I write this post from a viewpoint or situation that many of you might also share. Of course, my view, nor my situation is never going to be the same as anyone else’s. Just to put that out there in case anyone thinks that I think that. Because I don’t.
My situation, to cut a long story short, is one of going from a well-paid (in money) job, to being a student again, to taking a job that pays about a third of what I was earning. The lack of money is more than made up for by the wellness that I now have, doing a job that, whilst it’s not something I ever imagined doing, is enjoyable and 90% less stressful. A fair exchange, I’m sure you might agree.
The change in finances has led to a change in my buying habits. Since I’ve been a student, and I have to say in some respects I’m still living like a student, (I was a very good student!) I have managed to ‘train’ myself to not buy things excessively. This has been to my benefit mostly, but it has been very frustrating when I have had some money to spend and I just can’t spend it! The guilt is still there. I will go as far as trying something on, deciding it’s perfect, then change my mind at the last minute, because although I might want it, do I really need a 60’s style Henry Holland dress? Even if it is half price?
The answer is, no, I don’t need it. (It’s £20 from £40 in Debenhams at the moment, along with lots of other HH stuff.)
Do I really need any more mugs?
For me, the mug issue is debatable. Mugs are important. I think I would buy a nice mug over a dress. Does that make me sound old?
In fact, the more I think about it, there is very little I do actually need. Besides food, shelter, clothes and friends and family, what else do I actually need? That dress might look nice on me, and I might get a few compliments (you never know!) but it won’t enhance my life past that.
Saying I don’t need things doesn’t mean I won’t sometimes get or do things anyway. I think that certain times of life need a little indulgence, whatever that is for your own particular budget. Spending money can make you feel good, not all the time, but it certainly has it’s place.
I rarely buy things full price anymore, unless its from Primark or TKMaxx, where prices are normally much lower than usual anyway. I had my eye on a t-shirt from Bank about 6 weeks ago(which happened to be a Paul’s Boutique t-shirt – this means nothing to me, except I see 10 and 11 year olds at school wearing jackets and bags with the logo) which was £25. That’s a lot of money for a white cotton t with a print. I went back today and it was £6! That in my eyes is a bargain.
I also got a book from The Works. I only really look at their food books selection. I picked up a book called Melt, by Claire Kelsey.
It’s based around ice-creams and frozen desserts, with some baking thrown in. Ice-cream and cake is a winning combination – just look at the arctic roll! (Or maybe don’t.) I like the look of the melon and chilli ice-cream. Again, I’d never have bought it at the full price of £18.99, but at £5.99 it was in my hand and I was over to the till before you could say, “You might want it, but do you need it?” I don’t feel that spending money on books is a bad thing. I’ll use them, and look at them often. I went on to make some ice-cream today, not from this book, but a BBC Good Food recipe for maple crunch ice-cream.
I got a book just before school broke up, from The Book People. If they come to your place of work, you should take advantage of the books and other things they sell. I’ve got a couple of books from them, all at much lower prices than in shops. This time I got Peggy Porschen’s Boutique Baking. The recipes are quite lah-di-dah but somewhat of a challenge, which I enjoy when it comes to food. I’m looking forward to making the baked doughnuts and the meringue kisses.
I picked up 4 more books today, but these ones were all FREE. I re-joined the local library. Luckily, my historic fine of £3.20 had been wiped. You can imagine the level of rejoicing that I had to suppress whilst the library lady sorted me out with a new library card. What a triumph! I got Paul Hollywood’s How To Bake – he doesn’t seduce me with his doughy fingers and floury aroma but I know some of you find him attractive. I’d like to try making croissants, and maybe a few types of bread.
I also got The Modern Pantry Cookbook by Anna Hansen. I was drawn to the cover of this one, although I have heard of the restaurant of the same name. Had a quick flick through and it was in the ‘to take out’ pile.
I then got a fiction book (“fiction books are story books”) and a travel guide. The fiction book is The Godless Boys by Naomi Wood, the travel guide is for Berlin. I am a lady of leisure for the next 6 weeks so I need to keep busy, whilst at the same time maximising my relaxation. Reading is perfect for that, hey? How did I not use the library for so long? I don’t want to give the books back!
What was my point again? Something about not needing all you want. I still stand by that. I know I’ve rambled and gone off topic a bit. Today was quite unusual as I came home with a couple of bags of stuff, and that’s quite rare (unless I’ve been to the supermarket.) I think my inner restraints that I’ve ‘learned’ are a good thing. It stops me from being unnecessary with money. Every now and again we all get things we don’t really need, to make our lives a little bit more fun, or to treat ourselves. But at the end of the day, we only need the basics, as we can surely survive without Henry Holland dresses, or books about ice-cream…