I Can’t Afford It!

May 29, 2008 at 9:38 am 17 comments


I am depressed. It is all due to the credit crunch. I woke up this morning to the news that the UK housing market is in free-fall. Apparently our houses have lost 2.5% of their value in just the last month alone, being the seventh month in succession that house prices have fallen. So, I’ve just had more value knocked off the house than I spent on the new kitchen and bathroom. Great. Just great.

And, of course, this all happens at a time when the oil price is going mad. It is SO bad that I am actually in two minds as to whether I can afford to go to work. Seriously. I have a fifty mile commute. That’s four hundred miles in a week (I work from homes on a Friday). And with the cost of Super Unleaded at something like £122 a litre and a fuel performance of around 20 mpg or so……

I know I could get a more fuel-efficient car than an Audi TT but I do have an image to think about. And, there have to be some perks to all my hard work over the years! Now don’t all you planet huggers and eco-terrorists start on me when I’m feeling down. And, no, public transport is not an option. I live in rural Cheshire (the bit with the M6 motorway going through the middle of it) and the nearest bus service is a good two and a half miles away. The bus only runs on a Tuesday. And, it doesn’t go anywhere that I would want to.

Added to that, another joy of living the rural dream is that I now have to worry about the threat of someone breaking into my home heating oil tank and siphoning it all off. The cost of home heating oil (kerosene) has almost doubled in the last twelve months and it seems to have sparked a min-crime wave. We are not connected to the gas mains so we have no choice but to use oil. So, I can’t afford to go to work and I can’t afford to heat my water or my home!

So, we are economising. Economising mostly involves sacking (“letting go” was the term that C used) our gardener. The efficient and reliable guy who has mown our two expansive lawns and trimmed our hedges. Instead, this has become my job. So, a new petrol powered lawnmower (more bloody fuel cost) has been purchased and two hours or so of my life every other week or so will be given up to putting fresh stripes on the garden. But, do not fear, this is not the first sign of us becoming self-sufficient. Many of you will know of previous failed bids at achieving the Good Life. But we’ll not be going there…….or will we?

Indeed, we may well have to turn the side garden over to vegetables. Either that or try to sell it to the government as a site for one of their new nuclear power stations….

I can’t afford to drive. I can’t afford to pay someone to cut the lawn (please God don’t let the window cleaner put his prices up!). I can’t afford hot water or heating. And, it is becoming increasingly hard to afford to eat. Sure, rice, bread, and pasta costs seem to have also rocketed around the world. While the good old potato is being touted as the planet’s saviour, I am not allowed to eat them because of my summer diet. “We” are concerned about our bikini figure. And, thanks to bloody Jamie and Hugh I am now so emotionally scarred that I can only eat organic free range chicken from the Dali Lama’s personal petting farm, at the cost of an arm and a leg. If it wasn’t for Waitrose’s wine offers we’d be destitute…..

So it looks as if I have to sell the car, give up work, buy a shotgun with which to guard the oil tank, wrap myself in a Waitrose Bag for Life just to keep warm, and dig for England. It’s probably no bad thing. If you believe the other news headlining today, if I ever did step outside the front door I’d probably be attacked by a ten year old knife wielding crack addict! Always look on the bright side, eh?


Entry filed under: driving, Economy, Politics. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

What Does An Eye Taste Like? Sting in the Tale

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Archer Pam  |  May 29, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Fuel costs are affecting every area of our lives, aren’t they? My blog was a tongue in cheek sort look at solving the problem, but it might come down to creative travel, such as horses and bicycles.


  • 2. Matt  |  May 30, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Oil price is going so quickly and our pay isn’t. As far as the stealing, it’s happening here in the US too, in Canada as well. Have you heard of B5 oil. check it out.

    http://oilheatamerica . com/index.mv?screen=bioheat

    It’s better than conventional oil. But cleaner and much more eco-friendly. working for NORA, I ave recommended this the most to all oil users. Check it out whenever you get a chance.


  • 3. thedailycommuter  |  June 9, 2008 at 4:36 am

    so you guys on the other side of the pond are going through the similar thing as we are although I don’t think i have heard that property has decreased in value. if anything it’s just harder to sell for the asking price.

    everything is costing more. not just oil but food, basic necessities and using public mass transit. while everything is rising in costs, our salaries are not increasing. people are losing their homes or at risk of foreclosure.


  • 4. Meg  |  June 16, 2008 at 9:06 am

    it’s getting to the point where there will be another world wide depression.
    but then again I think it’s already here, prices go put and put so everyone gets more and more depressed.

    oh and wash your own windows, cheaper and you get exercise too.


  • 5. Middle Man  |  June 16, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Sorry but it would take me so long to do the windows as well that I would HAVE TO give up work….


  • 6. Ryan  |  June 28, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Rural people, regardless of where you live, are the most impacted by higher fuel costs. They are quite possibly the most dependent on fossil fuels and lack many alternatives.


  • 7. Ged  |  August 25, 2008 at 11:57 am

    WELCOME to the real world!You have stored up treasures that moth and rust consume!!!!The best way to survive is to do so without those around you noticing!If you live only for what you need,not what you WANT,then life gets a whole lot simpler!!!
    It’s a VERY VERY steep learning curve you are on!Will you have time to learn enough before it all goes bang?I DOUBT IT.
    best wishes to you,you need to downsize like YESTERDAY!


  • 8. MIKE  |  December 21, 2008 at 12:00 am



  • 9. B  |  February 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Big deal i can’t afford food. i barely make rent working two full time jobs. get a grip on reality


  • 10. Middle Man  |  February 10, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Dear B,

    I do feel sorry for you and I applaud your efforts to work hard to get yourself out of it. But, please try to hold on to your sense of humour and recognize something written very much tongue in cheek.


  • 11. AZ  |  March 19, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    My family in Ohio, USA is experiencing the worst we ever have. We have currently down graded everything in our live no more satalite tv, very little driving – we bike even in the cold. We wrap up in blankets at home–no heat. We never buy anything we don’t need — and at that we go to thrift stores first. We begun shopping at the discount grocery store — sells off brands and not the greatest quality of food. We can barely afford food. I skip meals so that we can survive & my daughter can eat. Both spouses are working full time…with a one having a second job. Our family is really struggling!!


  • 12. Georgina  |  April 21, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    What a tosser, stop feeling sorry for yourself and get a grip. You have obviously been blessed quite a lot in your life and just don’t appreciate it. You sound like a very spoiled adult.


  • 13. Middle Man  |  April 22, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Dear Georgina,

    Oh get over yourself! Are you American? Do you not understand irony and “tongue-in-cheek”. Where is your sense of humour?

    I have indeed been “blessed” in my life. Blessed with excellent role models. Blessed with a work effort. Blessed with a self-sufficiency attitude. Blessed with good sense. Blessed with opportunities that I have grasped and grafted to make the most of. And, I do appreciate it all.

    Far from being spoilt, I have everything that I deserve. After all, I worked and paid for it all. And, seeing as you clearly know nothing about me and are oh so quick to judge – you might be better informed reading this:



  • […] Man presents I Can’t Afford It posted at Middle […]


  • 15. AK  |  September 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I’m on 10k a year. I got made redundant, I refused to sign on and managed to be re-employed a month later on 3.5k less in a new role. That works out £627 after tax. I have outgoings of £478 for rent, water, electric, phonebill, and a loan I had to take out to get a car to travel the 12 mile journery (24 round trip) to work every day. My cars the most efficient I could find a months worth of diesel to get me about costs me around £100. This leaves me with about £50, or £1.70 a day to get myself food and live my life. There are no jobs to move on to better money round here for 1 job they have 150 applicants, most with degrees which I do not have. I’m 19. I can barely afford to eat!

    Oh and my boss drives an 80k beamer.


    • 16. Middle Man  |  September 25, 2009 at 11:11 am

      I admire and applaud you! I hope someone recognises a real grafter and gives you the opportunity to do better for yourself. Good luck and thanks for popping in.


  • 17. Harvey  |  November 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Have you tried heating your home with a homemade rocket stove and water heater? tinkkerbell@mac.com. I’ll show you how to make one from recycled materials. Completely free. Collect palettes and scrap wood for free fuel.



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