To be able to live comfortably, you must live within your means. Times are tough. Our economy has taken a knock. We understand that there is not much money flying around to spend. It needs a survival dance. Know what is guzzling your money. Sometimes there is no fat to cut, therefore cut the meat and, if necessary, cut the bones. However, we need financial intelligence and emotional intelligence. We sometimes think that educated people will have the financial finesse, but most of the time it is the opposite.I went to an insurance company to cash my investment. The gentleman who was assisting me told me that they can loan me money or refinance my debts. I told him nicely that I do not need that. Why should I take a loan and repay it with interest when I can use my savings? When I leave, he tells me to refer any person who has financial problems to him. I will never do that. A loan does not take you out of financial problems, but make them worse. I learnt with dismay that people loan money from this bank to go and pay the loan of the other bank. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is not the solution. You will be paying interest for the loan to pay a loan, which also has interest. I know it is difficult. The other day I was addressing a women’s group and I asked them whether they still remember how nice pap and spinach is? Why do we have to eat meat every day? Why don’t we eat more vegetables? I hear that eating just one meatless dinner per week can also help the environment. We do things to impress other people. I sometimes post in the social media that I am at a restaurant and give its location, whilst I am staying at home. You will see the comments. The other day I posted a watch which I bought in 2006 and people were so impressed because it is a certain brand. People are so vain.One cricketer had been banned for eight years for match fixing. People asked how he could do that. It is the pressure from society that as a celebrity you must behave a certain way. Your clothes, car, house and lifestyle must show that you have money. I once wrote that I am not my hair. This was after somebody commented that my hair has looked the same for many years. One is tempted to quote Attitude to Inspiration and say: “I am a woman of substance. Don’t define who I am by the way I look or the clothes I choose to wear.”I am talking to you, my brother, to you, my sister. Do not live a life you cannot afford because of vanity.