I think I’ve mentioned somewhere in my ‘About Me
‘ page that out of all my siblings, I earn the least amount of money. They have all carved out hugely successful professional careers and now live the life of well-to-do ex-pats in Hong Kong.
Am I jealous of their wealth and success? I can honestly say no, I’m not.
In fact, perhaps I’m a little ‘weird’ in that I love to hear how well they are doing, how they’ve expanded their little ‘property empires’ (both in Hong Kong and in London), their numerous exotic holidays and their expensive homes. I was like this even when I was up to my eyeballs in debt – my debt situation had nothing to do with their success after all, it was all my own doing!
I have a very good relationship with them all and they don’t go on about their success, or make a big deal of me earning far less. In fact, the only person who does mention our different earning rates is my Mum but she thinks she doesn’t! Earning stacks of cash has never been a huge deal for me – of course, it’s always nice to have more but I’ve never been driven by money.
My sisters are into their bling, Jimmy Choo shoes and designer handbags. The designer handbags I own are gifts or ‘unwanted’ items.
Anyway, it was my sister’s 40th birthday a couple of months back. Sibling tradition has it that if the person celebrating a special birthday doesn’t know what present they want, they will get something that’s bought by the other siblings. Sis said she would look for some nice earrings and has finally found the pair that she wants.
Yep, some very nice earrings.
Except they are from Tiffany & Co
and cost £570
! Yes, £285 each! And the picture above is not actual size as they’re a lot smaller!
As the ‘poor relation’, my contribution will be £100….
When it was my 40th, I didn’t know what to ask for so I got the surprise present of a silver ring. It too was from Tiffany & Co but I’ve no idea how much it cost. I wear it every day so it’s probably best that I don’t know…
My One Extravagance
I have only ever purchased one expensive item and that is a watch which I bought with a bonus I received from work nearly 10 years ago. The bonus also stretched to pay for a holiday in Spain for me and the ex, and paid for the front porch to be fixed.
Not a penny of it was saved and none of it was used to pay off the debts I had at the time – what did I know about financial priorities in those days, eh? Bit of a shame, as I can’t see me ever getting such a big bonus again – it was a one-off for a project I did in Stockholm and I don’t travel like that for work any more.
So was it £1000 well spent on a watch? Definitely not – my every day watch is a £45 Casio Baby G digital – I wear the expensive one for special occasions. Still, I know for a fact that it’s unlikely that I will ever spend that amount of money for a mere “accessory” again.
Anyway, I’m just thankful that there are no more 40th birthdays left in the family, although in several years’ time, it’ll be the start of the 50th birthday celebrations – perhaps I need to start saving up now!
Shopping Isn’t Everything
I was in Manchester city centre this weekend. I don’t often go unless I have to but I had 3 specific tasks – to pick up my contact lenses, to speak to someone at the bank (in person) and to renew my driving licence at the post office.
I parked just outside of town as it was cheaper and so I could walk in as it was a lovely autumn day, warm enough for me to be in short-sleeves, so I guess that’s really warm for Manchester!
I walked through the shopping centre, past all the shops and it was nice just to look at what was in the windows without being tempted to go inside, browse and end up buying.
I was home by noon, having achieved my 3 tasks and not spent a penny more than intended (my licence renewal was £24, my parking cost £2).
I reckon I’m firmly in the ‘Need not Want‘ camp shopping-wise – what I need to curb next however is how much I spend buying presents for people!