Competitive saving!

Here’s one for Mr Micawber. According to the charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service, debtors are having to work until Wednesday afternoon just to earn enough to service their debts. Talk about the law of diminishing returns. That means once you owe more than about £20,000 you have to work five days for two and a half days’ pay. No wonder they call it the poverty trap. And no wonder I found it difficult to get out of bed this morning – it’s only Tuesday – if I don’t watch out I can’t start putting baked beans on the table till tomorrow afternoon. The one upside to all this financial doom and gloom is that watching the pennies has changed from being a slightly secretive and embarrassing pass time restricted mainly to blokes in supermarket jeans, to becoming something of a competitive sport. At the last PR do I attended my fellow journos and PRs all (apart from me) glossily high maintenance, were falling over themselves to swank about their latest voucher coup.   Each was a fully signed up member of every discount voucher scheme going, and not one had paid full price for a hair or beauty appointment or restaurant since Christmas. These girls were not paupers by any means, and in another age would probably have taken just as much delight in showing off their latest Wag bag, but what was refreshing about their latest hobby was that it was driven by generosity and cooperation rather than simple greed. Most voucher schemes rely on group sales, BOGOFs and two for ones and most offer yet more money off if you spread the word so the onus is on sharing the bargain and there is a positive incentive for organising last minute theatre deals or mass spa breaks. I left with a sheaf of e-mail addresses and an irresistible urge to organise a girls’ mini break to Dubrovnik. So don’t keep all these offers to yourself – tell me the best voucher deal you’ve snaffled recently and let us all in on it! Amanda Scary statistic of the day: Thanks to rising petrol and insurance fees it now costs over £3,000 just to run a car – that’s creeping towards a tenner a day – altogether now “Taxi!” Deal of the day: Start dining out on KidStart with 50% off a Hi-Life Diner’s card, get yours before the deal runs out tomorrow!