Zen and the art of car repair

OVER the past few months, I've given out a lot of unsolicited advice about saving money.

But after this week, I'm positive that any chump-change spared by energy efficient light bulbs or DIY muesli bars doesn't come close to the wads saved by a single deep breath.

At 3pm on Thursday, while politicians flapped around with imaginary power plays, I was in a similar state of panic. But about real stuff. Like picking up the kids on time.

With the clock ticking, blood pressure rising, my mind a tangle of loose ends, I jumped in my '94 Camry, and promptly swung into a pole, dislodging the front panel of my car.

I thought about my kids waiting wide-eyed at the school gate and contemplated driving on regardless with half of my car dragging down Bruxner Hwy. Fortunately, I was advised by some sage-like colleagues to take a few deep breaths.

Within minutes the Camry was rendered temporarily drivable by virtue of a few well-stretched occy straps.

I was once told by a very wise and trustworthy mechanic that one of the smartest things a budget-conscious driver could do was to buy a well-kept mid-90s Camry, Corolla or Magna and drive it until it died or blew a head gasket.

The downside to this advice is that you can never distinguish your car from every other at a carpark and you become just another boring sod driving around a Magna, Camry or Corolla.

My point is, just like the Labor Party, my embarrassing and costly afternoon spill could have been saved by a few deep breaths and a little less panic.

So this week's unsolicited money-saving advice is: take up meditation. Failing that, buy yourself a mid-90s Camry, Magna or Corolla and get colleagues who carry occy straps and will back you in a spill.

Save money through meditation

Meditation makes you think more clearly. People living in a state of panic or anxiety make poor decisions based on fear, which are often financially devastating. Meditation also improves goal-setting which is handy for those on a budget.

Meditation makes you happy in a way that mindless consumption can't. Eastern philosophers advise an uncluttered existence, which frees the mind and saves you money.

Meditation is effectively used by those who are sobering up from costly alcohol or drug dependency. It decreases stress and anxiety and reduces your chances of self-medicating.

Meditation increases your body's immune response which is will make you more productive and less likely to spend money at the chemist this flu season.

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