WHAT we need is real money. Coins, notes, something you can weigh and count and see.

Then we might not spend so much of it.

We are a nation in debt. Credit card debt is mounting and is growing at the fastest rate for over a decade. Meanwhile, we’ve lost the habit of saving. Not surprising really, when interest rates are such rubbish that money in most savings accounts actually loses value.

But whereas Granny always used to have a few bob for emergencies or treats squirrelled away in an old tea pot or under the mattress, or even – like my late mother in law, up the chimney – most of us have nothing but debts.

So when it comes to emergencies we’re stuffed. So then we take out loans at exorbitant rates or put even more stuff on our credit cards and it just all gets even messier… Banks have now been told that they have to make it easier for borrowers to pay back their credit card debts and even wipe off their debts completely.

Because, it’s so easy to flash a card. It doesn’t seem real, does it? Not cards, not contactless, not PayPal.

Our grandparents who counted out their hard earned money in coins on the kitchen table every pay day, knew exactly the value of every penny. They could see it, feel it and watch the pile diminish in the weekly spending. And before credit cards were invented, if they didn’t have any real money, they just did without. Drastic, but possibly in the long run, less painful.

Every post brings more blandishments from the banks and credit card companies. It’s hard to turn them down, unless, like me, you’re a cheapskate. One of the ways we could manage is not to use cards but to take out our weekly allowance in real money.

Just like Granny. Quaint and old-fashioned. Very dull and boring – but at least it could stop us spending what we haven’t got.

We might even find a few quid to stuff in that teapot for a rainy day.

WHEN Prince Charles goes to stay with friends, he apparently takes – according to a new biography - not only his own food and his own chef to cook it, but his own martini in a special case and even his own salt in its own gold-plated bowl.

Not your average house guest. And imagine doing all that packing. Easy to see he doesn’t do it himself.

I have a lot of time for Prince Charles who, especially through the Prince’s Trust, has done a great deal of good.

But sometimes, even his friends must admit, he seems only a step or two from bonkers….

PLEASE don’t patronise me. Or any other woman either.

Half of company board members must be women, according to a House of Commons committee. Has anyone on that committee actually thought things through, or even thought about it at all?

Yes, of course we want more equality in the workplace, more opportunities for women, more women at the top – but introducing quotas is a ridiculous way to go about it… Just like all-women shortlists when selecting people to stand as MPs, they cause more problems than they solve. They are discriminatory – just the sort of thing they’re meant to prevent – and patronising, assuming that women won’t make it on their own,.

It causes resentment in men who feel, quite rightly, that they didn’t stand a chance and any woman appointed will invariably be assumed to have got the job just because she’s a woman and to make up the numbers, and not on talent.

And you might not have the best person for the job. So nobody wins.

All most women ask is equal opportunity and an open mind – after that we’ll win or lose entirely on our own merits. Thank you.

SOME snooper has got hold of Doris Day’s birth certificate and has told the world the chirpy actress is 95 and not actually the youthful 93 she’s been claiming.

She laughed it off with grace and style. At this stage of the game does it matter? When Doris Day was in her prime any self-respecting star who wanted to stay in work had to slice a few years off their age.

Now it’s middle aged job-seekers who are forced to try the same trick. If your qualifications go back as far as O-levels – then the chances are you’re probably too old… THE NHS wants to save around £400 million a year by ending prescriptions for things such as painkillers and sun cream which can be bought cheaply over the counter.

Paracetomol, for instance, can cost less than 2p each in supermarkets.

Not only will that save a lot of money which could be more usefully spent elsewhere but presumably, every prescription also needs a doctor’s appointment to get it. So, if people are toddling off to Tesco instead, it could be a lot easier to get an appointment at your local surgery. Win win all round.

TV presenter Adrian Chiles says that men don’t like to do the washing up because rubber gloves come in “sexist” colours – pinks and yellows. He wants them to come in more “manly” shades such as battle fatigue or camouflage.

If his masculinity relies on having battle fatigue Marigolds to do the washing up, then he has real problems.

And what sort of a weedy chap wears rubber gloves to wash up anyway? When it comes to washing up, surely real men go commando…

DRINKING wine is good for the brain , says new research. Dealing with the complicated tastes and sensations involves all different parts of the brain and is an excellent mental work out.

So important to keep the brain active, wouldn’t you say? And a lot easier than doing the crossword.