The train. A noble form of transport ever since the first loco coughed and spluttered its way up the Darlington to Stockton line in 1825. But here in 2017, was ever a ground-based method of travel more over-priced? Settle back in your own throne, relax and let me share with you a way I’ve learned to live like a king without busting the royal budget.
I used to be one of those many ordinary folk who considered the season ticket the best option for saving a few quid. But I found it would seriously eat into my monthly pay packet. So I did some thinking.
I asked at the office if I could work from home one day a week. That got agreed. I did that for a while so people could see I was coping, could be trusted and was getting the work done. Then I asked if I could do two days from home per week. At that point it was time for a little growing of the old gold and living like royalty.
I searched and found advance single tickets to cover my journeys in and out on the three days I had to go into the smoke. To my kingly delight these six singles, when booked in advance, were less money than a weekly or monthly ticket. But wait – not only that. If I included my holidays, I would be saving money compared to an annual season ticket holder. But the best was yet to come.
I discovered that I could travel FIRST CLASS on the way back EVERY DAY for the SAME MONEY. Oh, and of course if the train is ever more than 30 minutes late don’t forget to claim money back from the train company. I find the best way to do this is online, using my phone to take a quick photo of the ticket.
All aboard the Cashbags Express, next stop Moneytown.
This is a personal blog. The blog owner is neither a king nor royal in the literal sense. The blog owner does not own any corgis or swans and has no butlers, valets or footmen at his disposal as yet. It would be extremely foolhardy to link the off-the-cuff and barely proofed content on this blog with any monarchical system in the physical world.
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Walk more. Walking is free and good for you. As a result of the absurd cost of housing anywhere near my work place I have a hell of a commute. A few years back I used to take the train then underground or bus on top. I was spending too much on commuting costs. I was overweight too. King’s eat a lot, they particularly like burgers. But my belly was also getting me down and stopping me feeling like proper royalty. Then I had a revelation. Why not save money and get fit at the same time? A brace of pheasants with one big chunk of buckshot.
Bit much? No way. Even a bicycle has either capital/maintenance or rental costs. With walking all you are paying for is extra wear and tear on your shoes. And walking is a great form of exercise – gentle on your heart and joints and so much more dignified than jogging. Cycling is good exercise too of course, but it can be hazardous activity in a big city. Even if your riding is faultless, what about all those huge trucks and buses? Unless you are in a truly bike-friendly city like those of the Netherlands, it can spell danger.
Train fares are rising, but the cost of walking stays the same. Diddly squat. Gym fees are another issue. How many people can put their hand on their hearts and say they go often enough to justify the monthly gym fee? Walking is exercising for free. Not only that but you are outside in the open air not in a dimly-lit sweat box touching machines that carry the prints of countless other sticky fingers.
Rip up the travel tickets, bin the gym membership. One of the best investments you can make is a comfortable pair of shoes. Get walking.
Hello. I’m King Cashbags and this is my blog. A big royal welcome to you. I’m generally a big fan of personal finance and frugal lifestyle blogs but am not the type who likes my frugality to be too hardcore. Mr Money Mustache is great/awesome/a badass but he is a little too extreme for me. And that American spelling of moustache jars a bit. I don’t like wasting much money and prefer to make a little extra easy money if I can. I still like the odd luxury now and then. Like most kings I try to live a good life while keeping control of my cash bags and maybe adding a few more bags to the pile. And one day soon I am sure that Queen Quidbags and I can stop going to the office because we need to and only go because we want to.
About the King
I’m middle aged monarch who does an office job in the UK by day, owns a car with no loan payments on it, pays off credit card spend every month, makes regular mortgage payments on two properties, receives rental income on one of them and who has a modest sum in cash and stocks and shares ISAs. I would definitely like to grow this with an eye on early retirement.
I live in Castle Cashbags with the wonderful Queen Quidbags and young Prince Pennybags. It is a modest three bedroom terraced castle with no moat. Our car is not a Rolls Royce or equivalent and simply gets us from A to B without breaking down.
My goal is a big enough crock of gold that in Castle Cashbags we work through choice not necessity. Still living like a king but with enough cash bags that I don’t have to worry about the day job. Join me on my quest to live happily ever after.