Thursday, 7 February 2019
What if we all fear money. #TightwadDad 003
My Dad was a London Taxi Driver. Recently, he met up in Hertfordshire with an old pal of his, who also used to be a cabbie. But Ronnie had got out of the trade years earlier to get into property.
I think it’s something that’s always bugged Dad, maybe it’s even a regret.
In the early 1970’s there was a house going for sale in Camden Town, near where we lived.
We were council tenants, and he really wanted to buy this place.
Drove past it daily.
It was an absolute bargain. Because it was totally blighted.
Ring roads and overhead motorways were the big thing, and there was a plan for an elevated roadway to plough straight through the borough.
Straight through this house.
I still don’t know how (maybe I should ask him), but even as a professional driver he knew this road wasn’t going to happen. Yet painfully it was just out of reach of Dad’s budget. The mortgage payments would have been too spicy, especially with a young family to feed.
And it was all over a small amount in the scheme of things, say a hundred quid or so.
Unfortunately, he was completely right.
The motorway didn’t happen.
I mean that’s great. But his pal Ronnie did take the plunge, and the risk, and bought property. Which paid off.
And then some.
So anyway they meet up. Decades later. They’d always stayed in touch.
But something was a little different this time.
“He didn’t mention it once, like it was a big thing... but it came up lots and lots of little times, over a few hours:
‘His 4x4 is playing up - garage bills’;
‘He doesn’t think he can send the third grandkid to private school’;
‘He doesn’t know where the next deal is going to come from.’
‘He couldn’t pay for a new bathroom in the coach house - yeah, the coach house.’
It was only after that I realised Neil, I thought... ‘This guy has got exactly the same worries about money that I have got. Except, obviously, the cash involved is all the way up here instead of down here. But the worries. They’re exactly the same!”
He paused for a moment.
“Who’s better off?”
Dad was still driving past the house till a year or so ago.
Always wondering, if only he’d got that extra hundred quid.
How different would it be.
Would things have been any different?
Or would the money worries still end up being the same.
I am a Tightwad Dad, and I still don’t know if I will be judged for sharing this, but this day we spent:
- £5 Soya latte and cold hot chocolate with my son.
We talked over this idea for me to log every pound that we spend.
He didn’t think it was a great idea because “You might see how much you spend, and that will change how you spend your money.”
- £0.50 One last game of table football.
- £17.73 Burger chain meal for 4 on a 3 hour journey.
- £57 Diesel. With triple loyalty card points.
- £12.45 Supermarket.
- £40.50 Life Cover (I have no idea what this is for either, but I will make it my mission to find out).
Try my new book!
The experiment. Sharing what we spend for a month. #TightwadDad 002
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