FRUGALITY. SIMPLICITY. These are my new watchwords. A new, uncluttered, Zen-like life, in
Which I spend nothing. Spend nothing. I mean, when you think about it, how much money do we all
Waste every day? No wonder I’m in a little bit of debt. And really, it’s not my fault. I’ve merely been
Succumbing to the Western drag of materialism – which you have to have the strength of ele-phants to
Resist. At least, that’s what it says in my new book.
You see, yesterday, when Mum and I went into Waterstone’s to buy her paperback for the week, I
Sidled off to the self-help section and bought the most wonderful book I’ve ever read. Quite honestly, it’s
Going to change my life. I’ve got it now, in my bag. It’s called Controlling Your Cash by David E.
Barton, and it’s fantastic. What it says is that we can all fritter away money with-out realizing it, and that
Most of us could easily cut our cash consumption by half in just one week.
In one week!
You just have to do things like make your own sandwiches instead of eating in restaurants and ride a
Bike to work instead of taking the tube. When you start thinking about it, you can save money
Everywhere. And as David E. Barton says, there are lots offree pleasures which we forget because
We’re so busy spending money, like parks and museums and the simple joy of a country walk.
Come to think of it, why don’t we put information like this in Successful Saving? It’s so much more
Useful than knowing about some fancy new unit trust which might make a profit or might not. I mean, with
This scheme you start making money straight away!
It’s all so easy and straightforward. And the best thing is, you have to start out by going shopping! The
Book says you should begin by itemizing every single purchase in a single normal spending day and plot it
On a graph. It stresses that you should be honest and not suddenly curtail or alter your spending
Pattern – which is lucky, because it’s Suze’s birthday on Friday and I’ve got to get her a present.
So on Monday morning, I stop off at Lucio’s on the way into work and buy an extralarge cappuccino
And a chocolate muffin, just like I usually do. I have to admit I feel a bit sorrowful as I hand over my
Money, because this is my last-ever cappuccino and my last-ever chocolate muffin. My new frugality
Starts tomorrow – and cappuccinos aren’t allowed. David E. Barton says if you have a coffee habit you
Should make it at home and take it into the office in a flask, and if you like eating snacks you should buy
Cheap cakes from the supermarket. “The coffee merchants are fleecing you for what is little more than hot
Water and poly-styrene,” he points out – and I suppose he’s right. But I will miss my morning
Cappuccino. Still, I’ve promised myself I’ll follow the rules of the book – and I will.
As I come out of the coffee shop, clutching my last-ever cup, I realize I don’t actually have a flask for
Coffee. But that’s OK, I’ll buy one. There are some lovely sleek chrome ones in Habitat. Flasks are
Actually quite trendy these days. I think Alessi might even do one. Wouldn’t that be cool? Drinking coffee
Out of an Alessi flask. Much cooler than a take-away cappuccino.
So I’m feeling quite happy as I walk along the street. When Iget to Smiths I pop in and stock up on a
Few magazines to keep me going – and I also buy a sweet little silver notebook and pen to write down
Everything I spend. I’m going to be really rigorous about this, because David E.