Tag Archives: money

Halfords car service

My car has been due to go in for a service for a while but I have been putting it off as I just didn’t have the time to take it in, typically over the bank holiday weekend a warning light had come on so I booked it in online at Halfords for a full service 1st thing on Tuesday morning.

I had already arranged for C to go to spend the morning with her Auntie Lee and Uncle Keith as I was meant to be in work. I got someone to cover my morning shift and took the car straight in, I hated driving it with the warning light on, it was very jerky and I was worried that I could damage the engine,  so used it as little as possible over the weekend. Which meant that we spent all day bank holiday Monday at home except for a walk in the park with the dogs.

After dropping the car off at Halfords I decided to have a little walk around Allerton road, My grandparents used to live in Queensdale road but moved about 8 years ago so it’s been a while since I spent much time just wandering, especially at my own pace without a toddler to watch. As it was about 8.20am very few places where open but it was nice just to have a look around as see what had changed.

At 9am I went to the Tavern Co for breakfast as it is award winning and I wanted 1st hand experience about what all the fuss is about, you can read all about it here.

After breakfast I went for another little walk, browsed in a few shops and picked up a few bits of shopping before going to costa for coffee number 4. I had taken my laptop with the intention of getting some work done but the internet usernames and passwords that Costa supplied didn’t work, so I typed up a few things offline to use later and spent some time looking things up on my phone.

The garage rang at about 10.40am and said that the problem was that the engine was misfiring. The sparkplugs needed replacing but if that didn’t fix the problem the coil packs would also need to be done. The service also reviled that the pollen filter needed replacing, the tyres needed aligning and they recommended some system additives to clean the system.

I arrived back at the garage at about 12.15pm as I had finished shopping and thought I might as well wait there. They were still trying to sort out the engine light as it was still coming on when the engine was started.

A bulb light had also been on for a while and when it was MOT’d they told me it was probably a fault as no bulbs were out, Halfords found out that there were lower rear lights that looked like reflectors but were actually lights and it was the bulbs in them that required replacing. They didn’t have them in so I will have to take it back to get them replaced.

Driving it after the service I could really feel the difference in the car, it was a smoother drive and much easier than it had been in past weeks.

The Full service cost me £169.00 but repairs have set me back another £213.54, Think I’ll have to work more shifts in the coming weeks to pay that off my card!

*Guest Post* Katie from Mami2Five – How a Decade Can Change the Shape of Family Life.

How a Decade Can Change the Shape of Family Life

 Hi, I’m Katie and I am so happy to be here with this guest blog while Ellie has a lovely break on her holiday. You can normally find me over at my blog, Mami2Five.com.

 It took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to write this post about. After all, my family’s circumstances are so different to Ellie’s. In the end I realised I should embrace these differences and this post was born.

Ellie, her boyfriend and baby C live with Ellie’s parents. They need to live with family so they can raise the money to put down a deposit on a house. Sadly, this isn’t an unusual state of affairs. Rising living costs and astronomical house prices mean that owning a home is a luxury often denied to many.  For a lot of parents also, one or two children is the maximum they will ever be able to afford, even if their hearts desire a whole football team. High mortgage payments, plus childcare costs can be crippling for those with one child, let alone two or more.

With hindsight I realise we were lucky to start our family when we did. We live in an area with lower house prices than most now, but back in 1999 we turned down even viewing a house up for £25,000 as it was too expensive! That’s pocket change nowadays! We got married in 2000, on my 18 th birthday, and within 12 days I was pregnant. With twins!  Back then you had 6 weeks, yes WEEKS, maternity leave. But it didn’t matter, once they were born, there was no way I could leave my babies. Even if I had wanted to return to work it wouldn’t have been feasible, our childcare costs would have been more than triple what I earned at the time!

Many people wonder at how we could afford to have so many children, but honestly? When they are little they cost pennies to keep (okay,that might be a teeny tiny underestimation there but you catch my drift). They eat miniature portions of food, clothes don’t need to be designer, or even brand new. Getting a black bag of hand-me-down toys and clothing can be as exciting as Christmas morning to a child, and their mother! As long as they are loved and get to have lot’s of fun they don’t really care.

Now my children are older they do cost more to keep. My eldest daughters are taller than me, they eat adult portions of food and wear women’s size 6 clothing. Their feet are bigger than mine so shoes cost more (I can actually still buy kids shoes!). But the fact that our income has gone up but our outgoing household bills haven’t changed too much means that we are doing okay. At least, with three girls, until the weddings start rolling in!

But lets pretend things had been different. Pretend I had stayed on to do my A-levels instead of going for a job interview the afternoon I got my GCSE results and started working the following week. Pretend I had gone to university, like my father wanted, and went on to get a really good job. Pretend I didn’t meet Lee until we were much older and I was in my late twenties or early thirties before we married and decided to have kids.

If all those things had happened?

There’s no way we’d be able to afford the children we have.  For starters, if we bought our house now it would cost us four times more than it cost us 15 years ago, if we’d bought it five or six years ago it would have been five times more.  Right now, we would probably be in a rented house or both working to pay our mortgage payment each month.

Let’s pretend we still had the twins first. That’s instantly double the childcare costs. In reality we went on to have another baby just after they turned two. Three children in childcare? I really can’t see how anyone could afford that! In this pretend family of ours this would either mean that my eldest daughters would be our only children, or we would have waited quite a few years until they were in school to possibly have only one more. I find it really hard to think that had our lives together been postponed by just a decade we probably would never have had all of our children. How different would this family photo be?

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What about you? Has your life turned out differently than you expected, purely because of house prices and childcare costs?