A Day of Mixed Fortunes

I’ve had a blowout! Not a flat tyre, just a fall off the thrifty perch I have been sitting on over the past few months. It was one of those days! Got up early to go to work and banged my big toe on the right foot of the bed leg. If I had been my usual drowsy self and were stumbling around in slow motion, it probably wouldn’t have hurt so much. But, no. On that particular morning, I was full of motivation and breakneck speed. My toe hit that wood with a crack. I was sure I had broken it.


I limped to the bathroom to brush my teeth and discovered you can curse and clean your teeth at the same time! Neither activities stopped the throbbing pain. For the whole morning, my getting ready time was painful, slow, and sucking the motivational energy out of me. I was in no mood for pleasant smiles and happy ‘good mornings’ anymore.

Jumped into the car and yep, you guessed it. It wouldn’t start. Harry, the next door neighbour, bless him, was out front at the same time and without a word, dashed back inside and emerged with his jump start kit. I was off in a flash of ‘thank you’ and extra pain from using my agonisingly sore toe on the accelerator and brake.

Work was a disaster with a couple of projects that had to be redone which meant an unhappy, snappy boss. So, when my friend Emily, from Australia on secondment for a few months to our firm, suggested we go to a bar on the way home and have a drink I gave her a big hug and shouted: “You bet!”

While having a drink we got to talking about my pet project of saving money. Emily seemed pretty much the same as me. She was always looking for ways to make life a bit easier and to have a bit of spending money left over to enjoy herself. For her few months in the UK, she was renting out her apartment in Melbourne. One of the real benefits of the financial collapse a few years ago was how the interest rate on loans plummeted to all-time lows. Almost everybody she knew had taken the opportunity to shop around and change loan providers. Emily had looked at many fixed rate home loans, including one from NPBS, who were one of the smaller providers in the home loan business.

I was rather interested in just what rates were available in Australia compared to the UK and my colleague’s interest in money saving stuff like me had us chattering away like two long lost budgerigars thrust into the same cage. When Emily suggested we have a bit to eat as well, I thought of the prospect of getting home in the dark, limping around trying to prepare a wholesome, cheap meal and in a weak moment said: “Yes!” I’m not going to tell you how much the evening cost, but believe me, it was a blowout!