As we head towards an election year here in the UK expect to see politicians doing incredible things to attract your votes. We will be treated to wealthy individuals living on benefit for a week in order to convince us that they know the pressures faced by the common man (or woman).
If that isn’t enough we will probably find a batch of them sleeping for the night on the streets so that they can show sympathy with the most disadvantaged in our society.
Either way the rest of us will know that one week on less than the minimum wage proves nothing when you have bags of cash stored up in all your nineteen bank accounts. And 12 hours under the railway arches is not exactly hardship when your champagne is on ice back in one of your four houses.
I wonder, if like me, you have met people who have a similar approach when trying to prove that they live a frugal life. They display all the signs of being understated in both dress and lifestyle yet every now and they you get glimpses of hidden reserves.
So if you want to look frugal when you are really quite well off here are my top tips:
1) Buy an old car and gradually replace all the parts. People will think that you are very frugal. You will be like the man who had the same brush for twenty-five years even though it had had ten new heads and twelve new handles.
2) Visit the local charity shops but only buy items that would have been expensive when originally sold. This means that you can brag about getting them on the cheap. You do have the luxury of buying anything you want so, unlike truly poor people, you can take the risk on second hand.
3) Buy all your Christmas presents in January. Again another opportunity to brag about all the bargains you have managed to find.
4) Buy all your summer holiday clothes at the end of summer ready for the following year. In addition to those much longed for bragging rights you can buy in a couple of sizes just in case you put on a pound or two over the Christmas period.
5) Visit all the supermarkets in your area in order to buy your weekly shopping. That way you can get all the bargains that are on offer. Don’t be concerned that you can only do this if you have a car enough petrol available. The poor don’t have this luxury because they don’t have the access and to do so on public transport would take three times as long.
How frugal are you?