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The world was hit with sad news recently with the announcement from the media of the passing of the renowned comedian Joan Rivers. As well as being well known for her biting wit and outrageous routines her fondness for plastic surgery still remains a newsworthy item for people to pick over.

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Yes there are a few examples in the public eye of where people have been nipped and tucked beyond recognition however I have to wonder if the sensationalist coverage of self-improvement procedures paints a negative light on what is actually a positive sector.

Some might say that we should be happy with what we are given. Are you? I can think of half a dozen things about my body which I would change. Could I personally see myself booking any of the many treatments or procedures available these day, probably not actually however if I had a self-esteem issue which stemmed from my looks I might.

I’m a firm believer that we are on earth for a limited amount of time and that (within reason!) we should spend as much time during those years doing whatever makes us happy. Life is definitely too short to be miserable. Could a breast enlargement or reduction purely for cosmetic reasons make someone happy, yes it could.

Whether it is the media coverage or not for some “having something done”, be that liposuction, scalp micro pigmentation to combat hair thinning in men, leg vein removal (this and varicose vein removal for me folks) or any number of other procedures are seen as a bad thing, a vain thing.

Women don’t have the monopoly on having body issues. Hair thinning and baldness cause much distress to many men too for example. The NHS puts the number of men in the UK who struggle with hair loss at some time of their lives at as many as 6.5 million.

Women don’t have the monopoly on having body issues. Hair thinning and baldness cause much distress to many men too for example. The NHS puts the number of men in the UK who struggle with hair loss at some time of their lives at as many as 6.5 million.

I haven’t worn a skirt since my wedding day and that was a dress that was full length. I wear jeans and trousers all through the summer. I never bare my legs outside the home as I hate the way all of the broken veins and rather hideous varicose veins look. If you’d asked me during this year’s heat wave if I’d have something done to change that I’d have screamed “yes”.

The difference between myself and many people however is that while I don’t show my legs off being as they look blooming awful it doesn’t cause me any angst. I don’t feel I have to pull back from a group, I’m no less confident because of it, I don’t suffer from self-loathing and anyone who knows me will confirm I really don’t have self-esteem issues. Some people however do.

Should we change our body if not happy with it? Why not? Yes there are extremes reported, such as celebs that are unrecognisable after numerous procedures however when used properly and according to guidelines I firmly believe that treatments and procedures that make you feel better about yourself are a good thing.

What do you think?

Budgeting, cutting costs and making your money go further is something that the majority aspire to. The UK economy over the past decade has hit many hard with the gap between price rises and wage increases widening, the overall cost of living rocketing and firms downsizing or closing down meaning a loss of jobs.

While the economy does seem to be improving most are still working hard to ensure that they live well within their means in case of being bitten by financial uncertainty in the future. I myself have completely reorganised the way our family finances work as Roy has been made redundant twice in the past year. We are mindful of meal planning, have cut our food budget considerably, have a wealth of fun activities for the kids dreamed up which cost little or nothing and have worked to become a very green family (both cutting energy costs and helping with the environment).

The one set of expenditures which we have struggled with are our transport costs.  Roy drives to another town now for work and so our petrol costs which were negligible before as he often walked to work have jumped up considerably. We’ve also had to take into account the fact that we have more wear and tear on the car to consider so the potential for higher maintenance and repair bills is ever present.

From a fuel point of view we’ve taken advantage of the Tesco Fuel Save scheme which sadly ends in February next year as well as taken steps to reduce our fuel consumption. As far as spares and repairs goes Roy likes to take on some of the work himself, saving himself hundreds of pounds of garage labour costs. Keeping an eye open for vouchers or discounts for places such as Euro Car Parts means that not only does he eliminate labour charges but that he also cuts the costs of parts and equipment.

As I don’t drive myself public transport is something I rely upon quite heavily during the week or through school holidays when Roy is at work and the kids and I fancy a day out. I’ve managed to make real savings using the Family and Friends Railcard, booking in advance and watching for special offers which do of course all add up. To further cut public transport costs I’m considering the idea of us becoming a biking family (don’t laugh!). Look at Wiggle discounts it seems that it might be possible to make real savings off accessories and more associated with biking so we’ll see. First I might need to borrow a bike and see if I can stay on it for more than thirty seconds!
We already walk where possible and fortunately at the moment don’t need to pay for parking at work (Roy) or nearby as everything is again within walking distance.
For all my frugal readers or those wanting to cut back on transport costs what have you got in place to help reduce transport costs? Do share your top tips!

 

Always up for a challenge when it comes to cutting costs!

Always up for a challenge when it comes to cutting costs!

 

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