Sunday, 14 August 2011

The age of austerity

With the economy in the doldrums it's not just the government who are tightening their belts and watching their budgets, city folk are no longer splashing out on flashy cars and thousand pound meals and opportunistic rioters have been clearing the shelves of any shops they can get into, even Holland & Barrett was raided!

If times are tough it is important to save money and make sure you have a comfortable cushion incase your circumstance change. However saving money really isn't any fun, and in the same way as I apply the 80/20 rule to my diet I like to apply it to my finances - being pretty careful with my money most of the time but allowing occasional splurges!!

The key is to budget and give yourself a designated amount of money you can spend on frivolous treats each month. This way you don't feel too deprived and can enjoy an occasional indulgence without worrying about your finances. It doesn't need to be a big amount - I'm not so sure on how boys like to treat themselves (although I do know quite a few secret male shopoholics) but girls are easily pleased with some new makeup, new accessories or a beauty treatment.

I also think it's important not to economize too much when it comes to our health - eating healthily can be more expensive than eating cheaply as can taking care of yourself - gym memberships, supplements and alternative therapies all add up. That's why I think it's important to also designate a small sum each month that you will put towards investing in your health ... be it buying a juicer or smoothie maker, going for a massage as per my blog last Friday, having some accupuncture, booking a personal training session or seeing a nutritional therapist. Even if you can't afford to do all of these every month (pretty much the reserve of the hedge fund house wife) just doing one of these each month will keep you on the straight and narrow and be an investment in your long-term health.

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