Just when your New Year’s resolution starts to collapse into a duvet day you come across someone like Julie Parnell, who turned her 40 a day smoking habit into a small fortune.
Julie dreamed of running her own business but with no security and no home of her own it remained just that – a dream. She was also sending £13 a day up in smoke on cigarettes – scary but true. The day she made the connection between the two was the day her luck turned. She already had a deposit saved for a home but didn’t think she could afford the monthly payments – until she gave up smoking and realised that she was spending £400 a month on cigarettes – more than she needed to buy her own home.
Today she is smoke free and about to launch her own business selling shabby chic china and homeware – plenty of which can be seen decorating her home in Northamptonshire bought from the ashes of her disastrous smoking habit.
So what other vices can we turn into virtues?
Booze – an obvious contender – a two glass a day Chardonnay habit = £80 a month
Coffee – one cup a day on the way to work = £30 a month
Takeaways – A weekly “just can’t be bothered to cook” Chinese = £100 a month
Gym membership – only a vice if you don’t go! = £40 a month plus
What have I missed? Chocolate? Shoes? Let me know on Twitter @livingwithkids