I think everyone reading this will have had the odd occasion when you’re on your two-week summer holiday from work and you need to answer an urgent call or email (especially if it’s from your boss or the CEO)?

I remember many years ago having to do a one-hour call while on a crazy golf course in Cornwall! Suffice to say my Mum and sister beat me.

But that’s very different to how someone I met yesterday treats his annual ‘holiday’ entitlement.

I was taking a 30-mile Uber ride from St Albans to near Milton Keynes to attend a training day in a baking hot university room. My driver was a really nice bloke, and we got into a big old chat while driving up the M1.

As with most Uber drivers, he did the taxi-ing to supplement his income alongside another job, in his case one with Royal Mail.

That was a full-time position but in order to meet his London living expenses he worked evenings, weekends, and even his entire holiday entitlement through Uber.

He told me how much he earned for the fare, which was a full 25% lower than I was charged – maybe Uber have finally realised that they should probably start generating a profit.

The reason he had to work the second job was because of the following monthly costs:

– £3,200 to rent a three-bedroom flat in South Kensington

– Over £200 a month for council tax

– I would assume his other utilities would come to something like £100 per month

– Insurance, petrol, finance payments etc for the Uber driving.

– Childcare costs (he had a five-year-old and a three-month-old).

His wife worked at Harrods, which is why I’m guessing they lived in a pretty nice part of London to be close to her work.

I explained to him about the lower cost of living in other parts of the country, as he said he spends most of his waking hours wondering how to improve his and his family’s situation.

Moving somewhere cheaper would be the simplest way.

It was an interesting discussion, but I also really felt for him – especially as I know his story is very common.

He’s essentially trapped by his outgoings, working I dread to think how many hours a year, with very little time to enjoy seeing his kids grow up.

As I’ve been reading an article with film director Jordan Peele this week I couldn’t help make the comparison with the sunken place from his excellent film; Get Out.

I have no idea how easily his family could up and leave London, it’s probably possible but would require some forward planning.

I got the impression he would have his costs under control, but if that’s not the same for you and your household expenses, it’s where my Spend It Wisely booklet can really help.

That booklet is a freebie that goes out to new subscribers almost immediately. For some it may pay for three or six months (or even more) of the subscription cost, for others it may lead to a lifetime of better financial management.

Subscription info is here:


All the best,

Stephen Wallis

Copyrighted and published by FOAR Ltd