money saving lessons from postman pat

Money Saving Lessons from Postman Pat is the second post in a new series of Money Saving lessons from popular TV shows. You can catch up with the first in my series here.

Money Saving Lessons from Postman Pat on Tax Relief

Postman Pat can be spotted a mile off due to his dapper Royal Mail uniform circa 1970’s. All the greats have worn a uniform of some sort, even by choice on some occasions. Examples include:

  • Steve Jobs – black turtle neck and jeans
  • Mark Zuckerbery – hoody, grey tee and jeans
  • Barack Obama – grey or blue suit with white shirt

These three guys have opted to wear a uniform to avoid “decision fatigue”. They have bigger issues to be exerting their energy on after all but a uniform can also save you money too.

You may be able to claim tax relief on the cost of:

  • cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a uniform or safety boots)

*However you can’t claim relief on the initial cost of buying small tools or clothing for work.

Money Saving Lessons from Postman Pat on Zero Waste & Renewable Energy

Local handyman and inventor Ted Glen and is an excellent example of a zero waste lifestyle. He will fix just about anything rather than allow his neighbours to buy replacement items. Ted is known for his watermill powered workshop but in one episode he also takes delivery of a wind turbine. Wind power is a good source of electricity because it is a renewable source and is constantly replenishing itself.About 40 per cent of all wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for domestic turbines (known as microwind or small-wind turbines).

According to the Energy Saving Trust the financial benefits of domestic wind turbines are:

  • Cut your electricity bills: Wind is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced.
  • Get paid for what you generate: Through Feed-in Tariffs, you get paid for the electricity you generate even if you use it. What you don’t use, you can export to the local grid – and get paid for that too.

Money Saving Lessons from Postman Pat on Alternative Investments

Since starting work for the Royal Mail back in 1981, Postman Pat has undertaken his postal deliveries in a range of vehicles. His Special Delivery Service responsibilities have meant he’s even acquired a snowmobile! However it is his original iconic postal van which began his love of a personalised vehicle registration plate. Postman Pat’s licence plates range from PAT 1 to PAT 9 (the latter is the Special Delivery Service plane).

Some people see personalised plates as gimmicky and a bit vain (especially if it includes the driver’s name). However with the fall in value of second hand cars, your old licence plate could be worth a lot more than the car itself! Trade in cherished number plates is huge.

You can make private arrangements to transfer licence plates or go through brokers if you are looking for something particularly special. The other way to buy is at auction. The major dealers such as or hold ongoing on-line auctions. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency ( also holds regular public auctions.

Not as high brow as fine wine, gold or first editions but cherished plates have raised over £100m for the UK Treasury so there is definitely profit to be made with them.

Money Saving Lessons from Postman Pat on the Latte Factor

Postman Pat’s delivery round is known for its windy, hilly roads throughout Greendale and something often goes wrong on his journey. Whether it is getting stuck in a snow drift or escaped livestock in the road, Pat is frequently held up. However Postman Pat is a sensible man and is never without his trusty flask.

Although I’ve never seen a Costa or Starbucks in Greendale (or Pencaster for that matter!), Pat’s choice to go equipped with a flask means he’s no victim to the “Latte Factor”. The latte factor is the unconscious spending on the little everyday things that do not add any value to our lives. It’s called this as most money savers will mention how much can be saved from not buying a daily posh coffee and they have a point. Instead of buying a £3 coffee everyday you could put the cash into a 3% interest savings account. That would be nearly £90k over 40 years. Mental!

Money Saving Lessons from Postman Pat on Employee Benefits

Postman Pat has been an employee of the Royal Mail for over 30 years now. This is understandable when you look into the employee benefits they offer. As well as salary sacrifice schemes that cover cars, bikes and childcare (which can save you thousands!) they also offer healthcare insurance. This is particularly useful for Postman Pat due to his poor eyesight. Pat has always worn glasses and has recently been seen moonlighting for Specsavers. It just goes to show that there are often benefits to your employment other than a wage. So its worth finding out what they are and saving yourself some money.

You can catch up with Postman Pat and his friends on BBC iPlayer.

Hollie x