Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'Deciding on my New Year's resolution is easy: spend less'

In The Red

This year, deciding on my New Year's resolutions is easy. Too easy. In fact, there are so many things I could be doing better that I'm at risk of losing track. Put simply, my resolutions comprise two strands: eat less, and spend less. But mainly spend less.

They're the same two promises I've been making for the last, oooh, decade? Ever since I could no longer scrape by on pocket money and puppy fat. Take them at face value and they seem simple enough – but believe me, they're far more complicated than they sound.

In fact, despite the years of practice I've had in making them, I'm surprisingly under-rehearsed when it comes to keeping them. The longest I've ever lasted has been until March. Then I hit my birthday and all sense of restraint goes right out the window, replaced instead by chocolate cake, gin, and poor mathematics – a combination that lasts me quite comfortably until the next year, when I start all over again.

The problem, I think, is each resolution's breadth. They each entail so many steps – spending less in particular – that, although I'm only trying to achieve two end goals, I'm actually making 28 smaller commitments. Which, when it comes to it, is rather a lot.

So this year, I'm breaking things down. This month I'll be concentrating on coffee. Not giving it up – my love of caffeine is far too strong for that – just paying less for it. I need to stop buying that takeaway coffee, and start carrying a thermos. In fact, I need to buy a thermos. A cheap one. Or maybe two, so that I can bring soup to work – in which case I'll need to start making soup. And so it goes on...

So far, things have gone OK. I had a decidedly credit crunch-friendly New Year's Eve, empty-stomached and guzzling cheap liquor with my flatmate in the comfort of our own home. We had planned to go out – to a Kentish house party – but the sub-zero temperatures and transport costs conspired against us. Instead we stayed in to watch Jools Holland perform the countdown, wallowing in our own virtuousness, admiring the Christmas tree and spending a grand total of £10 (plus heating bill) between us. We even got a bird's eye view of the fireworks – one of the few virtues of living in a tower-block.

As for how the rest of the year pans out, we'll have to wait and see. Something tells me that 2009's efforts might be more successful that usual– if only because I have little choice. My bank statements have arrived bearing the scars of December's shopping. And believe me, they're not pretty.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
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

    Senior Analyst - ALM Data - Banking - Halifax

    £350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Analyst, ALM Data, Halifax, ...

    Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/day

    £500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/d...

    Liquidity Reporting-Basel III-LCR-Bank-£400/day

    £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Liquidity Reporting - Basel III - LCR - Ba...

    Client Services Associate (MS Office, Analysis, Graduate)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client Services Associate (Microsoft Office, Ana...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz