One of my favorite things about Farnoosh Torabi’s So Money podcast is when she asks her guests rapid-fire questions. One of the questions is, “What is one thing you splurge on that makes your life better?” In my head, I’ve fantasized how I’d answer the question if I were ever on the podcast and Farnoosh asked me the question, lol. In all seriousness though, it’s an excellent question to ask ourselves because it reminds us of what we enjoy in life. It also reminds us of why we work hard to make money.
Money can be a source of stress but with careful planning, it can also be a source of joy. Being able to spend money on things that bring me joy makes me happy. Even though I work hard to maintain a frugal lifestyle, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my money. Money is meant to be used because you can’t bring it with you. The key is to strike the right balance. I choose to splurge on things that bring make me happy and cut back on things that don’t mean as much to me. Here are the things I choose to splurge on.
I enjoy food, plain and simple. I love food that look beautiful and taste good. Every now and then, I enjoy trying new restaurants not only for the food but also to be with good company and take in the ambiance. I obsessively stalk Eater to learn about new restaurant openings. In fact, I just found learned that Vegas finally has a conveyor belt sushi restaurant! I cannot wait to try it!
To balance my love of good food with the desire to save money, we try to be very discerning when it comes to dining out. We avoid eating at fast food restaurants not because we’re food snobs. It’s because if we’re going to spend money (and probably take in extra calories), we want to make sure that we enjoy the experience.
No offense but eating at McDonald’s or Taco Bell does not make me very happy. It’s a very bleh experience and I’ll only do it as a last resort. We limit dining out to at most once a week and when we do, we don’t just pick the cheapest restaurant. We choose one that we both like and know that we’ll enjoy the experience.
It’s been repeated so often that it’s almost a cliche but I believe in it wholeheartedly – it’s worth it to spend money on experiences over things. I’m not making it up. Studies have shown that people who spend money on experiences rather than things tend to be happier and feel that their money was well spent.
I remember my travels far better than the random stuff I’ve purchased throughout the years. Even when specific moments aren’t so enjoyable, they make for GREAT story telling. Before we got married, hubby and I took a trip to France. We took a train from Paris to Caen for a day trip to visit the beaches of Normandy where D-Day unfolded.
The visit itself was unbelievable. There was so much history and to see it with our own eyes was so moving. When it came time to return to Paris, we were told that the trains weren’t running that night because the workers were on strike. It was such a cluster as we walked all over Caen trying to find an available hotel room. It was cold and raining and after being told by endless hotels that they were full I just broke down in tears.
There’s a happy ending to this disaster of a trip. We finally found a room where we could dry our clothes and get a good night’s rest. We were mortified at the time this happened but now we laugh whenever we think back on it. I think that’s what make experiences so great. They have the ability to create long-lasting memories.
Okay, it’s not what you think. I don’t drive a fancy car. But, I don’t drive a clunker, either. I have to drive on the freeway every day to and from work so I wanted to make sure that I have reliable transportation. Yes, I can save money by driving a piece of crap that can be had for $1,000 but I decided to have something newer.
When I decided to upgrade my 14 year-old car, I got a 2015 Honda Civic. It was more expensive than something older but I really wanted a car that wasn’t going to die on me. I know many personal finance enthusiasts advocate biking to work. It’s great exercise, environmentally-friendly, and saves you money.
You know what though, I enjoy the convenience of a car and willingly accept the expense. I’d love to live in a city someday that’s pedestrian-friendly but for now, I’ll keep tooting around everywhere in my car. Unfortunately, Vegas isn’t a super friendly city for pedestrians and bicyclists. So, for now, I will keep splurging on transportation.
Now that I’m older and more financially stable, I have the ability to buy better quality clothing. I don’t wear name brand clothing per se but I’m learning to embrace clothing that is well-made and made from better fabrics. Fast fashion from stores such as H&M, Forever 21, and Old Navy are great because they’re fun and they’re also cheap. Unfortunately, they don’t tend to hold up very well because they’re hastily made.
I’m embracing clothing that are classic rather than trendy and made to last rather than cheap. If it means paying a little more, so be it. Now, just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it’s well-made. However, if I decide that a piece of clothing is worth it, I will purchase it even if it means it costs more than another similar item.
I’ve always wanted a leather jacket and when I finally found one I liked, I bought it…for $400. It’s not the most frugal decision I’ve ever made, but I don’t regret it one bit. The key is knowing what you want. I can’t imagine ever paying $400 for a purse but omigosh I really love my jacket. It helps that I get compliments on it whenever I wear it. 😉
What are some things that you splurge on?