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John Williamson

How to afford almost anything & live well without a big income

Its important to understand the following:

Your INCOME has absolutely NO BEARING on how you live or what you can afford. That is purely down to how you manage your life, and how you manage your money. 

Society is designed to take as much money from you as possible. Don't let it!

I manage very well on a very low income. With new car, house paid up, plenty of boys "toys", money in the bank etc. 

Some basic stuff follows that should be OBVIOUS to anyone, but plainly isn't!  They should teach this stuff at school!   If you are struggling to pay your bills, cant afford a new "widget" you are doing it wrong.

The Simple Rules!

a) NEVER use credit. Not ever. No exceptions. If you cannot afford something right now simply do NOT buy it.

If you use a loan you pay MORE obviously. Its amazing how this adds up. And means you didn't get a "cash discount" either. I always make an offer, (or even buy two or three if the price is good) to get a discount. Re-sell the items you don't need or keep them for later.  

If you have cash because you saved in up and bought "right" from the beginning you can usually get a better deal! Leaving some in the pot towards the next purchase.  So buying on credit means you actually lost out twice.  Which means much less money in your pocket.

Making the the next item you want/need yet more unaffordable.  And so yet MORE credit is needed... This obviously spirals and gets to be a way of life.

This is how society makes the foolish poorer and those that see the light richer. Those that start off "correctly" finish up with the cash to do anything they want, and buy things cheaply in bulk, or without crippling credit interest.

If you have outstanding loans, card debts etc, then move into a tent or a parents house, sell the car, the dog, and get it paid off as soon as humanly possible. If you don't ever get in debt in the first place this isn't a problem.

If you are, then you are buying the loan company bosses new car for him. Why would you want to?  They lend you money because they can rip you off and make more money than they can at the  bank...

Discount for cash is way better than paying interest. You win twice. Put the money you saved into your house. Don't tell me you are paying rent!


b) Never buy anything on the "drip" monthly even if its "interest free"...  They are letting you have something you really cannot afford. Pay it now. Even if it means going without for a couple of months. Such as car insurance or "the UKs Council Tax" or that sofa,. For two reasons.

One, because once the shock of paying for something outright and up front has passed and is forgotten, all your money from then on, is your own. Having an "amount" coming out of your account monthly means your money is never your own and it seems like its going on forever. It makes future dealings more complex and you are then less flexible to do a GOOD deal as you don't have cash in your pocket..

If you don't like this or cannot afford to do without the monthly payments scheme then refer to a) above!  And two, because "interest free" just means its then added into the price and you are already being ripped off! Nobody can afford to really give you free credit. Shop around and do a better deal elsewhere. Nobody lends money "free"...

c) Never RENT accommodation! Its the same thing as throwing your money down a big hole. You are effectively paying the mortgage and buying the place for its owner...  Buying is often CHEAPER than renting, and if you run your life correctly, you CAN buy. If you DO rent, because you cannot beg a friend or relative to let you live somewhere to allow you to save up a deposit, or cant bear to live in a car/tent, then rent the cheapest single room you can for the least time possible. All this gets harder as you get older. I bought a ground floor flat when I was living with my parents. I rented it out until it was paid for completely by the tenants, and then sold it for more than double what I paid for it. The rent coming in was more than the mortgage so it also paid for my beer.  You can only do this when you are young and living elsewhere. By the time I needed a house I already had one bought and paid for.

So SAVE a deposit and BUY a house or flat if humanly possible. That money is then yours. Better than money in the bank. If you CAN live free of charge with a parent/ relative/ boyfriend/ GF etc; then do so, and STILL buy a house and rent it out!  Get some other sucker to pay the mortgage.

Mortgages (at the lowest interest rate possible - do your homework) for buying GOOD property in a GOOD area is the ONLY exception to the NO LOANS rule in a) above.  Because historically, house prices rise faster than inflation. And faster than your mortgage total. In other words you are winning. Its money in YOUR bank. And non of the government agencies count this as capital for benefits etc. And you have to live somewhere so why throw rent down a black hole?.

Do this and pay most of it off BEFORE you decide to get married or breed... You cant afford kids and a mortgage at the same time! So that means breaking all of these rules. Better still do not get married or have kids. I didn't. And it was through choice.

d) NEVER insure anything. Insurance is a racket. Unless like "car insurance" the law insists that you are ripped off. Obviously it is cheaper long term to pay for your own failed camera, washing machine, keys, computer, central heating etc.

If it wasn't, then the insurance companies would not make any money. And they are rolling in it.  Why would you want to give them your money.

If you must insure something SHOP AROUND for at least a day. Comparison sites help.

Don't pay any bills by direct debit either. Pay by cheque and examine utility bills, etc very carefully. Its amazing how much they steal from people.

And the errors are always in their favour. But basically you can repair or replace your "stuff" cheaper than insuring it.

e) Buy everything you will use lots of, that doesn't go out of date, in bulk!
 Cheaply or at, trade prices and store it. Open an imaginary business, invent a letter heading, open a business account. It opens many doors. An example of this is toilet paper, A4 printing paper, canned food, meat for the freezer, Hoover bags, washing up liquid, soap powder, towels, dish washer salt, dried dog food, bin liners, bbq fuel, etc. No garage? Refer to c)  I even buy may powerchairs at half price.

f) if you find a good deal on the "WIDGET" you were buying, buy 2 or as many as you can afford. If you cant don't buy any unless you have no choice. And if you live by these rules you can afford to buy bulk!   Use one for "widget" yourself, eBay the rest for a profit.  Example. Wheelchair tyres are extortionately priced. I need about 3 sets a year. I buy them in bulk, in sets of 10 or 20 very cheaply, I use some for myself, sell the rest in pairs, on eBay to people that cannot afford to buy in bulk because they don't practice this methodology!. My tyres are then free or in fact make money to offset other mobility related expenses. I do this with lots of things.

My GF (now ex GF!) says I am stingy.  I prefer efficient or cheap!  She earns about 4x my income for the last 8 years and has thousands on credit cards and lived here rent free. She has done this for 8 years and hasn't got enough deposit for a mortgage so she RENTS a flat now.  She is like most people, the exact opposite to this page! Everything on credit, lots of clothes, holidays, mobile phone bills bigger than my income, and everything insured...  When she needs money and her cards are maxed out she borrows in from me. Because even on 1/4 of her income I have plenty.


g) think out of the box. I drive a modified car for disabled use. Mine cost me 30k UK Pounds brand new since I bought from the US when there was 2.00 US Dollars to the UK Pound. At that time an identical but right hand drive UK registered one was 54k. Saving me 24k pounds. I can afford to sell this van after a year and get all of my money back and do it all again...  Free new car every year.  Don't have 30k?  You WILL HAVE if you follow this page info from an early age!


h) don't WASTE your money. Eat the cheapest meal in a restaurant. Don't buy expensive clothes, Holidays, "new" cars unless you do it or do what I do above, Don't buy things that don't last, de-value fast or perish. Avoid technology, Don't waste money on jewellery, perfume and don't buy other peoples drinks, meals, etc. There are THOUSANDS of things to waste money on. Like CDs, Movies, Games, etc. Have a monthly phone account? Why? Monthly line rental drip again. Get rid of it. Have a mobile? On a contract? GET RID of the contract! Its a huge waste that costs hundreds to thousands every year. Get a pay as you go card, and only do "free SMS" and let others call you.

I have a BOUGHT AND PAID FOR used phone from eBay for 25 UK Pounds. Its now 6 years old, working fine. It costs me 10 pounds top up every 3 to 4 months maximum. If your phone bill is higher then you are throwing your money away. Cable/ Satellite TV? Again a total waste of huge amounts of money on the monthly drip.  I no longer have a TV licence, no longer watch TV (live TV) at all. Almost everything is available free to watch after the event on the internet NO Licence, no rented set top box, no fees to sky or whoever every month. All these monthly direct debits really add up! So I have NONE! So DO BUY a big computer monitor, and a cheap fast internet connection as it SAVES you money.


i) DO buy things that SAVE you cash long term. E.G. I converted all of my house years ago to be as cheap to run, as soon as possible, and as soon as I could afford to do it. Prioritise!   The holiday can come after you start saving. I spent lots on roof, wall insulation. I spent more still on super high efficiency central heating, 100 percent efficient gas fires, double glazing etc to reduce my gas bills to less than half.  The sooner / faster you do all of this this the sooner you start saving.

And also replaced all the exterior woodwork with plastic. No exterior maintenance to pay for in the future... And am looking into SOLAR panels on the roof since its heavily subsidised and cuts my power bills right down to almost zero. Again this will COST me money but means that long after the cost is forgotten I get no or low electricity bills!

J) I replaced every single light in the house and 8 external spot lights with super efficient LED lighting. I utilise all the power saving of a modern computer system, and replaced all electrical devices such as washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers, battery chargers, fridges etc with the most energy efficient devices available. It reduced my electricity bill by around half. The sooner you spend a few thousand on i), and j), the sooner you have the extra few hundred a month to spend (or save!) Remember long after the initial outlay is forgotten the savings continue indefinitely. Do it sooner!!! Save MORE.

k) learn to help yourself. I can fix and maintain almost anything myself. Today for e.g. I serviced my van, at about 1/4 the cost of a garage or less. And did a better more careful job. Last week I repaired the washing machine. A new pump is easy to fit, costs very little. Who needs insurance! I do the same with almost everything.

l) Do things properly first time.  Don't pay twice.  E.G. the fence around my property had been repaired a few times. It takes time, money and energy to keep on top. Do the lot!  Properly. All at once. Treat it (soak it) with preservative, use concrete posts and forget about it for 10 years or longer. Long after the expense is forgotten the advantage (and property price) remains... This also applies to I), and J), above... Spending on your house is money in your bank, not an expense but a long term saving. As such I spent 10 years replacing all the wood on my house with maintenance free plastic, replacing the large flat roof covering with high quality expensive solutions that LAST. No more future repairs, painting, etc.


m) Don't get married, or have kids. This sounds stupid but I am serious! I can live massively cheaper as a single guy, than if I was permanently repairing damage done by more people, and the expense that women and kids cause. A kid is the single biggest expense that most people ever have.  And we thought women were expensive. Women spend (waste) mountains of money on frivolous pointless things that are forgotten ten minutes later. Expensive ornaments, make up, hair styling, holidays, frilly bed/curtain/other stuff... Get one you will see!


n) I waste apparently huge sums of money on things I want to learn from. All my life if I ever saw anything I did not understand, I wanted it. So I can pull it apart, figure out what makes it tick. My GF and family, and now my carers, think/thought I was mad. I am doing it now, developing a lithium powered high speed powerchair, that may all go bad! But I learn from it.

Developing things such as water cooled computer systems in the 80s, with aquarium pumps, underground oxygen bottles, and home made water cooling blocks (still inside the PC I am typing this on). It all costs a fortune.  But to me, what I learn from all my "crazy" (to others) projects, is way more valuable than the cost in ...

And while its true to say many of these projects are now abandoned, or failures as "projects" as such but what I learned was absolutely invaluable. For e.g. I used to run two businesses building automotive dynamometer systems, and Nitrous Injection for drag racing. (www.nitrous.info) all because of some of the things I learned along the way. Which paid for much of my life before my accident left me in a powerchair.

If you live your life like this list, you will live like a guy with a fancy wage in some hi end job. Without actually having one. In your own (paid for) house, and with few bills or worries.

If you do the opposite, as the vast majority of people do, then you will NEED a fancy job just to pay for the bills, interest, damage, holidays, kids etc.

Or you will live in state funded housing wondering how to pay your credit card bill or the electricity. Or how to afford to buy some food.  Its your choice.



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