden iceburg, tipping off his balaclava-clad and baseballbat-wielding pals.

I'd buy gold if I could do it securely - ie buy with cash anonymously from a shop.

I have similar thoughts, hence my current goldlessness. The sovs were about £250 in the one localish shop in which I did find them, compared to an internet price of £200. I'll do a Google next time I go up country.

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The secret is to live a life where apart from the necessary like CT other taxes and insurances and essential non optional expenditure....you can get by without spending unnecessary money, for example....need to drive to work, share a lift, refuse to accept money but only other gifts or services......time is money, others services and skills offered are the same as money.....swap my jar of homemade marmalade for your jar of chutney.......I will make your curtains, you cut my grass. ;)

Another example.......whole garden going to waste, so someone without land but good growing skills, weeds, cares and tends garden, growing a good crop shares the proceeds with the garden owner....win,win.....food for both from land that would have gone to waste.

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The secret is to live a life where apart from the necessary like CT other taxes and insurances and essential non optional expenditure....you can get by without spending unnecessary money, for example....need to drive to work, share a lift, refuse to accept money but only other gifts or services......time is money, others services and skills offered are the same as money.....swap my jar of homemade marmalade for your jar of chutney.......I will make your curtains, you cut my grass. ;)

Another example.......whole garden going to waste, so someone without land but good growing skills, weeds, cares and tends garden, growing a good crop shares the proceeds with the garden owner....win,win.....food for both from land that would have gone to waste.

Whilst I admire your barter culture winkie you have inadvertently hit upon one of my (many I'll admit) bugbears: the concept of land as waste when no human is doing anything with it.

Uncultivated natural land is a haven for wildlife when most of the country is under either concrete, the plough, or browsing cattle letting nothing but short grasses grow.

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Marmalade is 47p in aldi winkie. Cheap enough.

Fair enough......... Would you rather have original homemade, all ingredients carefully chosen and vetted, made with love and care or some mass produced factory blend specimen? ;)

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Whilst I admire your barter culture winkie you have inadvertently hit upon one of my (many I'll admit) bugbears: the concept of land as waste when no human is doing anything with it.

Uncultivated natural land is a haven for wildlife when most of the country is under either concrete, the plough, or browsing cattle letting nothing but short grasses grow.

Sure nobody is saying plough up a whole garden.........far too many front gardens are already carparks........food and trees and birds and animals can share.........in the animal world they share, when there is plenty enough to go around unless man has already stolen and exploited it all for himself, because human beings no longer care for sharing. ;)

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Whilst I admire your barter culture winkie you have inadvertently hit upon one of my (many I'll admit) bugbears: the concept of land as waste when no human is doing anything with it.

Uncultivated natural land is a haven for wildlife when most of the country is under either concrete, the plough, or browsing cattle letting nothing but short grasses grow.

+1

"Efficiency" and "productivity" are two widely-worshipped false gods. In any case such places are arguably being "used" by humans since they help contribute towards a more pleasant world to live in, not that a lot of people really seem to care much about that.

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Winkie......

I very rarely eat anything with sugar in it, I don't have a sweet tooth. (I have good teeth)

My sister was a health food nut.....died at 54.

What does that tell you? Don't know......!

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Winkie......

I very rarely eat anything with sugar in it, I don't have a sweet tooth. (I have good teeth)

My sister was a health food nut.....died at 54.

What does that tell you? Don't know......!

Well done.......but nobody can get away with not eating sugar even if it is only natural sugars.......a spoonful of marmalade sugar helps the medicine go down.......once a day.

Tinned, processed or anything where you don't know what went into it is highly suspect.... what you do know is easier to control, and therefore is open, fresh, and transparent..... ;)

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No, not me. This lady:

30874BFF00000578-3436464-image-a-1_14548

Now I like the idea of this as a hobby; she clearly enjoys it (and I am intrigued as to how you make a bottle of washing-up liquid last a year) but I don't think this should qualify as an aspirational lifestyle.

The £2,400 (and it's the journalists story not her's) also looks a tad suspect to me given that she has a car and a computer:

Council tax: £1,200

Car Tax: £150, MoT £50, there must be some petrol - £200, parts - say at least £500

Broadband: £240

Electricty / water / gas (low use noted): £200

Comes to £2,140 so that leaves £260 a year or £20 a month for everything else including feeding her pets.

And fortunately for her she bought her own house when prices were fair, as otheriwse she'd be looking at £5k rent on top of that.

This sort of story does appeal to me as I dislike waste and wasteful consumption, and she is definitely one of those people that gets far more enjoyment from saving money than spending it so it's not as if she's suffering.

And for a change it's not linked with the reason young people can't afford a house these days is because they throw all their money away on gadgets rather than saving. As opposed to prices being insane these days so that a worker on an average salary wihout parents to support them financially has zero chance of ever buying their own modest home in many parts of the country.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3436464/Proud-named-UK-s-stingiest-woman-Visitors-bring-teabags-heating-s-softies-JANE-FRYER-meets-penny-pincher.html

I've read Ilona's blog on and off for a few years. She's an interesting person. She left home very young and worked in Spain which wasn't all plain sailing then became a lorry driver when back in the UK. I can't recall a lot of the details from her blog but I sense her as being really independent and good at looking after herself. She's had boyfriends but I don't think she was ever married. On her blog she said she got basic pension and pension credits but whatever it is she doesn't have a big income around 9K or 10k. Some smallish savings but as you say her house was much easier to buy in her lifetime. I think she might have some mortgage left to pay off but not a lot. She just bought a decent second hand car outright last year because that's a priority for her.

Personally I would find her level of thrift uncomfortable but we never know what circumstances we may find ourselves in life so I'm glad to have read a lot of Ilona's writing about life and her ideas for living well on less.

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I know of people who generally speaking don't buy food. They survive mainly by eating food they've scavanged from skips and bins and supplement this somewhat by wild foraging and growing fruits t and vegetables. They end up having quite a healthy diet.

This woman needs to up her game. Spending money on food when it's unnecessary is wasteful :P although skip diving does have its risks don't get me wrong.

Brewing your own booze too is another big way to save money if you're quite partial to a tipple. Extreme frugality has the downside that it can make you a less social beast although it can have the opposite effect if you share knowledge and work together.

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