Recently a friend of mine told me “You’re always on vacation!” Which isn’t entirely true. But, vacation & travel rank very high on our list of things we like to spend our money on. There are tons of things we have to spend our money on. So when we have any left over we are very picky about how we spend it.
Some things we don’t spend big money on:
- Cars. We have reliable, not flashy transportation. We always buy the base model vehicle. We don’t spend money on extras like sun roofs or high end audio systems.
- Clothes. I never pay retail for clothes. I order online, use coupons like crazy, and always shop the sales. Some of my favorite outfits cost less than $20 total. My favorite skirt cost $4.70.
- Shoes. We buy CSP good quality shoes for work but beyond that our shoe budget is minimal. I only wear Crocs. And I never pay full retail for those either.
- Beauty stuff. I buy makeup twice a year. I use Bare Minerals and it lasts and lasts. I buy from Sephora with a coupon. Sure it costs more than Walmart make up at first, but in the long run it costs less. Now mascara is a different story. For that I go to CVS & use coupons. My hair is short so I can make a large bottle of shampoo last 6 months or more. Same with hair styling products.
- Jewelry/accessories: I make my own jewelry for the most part. My good silver pieces CSP bought me from Tiffany back when we were both working good jobs. Good jewelry is an investment. Tiffany never goes out of style so I can still wear those pieces now. As far as bags go I have two Coach bags. A white one for Spring and Summer and a black one for Fall and Winter. Buy classics and they never go out of style. When we travel I carry my travel bag I got from eBags so I don’t mess up my good bags. My travel purse cost $30 and I bought it with a gift card.
- Furniture. For the most part we shop at IKEA for affordable furnishings. It’s not heirloom quality stuff that we’ll be passing down to our grandchildren, but we know that if the pugs throw up on the sofa we won’t have to have a heart attack. We did invest in a good dining room table (got a steal on it) and chairs, but just about everything else in our house is IKEA or hand me down.
Our fun money list:
- The house. Our home is our largest investment. Any time we can we do what we can to improve it in the hopes that one day when we have to sell it we’ll be able to make a profit. Plus, we want our home to reflect our personalities and to be a fun, warm place to be.
- Vacations & travel. You can’t put a price on memories. We’d much rather go on great vacations once a year vs eating out once a week. We want our kids to be well traveled and ready for adventure and that starts with us. We’re lucky and blessed to have family that live in Florida, a great place to visit, especially when you get to stay for free. We’re also lucky to have a mountain house in the family. We’re able to use it from May-October so we try and get up there as often as possible. I’m a deal hunting queen so all of our vacations are planned on a budget. The one thing we’ll splurge on while we’re on vacation is one or two fabulous dinners out.
- Technology. We bargain shop in this area, but it’s still a luxury. I have an iPhone (the base model) and love it. We have a Wii (but very few games. We rent instead of buy). Our computer is a Mac. It’s a very old Mac and we could replace it with a Dell or something, but we’d rather save up for a new Mac. We have an iPod. Just the one that we share between us. It’s 4 1/2 years old and we still haven’t filled it up! We should own stock in Apple, huh? Same with our TVs. We’re brand loyal to Sony and are currently saving for a flat screen. That means we’ll have to put up with our old, boxy Sony tv for a while longer. But good things come to those who wait!
I guess our theory on spending is spend the money on stuff you use every day. Make it an investment. Buy good quality. Then you only buy once or twice vs half a dozen times.
So what do you scrimp on? What do you splurge on?