Quanta Mechanic wrote:but "only" earn around £25k p/a, which seems like a totally impossible salary to start flying with (and to continue flying post-training)
As has been mentioned, it depends on what your other outgoings are. 31 is young compared with most of us. I learnt to fly at 26. I was on about £19k at the time. It depends on how much you want it. I did a trial lesson when I was university and knew that I HAD to do it.
When I started work, I was frugal in my outgoings and saved up for a few years to do it in one go in Florida. I lived in a rented room in someone's house, I didn't go out to eat much, I didn't go out to drink. I didn't and don't smoke. In those years I managed to save £2.5k which is about what it cost me at the time, including flights, etc. I then had outgoings of about 10 hours a year at £64 an hour, flying from Cardiff whenever I went back to see my parents. The PPL in the UK at the time was about £4.5k for minimum hours, so I'd have struggled. The difference these days isn't so great.
Have you seen Leia's guide? She lived for a couple of years on beans on toast (when she could afford the toast) but she did it.https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=34287https://leiafee.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/flying-howto.pdf
If you just want to be in the air, there are microlights, which are a bit cheaper, though not a huge amount while you're learning, depending on where you are but can be considerably cheaper afterwards, depending on what you want to fly. Gliding is also reasonably expensive while you're learning but can be much cheaper afterwards.
It also depends on what you can fit in, as I'd have no chance with microlights, and no one will let me in a glider (though I have flown a Grob 103 and a K13 in my time, though I could only fit in the back seat).
To continue my flying and even run my own aeroplane, obviously I've had pay rises since, but after buying a house, I rented out my spare room for years. I've never got married and/or had children. I've worked a lot of overtime. There's a special kind of tired when you've worked three days and nights non-stop! I've worked abroad where I've lived on expenses, thus squirreling away my salary back home. I don't live a hugely frugal lifestyle any more, but I don't do things like buying new cars (I'm 49 now and I'm on my 4th car in 33 years!) or going out for expensive meals, or taking expensive holidays (though I'm currently doing a whole load of cheap ones!
Quanta Mechanic wrote:I can't believe i Googled "Beagle Terrier" to see what plane it was.....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle_Terrier
It's an Auster which Beagle messed around with.