plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

June 6, 2007

hot town, summer in the city

Filed under: frugal — plonkee @ 11:38 am

This year, as with most years, I will not be going on holiday (vacation for the Yanks) in the summer. The weather has decided to heat up finally, in England and we are probably experiencing the requisite two weeks of sun. I’d love to head to the beach at the weekend, but its not exactly round the corner. What could I do to frugally enhance my enjoyment of the seasonal weather?

Firstly, I’m going to eat more ice cream. I don’t mean those huge tubs of expensive Ben and Jerry’s, I mean the ice lollys that I enjoyed as a kid like Mini Milks and Fabs. For the amount of (admittedly partly nostalgic) pleasure they give, they are excellent value.

Secondly, as a complete cheapskate, I live in a rented flat without a garden. I’m in the process of buying a house complete with courtyard terrace (read paved yard) but the sun will probably have gone in by then. Instead I’m going to take advantage of the nice weather by eating my lunch outdoors. In particular, there are some fountains in town which people sit around – it all feels delightfully continental. If I bring my own lunch to eat, I will feel as decadent sitting in the sun as sitting outside a nice cafe and it won’t hurt the budget.

Thirdly, I will take advantage of the hideousness of walking round in the heat with lots of heavy shopping by not buying lots of things. The thought of having to trek home with anything was too much to bear last Saturday and I went home empty-handed.

Fourthly, I will be grateful that I don’t need to buy a bikini as I’m not going to the beach and instead create my own paddling pool using a washing up bowl and some nice cold water. The pleasure generated by first walking home in the heat and the sticking my feet in a bowl has to be felt to be truly appreciated.

Finally, I will take advantage of the lethargy and loss of appetite created by heat and when I go to the pub, I’ll sit in the beer garden and order fewer drinks and less food. There’s nothing nicer than a beer garden in good weather, and the reduction in cost is an excellent side benefit.

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