From private medical cover to healthy food shops, Nicola Bonn shares how she allocates her wellness budget each month - and why
Nicola Bonn, 38, host of the Outspoken Beauty podcast and beauty editor at Heart. Lives in London with her husband and two young children
Up until eight weeks ago, I was a radio presenter and was waking up at 2.30 in the morning every day. I gave it up though to pursue a career in beauty. Doing night shifts meant that I didn’t concentrate on my health enough - I wasn’t sleeping well, I was eating lots of junk food and didn’t have the energy to look after myself. Plus, I had two small children to look after at home. My personal wellness was always at the bottom of my list. My outlook changed though after speaking to my doctor. I’m approaching 40 and he told me that if I wanted to be healthy in my old age, now’s the time to make changes. So I’ve been making wellness more of a focus.
I’d say that I spend around a quarter of my disposable income on wellness each month if I include food. However, after recently switching from radio presenting to a new business, I’m mindful that this might fluctuate. For me, my main priorities are my private medical care and buying healthy food for me and my family and so after allocating money to those, I’ll spend whatever’s left over on supplements, bath and body products that lift my mood, a cleaner and a back rub for times when I’m feeling especially stressed. I hate the gym (I quit after signing up to one after one day!), but I walk lots. Playing with my kids gives me plenty of exercise too.
Private Medical Care, £200
This is by far my biggest wellness spend. I love the NHS (I gave birth to my two children with them), but going private has given me greater peace of mind. I’ve found that I’m seen faster and things are dealt with quicker. One such example is when I found a lump in my breast. A specialist was able to see me the very next day and everything was sorted out really speedily.
My husband and I were inspired to follow Jodie Kidd’s Balance Your Life eating and exercise plan after I interviewed her on my podcast. The shopping lists are set for you and incorporate a lot of fruit and good quality meat. I felt like I was eating too much sugar and junk before and this has really helped change that.
£32.50 per person per week.
Supplements, approx. £21.90
When I was a radio presenter, I was working all night and sleeping most of the day. I wasn’t seeing much sunshine and therefore getting enough vitamin D and so I started taking BetterYou DLux 1000 Spray , £6.95, every day. I’ve continued to do so after leaving. One bottle lasts me about a month.
I also take VSL#3 probiotic and as an IBS sufferer, I feel that it helps me feel a bit more comfortable. It’s one of the world’s most concentrated probiotics (it contains eight strains of bacteria) and three packs of 10 sachets (£44.85) usually last me three months.
Dry Body Brushing, approx. £7
I do this every day before I have a shower - it leaves me feeling energised for the day, and my skin, really soft. I use Elemis’ Body Detox Skin Brush , £21, which can last years if you keep it clean. Elemis also does a Tea Tree SOS Spray , £28, for this very purpose. It lasts for about three to four months.
Bath and Shower Oils, approx. £31
As a wellness ritual, a bath is the most wonderful thing. I love Aromatherapy Associates’ Revive , (£45), and De-stress , (£47) Bath and Shower Oils - their scents are really beautiful. I replace them every two to three months
Candles, approx. £20
I always light one when I have a bath - it helps create the perfect atmosphere. I alternate between Neom’s Tranquility Candle , £45, and Diptyque’s Baies Candle , £27. Just the action of lighting one of them slows things down and relaxes me.
Footcare, approx. £14
It’s really important to me to look after the health of my feet and so I have one of Margaret Dabbs’ amazing Medical Pedicures , £85, once or twice a year - it’s crazy how good your feet look afterwards! I also use their moisturising Foot Hygiene Cream , £20, every night which fights fungus too.
Back rub, £15
Once a month I’ll treat myself to a quick 10-minute back rub at Walk-in Back Rub in Covent Garden. It’s fast but effective!
Having two kids always leaves the house in a tip! And so having a cleaner gives me a break from constantly having to tidy up. They usually come in once a week but if I’ve spent more on other things that month, every fortnight instead.
£45 per week.
Maximum total monthly spend: £618.90
The bottom line
My number one priority is feeding my family good healthy food and also the peace of mind that my health insurance gives me. Many people would argue that it's a lot of money for something that you don't really need but it makes me happy knowing that if there is a problem it can be dealt with quickly. Those two outgoings definitely take precedence over everything else.
Having two kids isn't cheap and often wellness spending comes second to clubs, activities, childcare and fun but actually the happier they are, the better I feel so it's really not the end of the world if I have to go without a cleaner one week or buy a less luxurious bath oil. These are wonderful luxuries that add to my wellbeing but aren't irreplaceable.
Follow Nicola on Instagram: @OutspokenBeautyPodcast .