After 14 years writing this column, I confess. I'm an addict | Rick Jackson

The Vauxhall Grandland X has been an expensive luxury for RickThe Vauxhall Grandland X has been an expensive luxury for Rick
The Vauxhall Grandland X has been an expensive luxury for Rick
I have a confession to make. I have an addiction. They say the first step in fighting such addition is the realisation you have one.

My addiction to cars is now costing us as a family.

With two cars sat on the drive on PCP finance agreements, I no longer have the spare cash to spend on my double decker bus!

I’ve just done a little bit of mental arithmetic. Since I started writing this column back in 2007, I’ve owned 11 different cars!

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Two Honda Accords, a Kia Sportage, Mercedes Benz C250AMG, BMW 525, Ford S-Max, Honda Jazz, Vauxhall Astra, Mokka and Grandland X and now a Hyundai Santa-Fe.

What I cannot bring myself to work out is how much money I’ve spent, from deposits to monthly payment, to paying off finance agreements early.

My wife used to roll her eyes in despair. As far as she was concerned, it was my money.

Now we have kids, it’s a different matter.

We’ve needed to get bigger cars when children came along, so the Ford S-Max was an understandable purchase.

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We’ve driven it to the south of Spain, full of luggage and children, taken seven out for the day, it’s been the perfect vehicle.

We even owned it for a while after paying the balloon on the PCP. There was nothing wrong with it, so why did I decide we needed to buy a new seven seater?

Our second car is only needed to get me to work at 5am, so the Vauxhall Grandland X is very much an expensive luxury.

It seems daft over Christmas having £75,000 worth of cars doing nothing on the drive.

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Being a family car, my heart sank when I got into it this week to find sweet wrappers, crumbs, toys and muddy footprints everywhere. Why did I sell the S-Max?

So now I’m looking to buy yet another car. This time, after paying off the finance on the Vauxhall, will be a £2,000 Ford Focus.

It’s time to realise cars are to get you from A to B when you have kids, not A to Nurburgring!

Get set for the new, focused Rick in 2021

The plans are already in place. I’ve set up an account on My Fitness Pal and the new, focused Rick is ready to lose the Christmas and lockdown pounds (actually it’s stones) in 2021.

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I can’t trust myself with the food shop, so Sarah is once again taking this over. Being slim, I need to take my lead from her! It always seems to be we drink and eat the same, but something is going wrong for me. With this fitness app, I enter everything I’ve eaten and it tracks my calorie, fat and protein count. I also add any workouts to it as it’s synced with my Apple Watch.

We hopefully go on a family holiday to Italy this summer. I’m determined not to be charged extra on the aeroplane for heavy luggage!

It hasn’t all been bad in 2020

And so it falls to me to write the last ‘Comments’ section of 2020. Never in our wildest imaginations would we have foreseen what was to come this time last year.

I’m sure we all hope for ‘normality’ by the time I write my last for 2021? But out of the ashes of the darkest year in British history since the Second World War, positives have been witnessed.

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How many of us now know our neighbours better? Formed WhatsApp groups to keep in touch and informed.

In some respects, we’ve been more sociable thanks to a Zoom call.

My hope is this new-found neighbourly vibe continues. I wish you a healthy, happy 2021 and no, I’m not up for another quiz!

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