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Making the best use of your money in the Great Depression

An Estate Agent Pictured Yesterday

Hot diggity! It’s 1929 again. No more dancing the Charleston in those speakeasies, it’s a recession ya hear! I have a mate who lost his job before Christmas and got a nice redundancy packet. Then, in January after taking some time off, he got a new job on 10k more a year than his old job, plus a company car. Last week he patted his pocket while talking to me and said something like “this recession y’know…” He’s 10k and a car better off than he was and he’s moaning about the recession? That’s the way everyone is right now and I’ve decided to be the voice of reason in it all. So sit down ye children and listen to old man Barry’s opinions, as they pertain to the world of coaching of course.

Did anyone really think that their house was going to continue to increase in value until it was worth a gabagillion euro? Or that all of the building was going to continue until you had a block of apartments in every front garden? We all knew this was coming really, we just lied to ourselves for long enough so that we could keep paying €6 for a cappuccino without the horror of thinking how much you could save in a year by bringing a flask. Now that it’s happened, we seem to think the world is going to end too. It’s not. We’ll all have to make do with a little less money, we may have to switch careers, but we won’t suddenly all starve to death. Don’t get me wrong, as the spouse of a civil servant, our household is already down lots of money thanks to the poxy pension levy, and I work for some state owned enterprises that are making cuts and one of them is me, so I know all about the pinch. But I’ve decided to be cheerful and look on the bright side.

Firstly, some stuff is cheaper. In fact, lots of stuff is cheaper. My meat bills (I have 3 shopping bills, Veg, Meat and Crap) are much cheaper than before. I’m getting sirloin for the price of rib steak, and fillet for the price of sirloin. I just bought 36 chicken breasts for €30 in my local supermarket. My mortgage is down, way down and the house I’m buying is €195,000 cheaper than this time last year. Okay I had to sell my house for less too, but I’m still better off than if I bought last year. This might all seem awful and like I’m dancing on the property marketeer’s graves, but seriously, does anyone really feel sorry for estate agents? If there’s an estate agent out there who hasn’t squirreled away a nice nest egg from the money they’ve made in the last 5 years then they are idiots.

Now not everything is cheaper. My gym for example is still €70 per month but since I wasn’t a ruthless profiteer in the heyday, it’s still really good value. The way I see it is that if I can offer someone a place to go every single night of the month for the price of one very cheap night on the beer, then I am offering value. In fact things to do with your health is probably the one place where people would probably be best investing in right now. There were €480 million worth of health cuts announced in January so right now is the time to get some private medical insurance and do some exercise. It’s not about cost anymore it’s about value. If you were paying €50 a month for something that wasn’t doing what it said on the box, then I’d drop it. On the other hand if there was a price increase for something that was offering you good value then why not keep it on? Looking at the bigger picture is difficult but it has to be done. What is the real cost of say, buying low quality, processed meat versus buying some butcher’s meat? Probably a few euro a week but then you have to weigh that against the nutritional content of what you’re eating, the costs to your health; the nutritional deficit will either have to be made up for by eating more of the same crap, or will take away from your overall well being because you’re not getting the same nutrients.

All of this might seem random but will make some sense in the next couple of days when I release my secret! And no, it’s not a new way of de-processing meat. Suffice to say that my members can expect a small increase in price versus a massive increase in value. As with anytime I change anything around, I think it and talk it to death first as I want to see how it will impact everyone I train, me, my lifestyle and so on before I go and do it. I want to wait until a few details are confirmed and some wording is put right before really telling everyone what’s what. This will be massive though. Absolutely massive.

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