What’s happened to the High Street and why do we need Money Shops?

I haven’t been into town for a while, well, you don’t need to go there if you aren’t going to buy anything. It’s a lovely day, so I took a detour via the cemetery and the park, to be treated to the lovely sight of a couple of jays flying over the railway line.

So I get into town and there it is, WHAM – what the heck has sprung up in the last year or so?

A Money Shop

What the hell is a money shop? What’s the current rate of £1 – well it ought to be £1, natch. But no, here we have an outfit that is going to sell you money, for money. Howzat work then? I took a butcher’s at The Money Shop website to find out how it all works.

At the Money Shop we believe that you should get your hands on cash when you need it. So why wait?

Why wait? Because you don’t have any frickin’ money and will have even less after getting out of The Money Shop! Just what is so hard to understand about that?

Not only can you give yourself the right royal shaft but you can get incentivised to stiff your similarly hard-up mates. So what is the current price on money? Well, say you need £100 and you’ve just been paid, but all your pay went on the last payday loan. Well, heck, so you write out a cheque to The Money shop for £100. The kicker is they only give you  £83.01 but the Money Shop will cash your £100 cheque after 30 days. That’s truly awesome.

Let’s assume you are the typical punter. you spend more than you earn, which is why you are coming to the Money Shop. Let’s say you want to buy Shanice some trinkets for Christmas and you need £100. Nobody else will advance this to you, so hello Money Shop. You need to borrow £100 from them, plus the amount they will charge you on top (£16.99)

Say this carries on for a year. You obviously have to borrow more and more since you need to borrow to cover the cost of the charges. How much are you borrowing at the end?

month borrowed charge
January £100 £16.99
February £117 £19.88
March £137 £23.25
April £160 £27.20
May £187 £31.83
June £219 £37.23
July £256 £43.56
August £300 £50.96
September £351 £59.62
October £411 £69.75
November £480 £81.60
December £562 £95.46

Yikes. Just. Say. No. Wilkins Micawber had it taped when he said that if you spend more than you earn the result is misery. The advantage of the Money Shop is it helps you get to the misery faster than the competition. I vote for Mr Money Mustache‘s approach:


Say what you like about MMM, but you can’t deny his dedication to excellence in customer service. Sometimes the customer is just so wrong, and needs to know the truth. Straight between the eyes…

Flabbergasted by this, I carried on, looking for places where fools could be parted from their money. The opportunities are legion –

Continue reading “What’s happened to the High Street and why do we need Money Shops?”

Why is rail travel so dear in the UK?

Exhibit A Ipswich to London rail ticket at £75!!!

Consider Exhibit A, at nearly £76 for an Ipswich to London + tube + bus to the station ticket. This is the most expensive thing I have bought this month, with the exception of Council Tax. Ipswich is about 74 miles from London so why on earth is this so shockingly expensive. Rail apologists will say you can get it cheaper, and yes, you can, if you want to book the ticket three months ahead for a specific time and train out and back. All I wanted to do was go to a business meeting, leaving Ipswich after 9:30 and coming back some time the same day. A few years ago this would have cost £22 or so which is a fair price. Now, to even get an off peak ticket I have to return before 4:30 pm or after 7pm. So to do anything useful with a train ticket, like travelling the day after you book it and not risking ridiculous pettifogging penalties you have to pay up £70-odd.

I did this journey to a different part of London at the weekend, by car. I put £60 worth of petrol in the tank, I still have well over half of it left. Why is rail travel so damned expensive in the UK? For less than half the cost of this I can travel, return, from Hoek Van Holland to Amsterdam CS and back without all this penalty malarkey. Why do we make such a pig’s ear of it in Britain, persistently and consistently? What’s wrong with us? The only good think about this ticket is that I’m not stuck with the cost!