Here it is – 10 years ago today is when it all started. And I’m not even in the office today (how things have changed!)
Partly I’m not in the office because it’s Saturday. But most importantly because it’s Alastair’s birthday party today. His 5th birthday is next week but since it’s on a school day we’re having the party today instead.
It made me think back to when he was born and everything that was going on at the time. It was a hectic time – I suppose your first child being born always is but we were also in the process of selling our house at the time (we moved when he was 6 weeks old… into a house with no heating or hot water until we got it fixed).
At the same time I was also finishing off a book that I’d planned to have finished before he came along (They’re Out to Pocket your Money). Alastair wasn’t a good sleeper when he was a baby – basically all night we alternated between Julie feeding him (he was a hungry boy!) and him sleeping on my lap.
And I put the finishing touches to the book during those nights sat on the sofa with him asleep on my lap. So I suppose in years to come I can tell him he was involved in helping Daddy at work right from the start!
Anyway, I find it hard to believe Alastair’s five now (well, next week). And I also find it odd that this book is five years old.
They’re Out to Pocket Your Money isn’t just about stuff to do with computers or the internet. It’s about various cons, swizzes and scams to watch out for – and how to avoid them. Some of them are big businesses not playing it strictly fair, some are underhand tricks that might be used on you and some are out and out cons to watch out for.
It’s full of things that you should know about to avoid being taken in. For example, the thing that inspired the book, what I call “the tiscali swizz” is something that I didn’t even notice at first – and then eventually I realised, and made one quick phone call and got my £12 back. Now Tiscali aren’t around any longer, but they weren’t the only broadband company using this and ending up with more of your money that they were entitled to.
And although that one only saved me £12, as I was writing the book I heard from a lady who’d been caught out by one of the very things I was writing about – and it cost her £140. ouch!
Of course tax bands, allowances and so on have changed since the book was written. But it’s not really about things like that anyway. It’s really about the tricks people and organisations use to get hold of more of your money than they should have and how to avoid them.
I’m not against businesses making a profit of course – it’s just the sneaky stuff I don’t like!
Anyway, if you’re interested, you can order the book (on free trial) here.
And I’m off to blow up some balloons and put sausages onto sticks.