Don’t deny yourself a life-affirming treat

Money may be tight these days, but don’t let it get you down

It gets increasingly difficult to work out what to spend money on. Don’t you find? Cash has become so nutty and uncontrollable that it becomes hard to know, beyond the very essentials, what is all right (can we put the heating on, or do an extra wash, or order a takeaway?) and what is utterly obscene. Yesterday, I spent some time zooming in on food poverty campaigner Jack Monroe’s weekly meal planner, where every grain of salt and splash of oil is accounted for, marvelling at the energy and resilience it takes to stretch £20 that far, sickening at the injustice that forces it to exist. It sent me spinning, slightly, and questioning the week of purchases ahead. And then, considering a similar planner, but for treats.

What could I budget for? A modest cake? Yes on a Sunday, no on a Wednesday. A taxi? If all alternative options have been exhausted. Beyond cash, ethics arise. A new dress? Not if you care about the environment, Eva. A new book? Only if purchased from an independent supplier, fool. A treat for getting through the week, the month, the year? A little treat for continuing to perform as a person in the world, for waking up and getting dressed, and etching on a smile, and marching out into the street while coins and guilt fall from you like dandruff?

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