I have never saved money. I have always assumed that a certain ‘type’ of person saved. Perhaps the type that always wears a watch or worries about home contents insurance. I have plenty of friends of this persuasion and I judge not. I am simply not her.
This is not to say I am particularly reckless with money, it is just that I have never believed in doing anything ‘in case of a rainy day’. What a pessimistic approach. And anyway, should rain come, I’m pretty sure I could find an umbrella somewhere.
I recently read an essay by the American writer Nora Ephron. Writing on the loss of her best friend to cancer she says ‘It taught me to always use the good bath oil.’ Life is certainly too short and too wonderful to deny ourselves. She goes on, as poignant as she is witty, “If the events of the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that I’m going to feel like an idiot if I die tomorrow and I skimped on bath oil today.. So now I use quite a lot of bath oil. More than you could ever imagine.”
I do believe I am in good health, but you get my gist.
However, perplexing recent events have forced me to reconsider my lacklustre saving efforts. I have developed a sudden interest in Laura Ashley furnishings, a penchant for kitchenware stores and a longing desire to craft a mood board.
Put simply, I rather fancy my own front door. And in recession gripped 2010, the banks ain’t gonna lend me ‘nowt without a deposit. Latest statistics claim that a ‘non assisted’ first time buyer does not manage to make the giant leap onto the first rung until the lofty maturity of 37. I am not sure that I can share a bathroom, be at the whim of landlords, and hear that I am ‘throwing money down the drain’ for ten more years. The bank of Mum and Dad is firmly closed, so it is about time that I got my act together.
As denying myself life’s pleasures seems a terrible shame, it strikes me that I should get all of this unpleasantness over and done with as swiftly as possible. As such, I resolve to save a deposit for a flat too pokey in an area I’d bearably live in over the course of 2011.
The average property price is a terrifying £246,000. I reside in a capital city. I’d probably want 2 bedrooms – after all I have spent a fair few quid on clothing over the past 5 years. On consideration I might have bitten off more than I can chew.
But where there is a will, there is a way. I will cease shopping, take my packed lunch to work, find a second job, babysit, sell my Whistles’ dresses on EBay, become a TV extra and investigate the moral implications of medical trials.
I will succeed. And when I have succeeded I will not take out a mortgage that is just beyond what I can afford and will thus trap me in a job I hate. I will learn exactly which fabrics compliment duck egg and own a hoover.
So, in pursuit of this lofty dream, I decree that from January 1st 2011, for 12 months, I will go cold turkey on my Zara habit, ditch the luxury holidays for the Caravan Park, and replace the after work wine with a soda, lime, and a swift exit.
Flat deposit here I come.
And if I do get hit by a bus on January 1st 2012, then he who acquires whatever small fortune I have amassed should spend it frivolously, recklessly and definitely not on home contents insurance.
May I suggest a vat of very expensive bath oil?