The simple way to save money

One thing I’ve learnt over the years is to always be wise with money, and try not to spend more than is really necessary. One new trick that I learned recently is that you shouldnt assume that the quoted rail fare online, is the best price you can pay for your ticket. On the popular routes, with advance fares, it generally is the case, but when taking a journey, where for whatever reason (mainly using more than 1 rail company) there isnt an advance fare, just paying the one offered to you isnt the best thing to do.

For example, today, I was booking the tickets for myself, and Eric, to go from Huddersfield, to Inverness in September. Yes, we’ve just reached the point where the advance fares for those dates kick in, and given his lack of patience in such matters… I got it done!

Thing is, if you go on the National Rail website, and look up the fare for such a trip, all it offers you is a ‘anytime off peak return’ for just over £98 each, using our Senior railcards. No other options, take it, or leave it. Thing is, if I tell you that I paid just over £75 each for our fares, quite legally…wow!

There are sites dedicated to fare splitting, in other words, the system works out the cheapest option for the journey, by using more than 1 ticket for each section of the journey, and then quotes you the price for the trip. If I say that my reduced fare figure actually includes about £5 worth of handling charges, relating to the saving made, and for them arranging your tickets for you, even more crazy! So yes, in theory, if I had the patience, and dedication, I could have done it for about £70! But no, thats too much like hard work, for the money saved, lol!

But yes, any ‘innocent’ just going on the railway websites (individual companies only offer same standard fare) would pay nearly £25 more than me, for the same journey! But of course, in an ideal world, the train companies dont want you to know this, and just add to their profits!

I dont know if this happens in other parts of the world, or if it is just greed on the part of our rail companies, but be warned. If you know your exact travel times, then go somewhere like https://splitticketing.com/ and check you’re actually getting the best deal possible. Sadly for me, split ticketing with airlines isnt quite so easy!

Right, video time. Rare to find Abba actually singing live, but I have. That song about what I’ve saved today, lol. I’ve cut the piece directly to the song here. If you want to hear the group talking beforehand, just pull the timer back to zero, OK?

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How not to get to work, in one easy lesson!

Honestly, if I never travel with Trans Pennine Express again, after 3 weeks time, it will still be too soon. Though to be fair to them, it would be right to say that today they were only 50% to blame, the other half falling firmly on the shoulders of National Rail.

But, if TPE had been honest on the situation a little earlier, instead of 30 minutes after the train was due, I might have been able to rescue matters. Of course, if I had, you wouldnt be getting this bonus blog rant, so…

So, the story of my morning was as follows…

I left here at 8.30 this morning, to walk across (just under 10 minutes) to where I have to get the bus, when I make an early start on a Sunday morning, as the first bus from the estate is 9.08. As it happens, I could have got the 9.38, but more on that shortly.

The train was due at 9.18. At 9.12, it was showing as on time, quite a rare sight with TPE. But then, it started showing as later, and later, until…at 9.42 an announcement was made. Seemingly, there was a ‘slight’ over run on the engineering works between Manchester and Huddersfield, and to quote the announcer, they had no idea when a train might turn up, but they would let us know later, if, and when one would.

So, I did a rapid dash to a nearby Hills shop, rang work to let them know I wasnt going to be in by 10.00, funnily enough. I went back to the station, nothing had changed. So I gave up the fight, got a bus home, and gave up on the day, and a days wages. I might, even then have got to work very late, with a lift, but blamelessly (not knowing what a joke TPE was today) Nicole had made other plans, so that was that!

I know, I cant blame TPE for over running engineering works, and I dont. But what I can blame them for, is the lack of useful information. All they were doing on the departure board, was every minute, adding another minute to the expected arrival time. In the end, seemingly, the train arrived 61 minutes late! I expect it was ‘slightly crowded’ by then, rolls eyes!

So, TPE, please, just let us passengers, who you rip off so regularly know whats really happening with their trains.

No, given their utter incompetence, its not going to happen!

Yes, the video is dedicated to what I was doing today, waiting for the train that never came!