Saturday, 31 December 2011

Six self-enhancement purchases for 2012 (totalling under a tenner too):

How can a second-hand book, a pedometer, a cheap brolly, a pair of tights, six second-class stamps and a packet of seeds add up to self-enhancement? Here's how:

·      Get stuck in to a stonking good used novel   COST 1p
A can’t-put-it-down novel is the perfect way to cherish yourself. On Amazon are tons of good used books available from dealers for just 0.01p. No kidding. Sure they make money on the postage but if you add your 1p book to someone else’s Amazon order you won’t pay extra. Here are some of my all-time favourites all available for 1p:
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Perfume by Patrisk Suskind
Room by Emma Donoghue

·      Get a pedometer   COST 78p
Walking is the best way to trim your body and lift your mood. Use a pedometer to see how many steps you can clock up in a day, aiming for 10,000. If you’re monitoring every step it’s amazing how many ways you find to walk a bit further. You’ll be healthier and happier and won’t have been near a gym or put on lycra. This one from Amazon really is only 78p. OK it probably is crap for that price so go for a better one if you can.
Walk your way to health for under £1

·      Leave magazines on the shelf    COST £0
Women feel worse after looking at a magazine (all that social comparison is depressing). And why waste money on mags full of  glossy adverts peddling the 'happiness through having' myth?  There are good free online magazines instead. Or if you must spend out then at least help someone by doing it and buy the Big Issue. Or buy a mag that doesn't bang on about shoes and handbags and whose maxim is 'Curiosity is sacred' - Oh Comely magazine.

·      Spend on a stranger    COST  £1
Research shows we feel happier after spending money on someone else than after spending it on ourselves. When caught in a Tokyo downpour once a Japanese lady came up and gave me an umbrella. I was so touched by her kindness. Why not buy a £1 brolly from a pound store and give it to someone caught in the rain. They'll love you for it. Or jump on the Pay It Forward bandwagon, pay for the next person's coffee in a queue or the next car's toll. I guarantee you'll feel happier.

 Colour up  COST £3.99
Bright colours and a personal treat to cheer the soul. Quell the urge to clothes shop by splashing out on some really brightly coloured tights. They're cheap and cheerful and will add that touch of wackiness to any outfit that's feeling a tad tired. These cerise pink ones are from H&M

·      Six second class stamps     COST £2.16
Another way of getting pleasure through giving. Don't you love getting a letter or card with a stamp on? it's a rare pleasure nowadays. Send 6 letters or cards to loved ones, long-lost friends or just people you know. Say hello, suggest a meet-up, thank them for being in your life or tell them why they matter to you. At 36p each you'll be spreading shed-loads of happiness that'll soon come bouncing back your way.  
Long time no write.
Plant seeds    COST £1.55
        Connecting with nature is so good for the soul.
        You'll feel such a smug-filled sense of satisfaction when you grow something from scratch. I recommend a packet of rocket seeds, dead easy to grow and you'll be nibbling the leaves all summer and sharing them with friends. Even better are nasturtiums, you can chuck the seeds on poor soil and they'll still provide a riot of fiery flowers right through the summer. Even better, you get poor-man's capers from the seeds and the flowers are edible too! 

       Green fingers, flowers and food - the perfect ingredients for super self-enhancement. 

     TOTAL INVESTMENT?     £9.49

Try these tips in 2012 and let us know how you got on!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks to Liz who tweeted me in repose to this article to say she's changed her sat nav to french as a free way to learn a language.
    She may not get fluent but she'll be brilliant at giving directions.


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