Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'Birthdays are meant to be for splurging'

In The Red

Another year, eh? From this day forth, I can no longer describe myself as "early twenties". Whether that gives you any enlightenment as to the year of my birth remains to be seen. To be honest, I'd rather it didn't.

But begrudging as I might be about my advancing years, there is something to celebrate. Today, my birthday, is the one day a year that I (almost) entirely abandon counting. Counting of all sorts: coins, calories, slices of cake. It is the one day a year on which I can pretend to be rich – or something approximating that. In cafes and restaurants, I'll order what I want, not what I should have. If I fancy that extra cupcake or cab ride, I'll indulge. If another glass of wine is calling my name, consider it ordered.

Of course, this can be dangerous. Over the years I've learned the perils of embracing faux wealth only too well. The memory of one year's birthday brunch still makes me wince. £110 for two people! Blame the assorted vessels of alcohol that accompanied our medium eggs Benedict. And then there was the time I chose to hold my party in a bar on the other side of town – a decision swiftly followed by that to hail a taxi. There and back.

But I've learned my lessons. The trick is to limit your ambitions. A taxi across town may not be ok, but for a ten-minute journey? Why not? A bottle of bubbly at a restaurant over breakfast might be taking it a bit too far – but at home, before going out? Fine. They're still extravagances – still things I wouldn't usually do – but they're not ones which will break the bank.

And so it is that this year I have a few rules: 1. Keep it local. Breakfast, dinner, drinks: I plan to go out for all three. But only to places within a five-mile radius. 2. Avoid temptation. Go to a place where you can afford the most expensive thing on the menu. And 3. Just because it's my birthday, it doesn't mean I have to spend. There's nothing worse (or more expensive) than shopping for the sake of it.

Hopefully, returned to normal life, I will feel refreshed. Having behaved fecklessly for a day, I'll be ready to return to more budget-friendly habits. Exercised in moderation, behaving like a rich person is like going on holiday: it gives you a taste of life on the other side. And when's a better time to do it that your birthday?

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

    £20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £32,000+

    £18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

    £50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

    Italy vs England player ratings

    Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
    Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

    Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat