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Forget hygge, ignore ikigai – 2019 is all about lagom (yay, another Scandinavian word we can’t pronounce).
Roughly translating as ‘not too much, not too little, just right’, lagom is the art of living frugally, which is a pretty essential life skill if, like me, you’ve still got a £9,000 student loan to repay.
Lagom encourages you to be healthy, environmentally-friendly and financially-frugal. It’s definitely not as much fun as hygge (which by the way, I readily embraced pre-Christmas by purchasing a pair of new brushed-cotton pyjamas and an endless supply of mulled wine).
But apparently January is all about new starts blah blah and I have a whacking great tax bill to pay, so I for one am becoming lagom.
Here are some handy tips on how to live frugally in January and embrace lagom:
- Stay in and cook
I have a terrible habit of going out for dinner ALL the time. I make great plans to boil lentils and kale into some sort of healthy mush and yet, before you know it, I’ve got a dim sum in each cheek and Katsu curry dripping down my chin. I’ve recently realised, however, that although eating out is super convenient, it’s also incredibly expensive! So dig out your blender, boil your broccoli and soak those lentils overnight – healthy mush it is.
- Use your gym membership (lol)
Sometimes I forget that I pay £30 to run for 20 mins on a treadmill once a month. But last week I suddenly remembered (miraculous) and decided to actually go. Although furious that the hot tub wasn’t working (why else would you go to the gym?), I did 10 lengths in the pool and then sat in the sauna for half an hour. It was glorious. Plus then I showered in water I’m not billed for – could life get any better?
- Start a journal
Ok yes – you’ll need to buy a notebook and a fancy array of coloured pens, but then you’ve got a year of journal-writing FUN! Plus you will spend hours (HOURS) on Pinterest looking at pretty pictures of bullet journals. And there’s nothing more fun than planning, amiright?
- Rearrange your living space
Having a sort out is always satisfying come the New Year, and adding a plant to your space can be just as refreshing as spending pounds on new fancy throw cushions that just get chucked on the floor come bedtime. It’s fun to make your bedroom a lagom project: picking up ring stands in charity shops and framing photos that you’ve had lying around. Just one question though – what do you do with old journals that detail your terrible tinder dates? Asking for a friend…
- Get outside
Just a quick reminder that some of life’s simplest pleasures are free: going for a long woodland walk, getting your bike out of the garage, feeding the ducks at your local pond (I don’t care how old you are, this is still fun). And ok, if you want to pop to the pub after partaking in any of the above, that’s absolutely fine. As long as you remember the following: ‘not too much, not too little, just right’.
Lagom is about long-term fun: saving up those pennies for a house, getting fit and healthy, appreciating the smaller things in life without having huge extravagances. So although you might be tempted to book a last minute holiday to get some winter sun, just repeat this mantra while spooning healthy mush post-bike ride into your mouth: ‘lagom is long-term fun’, ‘lagom is long-term fun’. Failing that, remember you’ve got to pay for a house/wedding/holiday/tax bill/child this year.
Presenter, podcaster and writer, Emma is struggling with freelancing, struggling with being sustainable and struggling generally.