Never buy a pair of glasses again

Recently, while slumped over a Pret salad at work wondering why I never seem to have any money, I started working out what I could save by cooking an extra portion of food each night and bringing it to work for lunch the next day.

It sounds like a student exercise, but stick with me. When cooking for one, a meal — protein, carbs, and veg, or a hearty salad — costs me on average £3.20. Make that go a little further and provide two portions, and the cost drops to £2.40.

That’s more or less £2.50 per portion. Compare that to a typical cafe or take away lunch at £7.50, and by bringing a packed lunch to work, I save £5.

A fiver a day, okay, that’ll get me another coffee or two. But really, what’s a fiver a day when you get home and all you want to do is throw off your shoes and forget about the office until the next morning?

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Nothing.

Nine times out of ten I’d chose the extra half hour on the couch. But grumbling through my southwestern chicken and avocado power salad, I continued with the calculations. Let’s see, what’s £5 over a week: £25. Enough for a few trips to the flicks or lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant. What about a month: £110. A weekend city break in a quaint 4-star hotel. Six months: £660. An around the world flight for one person. A year: £1300. Two of the latest iPad Pros.

Granted, for some folks, the difference is negligible, and for others, they’d choose the convenience over cost any day. But over a larger period of time, the numbers do add up. And even if you’re not bothered about saving a few pounds, the simple act comes with other benefits too. Like having more control over what you eat, encountering fewer temptations and distractions, and wasting less time in your day. Working out the figures is a just a way to pique our attention and open up to what’s really going on.

Taking this logical and holistic view, known as the Helicopter View in business, allows us to get a better grip on our actions from a more rational and balanced perspective. And by stepping back and taking this wide angle, we can break unconscious patterns of behaviour that persist for no other reason than because we haven’t changed them.

There are few things we do every day less rational and unconscious than wearing glasses. And just like with the lunch example, this can be seen clearly in the numbers. Here at London Vision Clinic, we worked out the cost of wearing glasses over ten years and compared it to the cost of having Laser Eye Surgery.

With the price of a new pair of glasses estimated at between £250 and £500, replaced every two years, we put the average daily cost of wearing glasses at 34p per day on the low end, and 69p per day on the high end.

That’s barely enough for one of your five a day! But extend that to over a decade, and the average cost of glasses is anything from £1,524 to £3,047 (assuming a yearly inflation rate of 4.5).

Of course, this is only a snapshot of what it will really cost you. When looked at over the lifetime of a glasses wearer, the numbers can easily get into the ten of thousands of pounds.

Laser eye treatment, on the other hand, when performed by a leading surgeon using the most advanced technology, costs £4,900 or £184/month. That’s just over £6 a day for two years to pay for Laser Eye Surgery. or 69p a day for the rest of your life to cover glasses.

And that’s only the financial side of things; we haven’t even mentioned the main benefits like the greater quality of vision, fewer restrictions on sports and activities, and immeasurable savings of time and energy.

Try the Helicopter View today with something in your life, and you might just be surprised by what’s been going on right under — or on top of — your nose.

Never buy a pair of glasses again

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