Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Live on half your money or not!

I was pondering on an article I read in the Sunday Times magazine the other day [part of my bits and bobs that hubby brought back last week] on how to live on half your money. Living in Spain actually takes that theory and makes you put it into practice.

Compared to the UK Spain does not offer a wealth of consumerism. Consumer goods, advertising and an increasing number of retail outlets means that Spain is heading the same way as the UK, but it still has a long way to catch up. When we first arrived here it was quite refreshing not to be bombarded by the retail frenzy. The Christmas hype is non existent here. If it were not for Things 1 and 2 constantly reminding us of the fact, it is quite easy to go through December and not realise that it is actually December. There are only a few Christmas decorations on sale in the big hypermarkets or Chinese 'sell everything' shops and the odd Santa decoration on the occasional house. Easter is a religious festival. Lidl reminds us by selling more chocolate products with Easter themes. The little English shops import a few Easter eggs, and that''s about it. The Spanish aren't into sending cards to all and sundry so there are only one or two card shops, and they are run by British for the British.

I have a couple of British friends who go back to the UK in December just to absorb the Christmas hype and to do a bit of shopping, of course .

Anyway, I'll go back to my original point, where it is possible to live on half your money here. When you go out for groceries it is quite a simple process. The lack of tasty edible ready meals means you have to cook from scratch. So, you have to go and buy your fish/meat/chicken and seasonal veg and then put together a healthy balanced meal. If you are quite controlled it is easy to just put one or two naughties in your basket to liven up your eating plan. Wine and beer are cheap too, so you can buy whilst feeling indulgent, only parting with a few Euro. The only time you tend to spend more is if you buy imported products that it is impossible to do without e.g. Heinz baked beans.

With all that money saved you can then go back the UK once or twice a year to exercise the demons of a lifetime of ingrained, retail brain washing that everyone brought up in the UK has endured and SPLURGE all that cash in the shops! All you have to do then is pay for the extra weight in your checked in bags to get it all back home, especially if you are flying Ryan Air.


LOUISE said...

I know how to live on half your money, stay in and blog, it costs nothing at all, well only £24.99 a month broadband! x

Candeez said...

Good one!