Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'Preserving my bank balance is about to get much more difficult'

In The Red

Saving money is about to get a whole lot harder. Why? Because this Monday marks my first day at The Independent's new, Kensington office. Actually, I can't wait. Canary Wharf had its charms (some, anyway) but it's not a patch on the buzzy confines of Kensington High Street, what with all its Topshops and Zaras and Whole Foods (more on which anon).

Where Canary Wharf had All Bar One, Boots, and a rather useful M&S, Kensington has the cream of the high street, from boutiques to bistros to bars, all laid out on one brief stretch of tarmac. It's going to be a million times more convenient – the commute is longer, but I'll finally be able to pick up groceries on the way home – and a million times less helpful when it comes to preserving my bank balance.

For one thing, living in east London and working in west London means I have the whole of central London to traverse on my way to and from work – in effect, I'll be heading past every drinking/eating/ working spot that my friends could possibly be inhabiting. So instead of heading home like a good penny-pincher – or going directly to some freebie-filled press launch – I will, I fear, become increasingly more likely to give in to temptation, and head out for a night with my friends.

And then, of course, there's the added temptation of lunch-time to consider. Those Indy staffers who've already ventured over have returned with tales of wondrous lunch-spots and expensive salad bars. King among these appears to be Whole Foods, the glossy, new(ish) purveyors of organic groceries. I have, once, ventured into the Kensington emporium, only to scurry out clutching a single bag of desiccated coconut after catching sight of a few price tags, but something tells me my resolve may not last. Whole Foods is exactly the sort of place that I find difficult to resist: sufficiently gleaming to make me feel treated, pseudo-ethical enough ("organic", "natural", "probiotic" and "fair trade") to make me feel virtuous, and so expensive I'll leave feeling as though I've been mugged.

The only thing to do, I think, is to try as hard as I can to stick to a strict pack-lunch-and-canteen diet, see how my bank balance (and will-power) has fared after a week, and then review the situation. Just to prepare, this weekend I plan to avoid venturing out of the flat at all, except only for (free) supplies of fresh air, exercise, and – hopefully – sunshine.

As for how my week's spending strategy fares, well, I'll report back in seven days. But I should probably say this: I can't promise anything.

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

Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
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

    Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

    Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

    Christine McCleave: FP&A Analyst

    £36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn