If you ask me...I don’t want to die knowing I’d never bought an ice-cream maker

The New College of Elaborate Justifications Around Purchases is open
  • @deborahross

If you ask me, I’m thrilled to announce that, like Professor AC Grayling and his New College of Humanities, I have decided to take my own particular expertise and open my own educational establishment, the New College of Elaborate Justifications Around Purchases, and although I will always be founder of this college, and the principal, as I have a natural gift for elaborate justifications around purchases, we will also – I hope – have other faculty members, like my colleague Lisa Markwell.

I knew Ms Markwell had to be part of this exciting venture when I read her recent feature on The Chadwick Oven, a £360 stove-top pizza oven which, by the time she’d applied her own particular elaborate justifications, had become a profoundly sensible investment, up there with, say, using your annual Isa allowance. She’d be a fool not to buy a £360 stove-top pizza oven, she finally reasoned. Just think of the money I’ll ultimately save! I’m hoping that, if she won’t agree to join the faculty full-time, she’ll at least guest-lecture.

Anyway, you may think you know all there is to know about  elaborate justifications, particularly if you are neither well-off nor poor, but thrash around somewhere in the middle, and would be given to spending money you shouldn’t, if only you could elaborately justify it. But here is what you would learn in your first year alone:

  • How to elaborately justify a purchase by focusing on how much more you could have spent in some other scenario: “A Kindle Paperwhite may be £100 but if I’d bought the Kindle Fire, it would have been £165. I’m no fool.”


  • How to elaborately justify a purchase by spreading the amount over time: “£175 shoes...that’s just 50p a day for a year!” 


  • How to elaborately justify purchasing something now because, from tomorrow, “I am never, ever going to buy anything ever again”.


  • How to elaborately justify a purchase “because I don’t want to be on my deathbed wishing I’d bought that ice-cream maker”.


  • How to elaborately justify the purchase of a stove-top pizza oven because “if you have pizza every couple of weeks from our local pizzeria, they’re around £9 each. Multiplied by four people, that’s £900 a year”. (Plus, it is also “shiny”.)

If you’d like to book a place at the New College of Elaborate Justifications, which should not be confused with the New College of Monstrously Lying To Yourself – no connection – you may wish to do so by the end of the month, as we are offering a £100 discount which, of course, means £100 saved to spend on something else. Spending money while imagining you are also saving it is key, obviously, and if you don’t know this, you need us big time.