The perils of false economies…

Growing up I received some valuable advice from my mother, which was you should never go to sleep with your make-up on.
And in my 15 years of make-up-wearing, I can proudly say I can count on one hand how many times I’ve curled up in a paralytic heap on the floor with that night’s mascara clogging my tear ducts.
But while this has, so far, stood me in good stead, there are a number of other pieces of advice that fell from the lips of far wiser adults in recent years that I wish I had taken heed of.
For example…

1) Sleep easy

Though I do not have a mortgage – and wonder daily whether I will ever afford one – I finally reached an age last year where I realised quite how disgusting it is sleeping on a rented mattress. As a student I never thought about who and what had slept in the bed before me, but when I moved into my current house and found the mattress covered with cat hair, I changed.  Hundreds of pounds later I was the owner of my own bed frame and mattress. But my advice to you is if you don’t test more mattresses than you thought humanely possible, you risk waking up every single day for the rest of your life with a back more twisted than a Black Mirror plot.

2) You’re old enough to buy better

I drank enough paint stripper in my diet Coke during my formative years to know that knock-off vodka does not feel good the morning after. Add to that the fact I’ve read too many stories about counterfeit spirits blinding teenagers and I just can’t bring myself to spend less than £15 on a bottle of booze these days. If it’s not (at the very least) Stolichnaya, I step away from the soda, and so should you. Perhaps this is why I can’t afford a mortgage?

3) Sharp as a tack

Picture this: you’ve spent a fair whack on ingredients in Morrison’s with the aim of making a melt-in-the-mouth pulled pork stew, then you get home and start hacking at the meat with the world’s shittest knife. I’ve muttered it under my breath once before, and I’ll mutter it  again, Wilkinson’s is a place to buy cheap bleach, not knives.

4) Flake away

While we’re on the subject of cooking, there’s nothing more depressing than finally striking the perfect balance between nutmeg and mustard in your cheese sauce then having to pass off the floating black flecks as pepper, knowing full well it’s the bottom of the pan that’s made its way into your lasagne. The words ‘non-stick coating’ really do ring true.

5) Happy feet

I dread to think how many pounds I’ve chucked in Primark’s tills on ill-fitting ballet shoes and ankle boots that have disintegrated at the suggestion of a rain cloud. I finally learnt my lesson last year when I forked out a reasonable amount of money on a pair of real leather boots from Office which kept my feet dry the whole of winter. It’s only taken me seven years to discover this.

6) Quality, not quantity

No longer do I buy mascara which makes a slow descent towards my chin by 5pm. But while my attitude towards cheap slap has changed, my finances have not, so I invariably end up splurging in Duty Free – dazzled by the lack of VAT – and thus spend more than I probably would have done in Boots. I stand by the fact that it’s still worth it, despite the fact the contents of my make-up bag are worth more than my coat.

7) It’s the little things

When buying my first car I was so preoccupied by price that I forgot to check some very basic functions. It might seem blindingly obvious to anyone who owns a car, but how was I to know to check the steering wheel is adjustable? If I had, the knot of muscle in my left shoulder might not have squatting rights. On a side note, who knew electric windows were such a luxury? I only know this BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE THEM.

I pass on these gems with the blessing that it will improve your life.  Go forth and spend.