Tag Archives: money

The true cost of mods / the last car I will ever buy…


You’re likely to spend at least 1/2 as much on parts as your used car, or double if you are looking to modify it. This being in wheels, exhaust, suspension (coilovers, springs etc). If you start modifying the engine or turbocharging etc this will be even more. Modifications are not cheap and they will NOT increase the value of the vehicle when you sell. You have a higher chance of making your money back by selling the performance or modified parts separately and converting the car back to stock.

I have learnt this, noteably, the hard way. With my turbo Mazda I have been building the car for 2 years. Yes, you could do it much quicker by spending more and getting someone to start from scratch. It now has a custom exhaust system on it that has cost well over double what I initially paid for the car or the turbo kit on its own. Am I mad? Yes, probably, but this is something that I can build in my spare time now. It does need some welding to finish off, and then tuning from ground up again. I still need to purchase an oil catch can and some other bits but all along I know that I’m doing this properly. Modifiying a car is not cheap if you want to do it properly. I aim not to cut too many corners on this and I want to complete it. The majority of cars I do want are well outside my budget anyway. And let’s face it, smaller turbocharged engines are the way forward until electric vehicles become affordable.

This leads me on to say that my Mercedes 190 is the last car I will buy. If it lasts me as long as I need to take to finish my MX5 then that will be good, but I have good memories already in it, have already spent a lot more than I bought it for to get it through its last MOT, and don’t particularly wish to purchase another car. Modern cars bore me. I own two cars both 25 years old. Personally, I think their design is timeless. Not one new car particularly interests me. And the ones which do, Porsche 911 Turbo (circa 1970…) or ’66 Mustang Fastback are too expensive for me to even consider right now.

I’ve done V8s, convertibles, four bangers. I haven’t done motorbikes yet but for now I prefer life on 4 wheels.

I’ll hope to maintain this resolution for 2016 at least!

Saving Money – It’s not difficult, really!

One Pound Coins

I’m not sure what it is – but people seem to laugh at you when you’re serious about saving money. You’re chatting to someone and, quite often, they will remark as to why you’re not out every weekend or not always willing to drive a million miles to see them.

I started saving money as soon as I got a job, I set up an e-ISA account which gives you better savings rates, and started putting in a lump each month shortly after pay day. This way I would see the money go before I had a chance to A) spend it and B) budget for the remaining month without this money in my main Current account.

I have three accounts with NatWest as it stands. Partially for convenience sake, and partially because so far I’ve not had any problems with them.

I have a Current account with Debit Card – my salary goes into this and this is used for every day spending.

I then have an e-Saving account which is a ‘virtual’ account. I also deposit money in here each month. This is used for cars, and ‘toys’. If I want to get something that’s a little more expensive I will save money in this account for that purpose.

Then, as mentioned above, I have the e-ISA.

Anything I don’t spend or have left over at the end of the month / at pay day I then deposit in my e-ISA. So far I’m 3/4 of the way down to putting a 10% deposit on a house to the value of £100,000. I’ve been saving since 2008. It’s not hard….

I could be getting a better interest rate, if I shopped around. To get started take a look here: http://bit.ly/startsavingnow. It’s important to find a bank or building society that will let you open the account with a minimum of £1.

The importance of saving

I thought, seeing as it’s Christmas, I would post a useful and thought provoking post. You’re probably going to laugh at me.

It always amazes me how people can still be so immature when it comes to money… we’re in the middle of a double-dip recession after all.

I soon realized after becoming a car owner that I would be required to start saving. I made some right decisions (thanking my Parents) and I’m now in full time employment. I knew what I wanted to do with life, and stuck with it. Enough of that though, and back to the saving.

I have 3 bank accounts.

  1. Current Account (direct debits, car insurance, phone bill,every day expenses).
  2. e-Savings (online-only, general savings with higher interest, backup for expenses that can’t be paid from Current. Saving for ‘goodies’. ).
  3. e-ISA (£5,000 annual deposit limit tax-free, reasonable interest level).

I have a standing order which deposits equal amounts into both e-Saving and e-ISA accounts monthly, before I see it. Salary gets paid, money goes into savings, I don’t need to worry.

The e-ISA is a  deposit only account (money goes in but doesn’t leave). Saving for deposit on a house or something like that. You laughing yet? Thought so…

I’ll remind you that I’m 22… who’s laughing now.

Merry Christmas.