house, shopping, travel

It’s all about the Benjamins, baby

money_tags_1Recently 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?

16 thoughts on “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby”

  1. I love Bare Minerals! Hubby always asked why I had to spend so much on makeup but when I explained that it really does last a long time and broke it down for him, he was pretty impressed with it! I didn’t know you could use coupons on it a Sephora. Ulta won’t let you. I’ll have to go there from now on. I love your blog BTW. Great stuff!!!

    1. Thank you! And let me clarify. By coupons I mean coupon codes where you can get freebies with your order. Not $ off the price.


      Sent from my iPhone

    1. Yay! I was hoping there was someone else out there who finds this interesting! I know people who spend tons of $$ on CDs & movies but never go on vacation. And people who get mani/pedis all the time but drive a beat up car. Everyone has different views on how to spend their $$. Maybe some other bloggers will share.


      Sent from my iPhone

  2. I must admit that we are luxury car whores. The first time we rode in our friends’ Lexus we were hooked. They are fantastic cars that never need serviced, never go out of style and ride like a luxury jet. I get all tingly just thinking about our Lexus. Oh, how I love it. We also have a Honda S2000 which is not all that luxurious, but it’s fast as a mo-fo. We also like speed. LOL! We also spend money on art, the garden and eating out. We love us some food! We keep our furniture and electronics for a long time. We just replace the tv and sofa we’ve had for almost 9 years! I’m sure we’ll have the new ones for just as long.

  3. I have to admit, you guys ARE always on vacation. And even though you’re talking about how you save money, I don’t know why but it still cracks me up that you’re wearing Tiffany and Coach purses and you’ve got an iPhone and MAC computers. LOL. 😉 I’m totally getting an iPhone when my current phone contract expires this month. Terry’s had one since last christmas and loves it!

    1. CSP has been at his company since 1990. He’s earned a lot of vacation time. You say we’re always on vacation like that’s a bad thing. We think it’s a great thing! When I was working I made pretty decent money. That allowed us the financial freedom to purchase things we wouldn’t be able to purchase now. The days of shopping at Tiffany & Coach are long gone, but my 2 bags & jewelry remain. The point of this post (which I wrote on our 6 year old base model Mac computer) is to show that everyone spends their money differently. I’m making no apologies. I don’t have time, I’ve gotta pack for our last mountain trip of the year. Shannon

      Sent from my iPhone

    2. I’m not asking you to make an apology, Shannon, or for you to get defensive; I was just saying that the incongruity of talking about saving money in the same sentence where you’re talking about wearing and using all these expensive name-brand things is kinda funny…in an ironic, humorous way. Like…Stephen Colbert funny. The juxtaposition of the two…was funny! That’s it. I wasn’t laughing at you or saying you didn’t deserve these things. No need to get defensive or take it completely the wrong way.

  4. I, too, found your post interesting….like a peek into Shanny/CSP world 🙂

    We are BIG bargain hunters/scrimpers here. I never, ever pay full price for ANYTHING. Lots of clothes from thrift shops, Goodwill, etc. I always go for the clearance racks in stores first. And everyone thinks I’m a total scrooge because I only shop Goodwill on 1/2 off days because full price is too expensive!! Most of our stuff in our house comes from yard sales, auctions, thrift stores.

    I really can’t think of anything we splurge on. I guess it would be house stuff, but mainly stuff for the kids… know, fun stuff like book rental and lunch money!! Hee hee!

    As long as you’re safe and well, do what you will. Nobody’s business but your own.


  5. We got married recently and spent four times what we did on the wedding for our three week honeymoon in the british virgin islands. It was the best holiday we ever had. It’s a big world, explor it and you may discover something new about yourself.

    1. Congratulations on your marriage! And I applaud you guys for splurging on the honeymoon. That’s a trip you’ll never forget. We splurged (as much as we could at the time) on our honeymoon 8 1/2 years ago and we still talk about it.

  6. I like to spend my money on vacations too. Or holidays as they are called in the UK. People are always moaning that I seem to be away all the time. I love it.


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