Sunday, April 14, 2013

Are You Living Within Your Means?

Posted in: ,

With a name like Petronella Wyatt, it is clear she was born into money, in Igbo her name would be Utobundu Egoyibo. But one problem we all sometimes have is thinking good times would last always. From over-priced clothes to extravagant vacations, and more, Petronella did not save for the future rainy days as she enjoyed her GBP six figure income.

When you are a middle class person who wants to rub shoulders with the wealthy elite, when inflation and recession hit, be sure you will be left under the bus. I'm not totally without sympathy for people like Petronella, but it's more of a cautionary tale. Her piece for the Daily Mail is an eye opener.
Last year, for example, I had to decide between a summer holiday and a new summer dress. I decided on the holiday, but as the cost of the flights and hotel added up, I realised I would have to raise an additional £400.
I began selling the summer clothes I had bought the previous spring. I now buy vintage, and rummage through charity shops.
Owning a Chanel suit, the price of which has risen over ten years from £1,000 to more than £5,000, is out of the question. Indeed, I can barely afford the charity shops in St John’s Wood, where I live.
Despite these savings, I no longer take a holiday in the winter and rarely eat in a fashionable restaurant, let alone visit places like the Ritz. It is a struggle to pay the rent.

The last time I ate out was two weeks ago at the local pub. And even then we managed to get the bill waived because my girlfriend spotted a rat on the premises and complained.
Petronella recalls when her mother was clothed almost exclusively in Chanel
I’m broke and nothing, it seems, will fix it any time soon.
Friends of mine who are single or divorced hope, like me, that they will meet a rich potential partner. Yet all the rich men seem to be over 60 with body odour, double chins and a Slavic-sounding accent.
I once met Bernie Ecclestone, before he remarried, and he invited me to be his guest at a Formula One event. I politely declined.
‘Why didn’t you go?’ a friend enquired. ‘You’ll never meet another man who could keep you in such luxury.’
‘Sorry,’ I replied, ‘but it would have been like living with Boris Karloff’.
I am one of the luckier ones. Other women I know have been forced into sexless relationships because they have dependants to support.
A close friend wed a minuscule man old enough to be her grandfather ‘because he promised to put his house in Chelsea in my name and pay for private schools for my son’.
In my social circle, marrying for love alone is becoming rare among both sexes. A handsome surgeon friend recently walked down the aisle with someone with a nose like the Shard and the temperament of a shrew.
He explained his decision thus: ‘I’m poor, she’s rich. I have a four-year-old daughter and I don’t want her to grow up without the things I had.’
We of the Broke Generation have discovered penury is not only a financial privation, but also an emotional one. We are damned if we follow our hearts and inclinations, and damned if we don’t.
As the money trickles away, prices rise ever higher and the loans we took out so carelessly haunt our dreams, a take-out from the local pizzeria seems our only option.
More and more of us are finding ourselves alone, or unhappily married. I wish I could say, in the words of the old song, that I had my love to keep me warm. But, like so many others, I don’t even have the consolation of that. [Daily Mail]

Being frugal and a saver might go against the whole YOLO ideology, but I'd rather enjoy life on a budget for longer than live like a king for a day and a pauper for the rest of your life. And imagine when your financial and economic standing begin to determine your romantic choices, that's the absolute bottom. Hmmm...


  1. living a good life is very tempting , mostly living a life that's tooo good it could choke us.

    I think another factor is when we have friends or family who do some, who might be richer but always encourage, influence or make us spend outside our means ... it's like high-school all over again and the pressure is REAL!!!

    even simple things like going to a salon and being insulted for not bringing the expensive, high quality hair - extensions. trust me, this happens and since we are social beings, errr we allow it.

    I sometimes remind myself that at the end, you are on your own in this world. so I have learnt to put my foot down and say no, even if it costs me social acceptance, but I will admit that it is not so easy .. but oh well

    1. Keeping up with the Joneses, none of us is immune.

  2. Very apt! I've been saying this for a while now to friends and family. Save for the rainy day; no need trying to keep up with the Joneses. In the end, you're the one responsible for your life and choices. Even the Bible talks about saving when he mentioned the ant and how they store up food for the winter...I hope people learn from this sha

  3. Well, there is a price to pay for every decision. I always do me and of course I don't have too many friends but I'm at peace with me and I enjoy the unconditional love and acceptance of my hubby who doesn't have to struggle to maintain my 'extravagant lifestyle' and friendship with my kids.

  4. "when your financial and economic standing begin to determine your romantic choices, that's the absolute bottom."

    Unfortunately, this is how most ladies in Nigeria seem to be doing it. I am tempted to add 'nowadays' to the end of that statement but I think its been going on for longer than that. In fact, it seems parents even encourage it smh


Click Post a Comment to share your thoughts, I'll love to hear from you. Thanks!

*Comments on old posts are moderated and may take sometime to be shown. That's just because I want to see them and respond to you if necessary.