11 Sep The Price of Happiness
In Birmingham once, I was given a peek inside a majestic Victorian bank that had been closed for years. It’s probably a dodgy nightclub now. In which case, its new punters may be a little startled by the stern admonishments emblazoned on its marble walls. “Thrift radiates happiness” one declared.
Thrift radiates happiness! When was the last time that a bank dared to bombard its customers with moral injunctions like that? These days it is bankers who seem to need lessons in the virtues of thrift, abstinence and prudence.
That dour Victorian motto sprang to mind last Saturday, when The Times recounted the story of Kathy Kelly. She is a middle-aged teacher from Bristol. Stung by not being able to afford a wedding gift for her brother, she resolved to live on ê_Ô£1 a day for a year. Bit of a masochistic over-reaction, perhaps – but the point is that she managed this feat so successfully that at the end of her self-imposed penury she was able to buy her brother and his wife a ê_Ô£1,300 life membership of The National Trust. She has now written a book about her annus frugalis of conspicuous non-consumption.
To read more from the Times Online about the relationship between thrift and happiness – click here