Getting more for less

I realised the other day that the amount of money I have each month to use as spendies (after the bills) for things like food, petrol, evenings out, kulcher, clothes and entertainment, is less than my monthly mobile phone bill used to be.

Don’t feel sorry for me: I was squanderous in those days and worked abroad so my mobile phone bills were very high indeed. I should imagine I funded at least one Porsche for the directors of Orange. These days, I’m saving like the dickens and living within a tightly defined budget, and getting off on feeling in control.

So, driving along in my not-Porsche the other morning, I did myself a little checklist between then and now:

  • Relationship – better
  • Job – less nerve-wracking
  • Home life – more stable
  • Entertainment – easier to find out about events and go to them, though I don’t indulge in expensive impulses any more
  • Toys and gadgets – mmm: I would like more of those, but I never was the one to buy them anyway
  • Health – better
  • Fitness – working on it
  • Education – better, I wasn’t in one place long enough to study
  • Car – it gets me there, and I wouldn’t spend money on flash cars again
  • Clothes – I do miss expensive clothes, but I would broaden my choice more by loosing weight than I would by having more money
  • Food – I eat better
  • Eating out – I do that less than I used to, but I’m only just beginning to miss it because the gloss rubs off if you have to eat “out” four days a week for months and months on end
  • Holidays – probably the biggest cut back, and the one area where if I had a couple of grand I’d blow it without compunction or guilt

At this distance I am not entirely sure what the money gave me. Would I like more? Sure. Do I need more? Thank goodness, no, I don’t.

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2 responses to “Getting more for less

  1. Having switched to one and a bit salaries and having had a swathe of children, we’ve also learnt to cut down and it’s not a bad process to go through. We all can actually live with much less. I find I enjoy going out so much more now that it’s a real treat.

  2. Having downsized my salary too this year, I realise that when I was earning more, I was working so much that I had little opportunity to enjoy spending the money and it tended to be splurged on expensive convenience foods to compensate for me having neither the time nor the energy to cook properly.
    Also, because I was miserable working so much, on the odd occasion I got near a shop, I tended to ‘treat’ myself – hence the wardrobe full of clothes I didn’t need.

    My grandmother, who never had two pennies to rub together, used to say wryly – Money doesn’t make you happy, but at least you can be miserable in comfort – but I think she really knew that being happy is more important than being comfortable.

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