Sunday, 30 December 2018

Looking Back

gypsy cobs galloping
4 of the 5 rescued and rehomed ponies at Frugaldom

Hello to all who read these frugal blogs! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas season and that you enjoy Hogmanay and the new year festivities.

I've just been updating the old forums, the ones that go back to 2010, as Ive found it impossible to retrieve the most recent ones that fell out of our reach when the software and operating platform changed. Not to be completely outdone, I succeeded in retrieving these old ones and have now redirected the domain www.frugalforums.co.uk towards them for our 2019 frugal living and working challenges. (Everyone is welcome to join us, it's free!)

Anyway, while unlocking previously archived sections of the forums and updating them as I went along, I stopped at the letter 'B' - it's alphabetical - and began reading about all our ideas and plans for the future. It's where I found this and saw just how far we had come over the past 8 years and showed that my longterm aims hadn't realy changed, apart from the fact that finding several like-minded others has, so far, proven to be impossible.

 Oct 20, 2010 #7
In the wake of today's spending review, a thought struck me when listening to the heated debates about the housing crisis, social housing and council rents. Affordable housing is still absent, in my opinion, for all of those people who don't want or can't get mortgages. If housing associations and others are going to be encouraged to provide more affordable homes, why do we still see so many derelict or crumbling properties? I would love the opportunity to develop a derelict site into a profitable business with the potential to expand on that and bring others into the game plan. All around us are derelict houses - small collapsing cottages  left to rot because owners who have inherited them can't agree how to split any proceeds from sales, or else left to rot in an effort to avoid tax. Removing the roof to avoid the roof tax has long, since, been abolished (as far as I am aware) but we now face the "problem" of these properties costing their owners up to 40% in capital gains tax. I just don't get it! Surely, in this economic climate, 60% of any surplus property sale in the pockets of the owners must be worthwhile. It has to beat zero with a crumbling wreck as your personal responsibility.

One excellent frugal business proposition would be for workers' co-operatives to raise the capital to purchase these unwanted properties to turn them into viable microholdings for those who are prepared to invest in their own futures. The cost of a brick, afterall, is still the cost of a brick. It shouldn't be too adversely affected by where that brick gets laid. Waste land, scrap land, disused sites, abandoned sites... the list goes on and on, yet the right to participate in any such project is curtailed, once again, by finances and the need for ludicrous amounts of cash. A group of like-minded individuals working for the benefit of all could surely earn a living by dividing the spoils, assuming they were able to amass the funds needed to initiate such a project in the first place?

My search continues for that first, elusive piece of land that could start the ball rolling. I don't have 50,000+ in the bank to buy a tiny building plot, nor do I intend borrowing it, but I'd be prepared to invest in a project where nobody squabbled about percentages and hours of work they contributed to the end result. All things being equal, (which they aren't) 1000 man hours equates to almost 6,000 even on minimum wage.

Frugaldom, as a complete microholding package, is a viable business proposition. We aren't setting out to become millionaires, we're setting out as frugal entrepreneurs in the hope of realising dreams. For me, money in the banks just won't pay in the long run, not with inflation running at more than twice the BoE base rate.
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