Friday, 9 October 2009

Ten pleasures that don't cost very much

  1. The chance to be creative: Now that spending is out, I have to be a bit creative about how I get my jollies. That in itself is a pleasure, as sometimes it feels as if the things I make are beautiful, but rather useless.
  2. Books I didn't know I had: I go through the bookshelves and discover a pile books that I haven't yet read. Now I have the time to read them all if I like. I feel as if someone has just handed me 20 free books.
  3. Stretching: Body in Balance is a free-to-view channel which broadcasts exercise routines: including a variety of yoga styles.
  4. Cheap video games: There's a branch of CEX in town: it's a shop that will take back your old games, and give you credit which you can put towards new (or secondhand) ones.
  5. A mint plant next to the front door: Every time I brush past it, I smell it.
  6. Fleece blanket: I'm so glad we bought a fleece throw last winter. It was only £15, and I bought it to go on the bed. As winter comes on, I spend most of my writing day wrapped up in it.
  7. Languid beauty: I was amazed by all the beauty products I had stashed away. I guess that when I had an income, I didn't have the time to enjoy them. Now my morning routine (more like a mid-morning routine) is about twice as long and feels very luxurious.
  8. Finishing food: I've got time to use up the leftovers, so there is much less waste in our household now. I also have the headspace to come up with ideas, and the energy to carry them through. Last week we got four beetroots in our veggie box. I can just about manage one beetroot in salad (I like them raw and grated into long, earthy-tasting magenta strips). But the rest? Then I remembered chocolate beetroot cake, and the rest is history. A rich, reddish chocolatey history.
  9. Charity shops: To get the best out of charity shops, you need to have time for a regular run. Which I do. If I have clothes that I don't wear, I try to imagine what would make me wear them: they often just need a top or jumper to take them into Autumn. I carry in my head those missing-piece outfits whenever I go to the charity shops. Most of the time I find something -- not always what I expected. Tanktop the colour of redcurrants, anyone?
  10. Having a lie in whenever I want: Even more fun because Nick has to go to work. I don't do it very often though, because I really like eating breakfast with him.


  1. A great list. It always saddens me when people grumble and say that because they have no money they have nothing to do. So many of the best pleasures are free or very cheap!

  2. I gave up my job in April to have more time to be here and to do other things (great job, took me a long time to build up to it). All these resonate with me. Weirdly I haven't missed the money at all, and I was sure that losing financial independence would be hard. Not bothered me at all, much to my surprise.

  3. I was made redundant in June, and I'm really hoping that I don't have to go back to full-time work. I'm slowing building up a few income streams so that I can work the hours I want, rather than the hours the man wants.