Jump to content

Menu

s/o What is worth spending money on?


creekland
 Share

Recommended Posts

After all the save money threads (don't spend, worth spending on due to savings, etc), I'm curious as to what people DO feel is worth spending money on?  It's ok to be hypothetical with wishes if luxuries aren't affordable at all.

 

I'm not talking basics (food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc) or even those things that we spend on, but ultimately save money with.  I'm talking about things pretty much anyone would consider a luxury - things that aren't needed, but we just plain want them and feel they are worth spending on.

 

Obviously, this will differ by person/family.

 

---------------------

 

As for me and my house, this obviously includes travel (not just travel to visit family, but travel just to see the world).

 

It also includes pets.  I'm ok not ever getting another dog after the two we've had passed away, but I can't imagine life without cats (plural).  We also have ponies.  These used to break even for us with sales, but after the market tanked, that hasn't happened.  We still have some.

 

Then better education.  We homeschooled instead of choosing our free ps.  My guys go to more expensive "better fit" colleges than the least expensive possibility we could find.

 

Plus we eat out - willingly.  I don't care for cooking.

 

When we do cook, we often splurge on foods we like, getting them on sale when they're on sale, but still paying more for what we like than what we could get by on (health or taste-wise).  

 

Once in a while I'll buy a new plant too - small splurges comparatively.

 

There are probably others, but those are what comes to the top of my mind.  We skip many other things, but not those.  We make all of them less expensive when money is tight, but we haven't really given any up (for long).  The one we cut the most was eating out, but we also have a tradition of going out once per month on our anniversary date.  There were times we shared a meal at Taco Bell, but we didn't give it up - and I'm glad of that.

 

I'll gladly not have a smartphone or new clothes or oodles of shoes or coffee or similar instead.  I don't judge others who choose those though!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love clothes and makeup, I spend my "allowance" on that almost every month. I also love getting pedicures. We purpose delay bought a house we wouldn't have to or want to put much money into, but I like decorating and I'll sometimes spend on that. We only have one car but it's pretty nice. We eat healthy and well. After we fund our various savings accounts we fund a travel account, if I could be more frugal that's where the extra money would go, travel is pretty much my top priority.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll agree with higher education, but we are fine with the state university system. And pets. They add so much to our lives that the expense is worth it.

 

Big things - decent appliances, a reliable car. It doesn't matter if the car is new or used. Whatever fits your budget as long as it's reliable. Smart phones. Yes, smart phones.

 

Small (but not really) things - good shoes, internet access, and for us lawn service. For me personally getting highlights is my treat. 

 

ETA: I would say books, but I try to borrow as many from the library as I can. During our homeschool years though, books were definitely worth spending money on. Books and curricula.

Edited by Lady Florida.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

internet/streaming/Roku lol

 

I'd never see relatively new movies if we didn't stream. It's also how we can buy certain tv episodes. Not that I'd die without it, but it's very convenient for our family. We can actually watch a movie as a family or couple in the living room but cannot do that easily in the theater. Well, I'm not going to bring the baby and dh and I can't even agree on where to sit in the theater (he has to sit in this one row with lots of leg room and it's too close for me so as far as eye level comfort. We sat in different rows last time we went!). This is our main form of entertainment.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

internet/streaming/Roku lol

 

I'd never see relatively new movies if we didn't stream. It's also how we can buy certain tv episodes. Not that I'd die without it, but it's very convenient for our family. We can actually watch a movie as a family or couple in the living room but cannot do that easily in the theater. Well, I'm not going to bring the baby and dh and I can't even agree on where to sit in the theater (he has to sit in this one row with lots of leg room and it's too close for me so as far as eye level comfort. We sat in different rows last time we went!). This is our main form of entertainment.

 

Yes! And the streaming services we use on the Roku - Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus (I know people don't like Hulu but we do). We gave up cable and satellite several years ago and this is how we watch tv now. Roku plus a digital antenna for local channels. Worth the money.

 

Ds watches mostly YouTube stuff, so internet service as I mentioned in my pp is worth it. Most of our tv, movies, etc, for all three of us are streamed.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll agree with higher education, but we are fine with the state university system. 

 

Lest anyone think I consider private to be better than public, it isn't so.  I happily graduated from a public U and would go there again.   :coolgleamA:

 

There are both good and not so good public/private colleges IME.  And what's good for Student A might be completely not right for Student B.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Things that we think are worth spending money on --

 

Me --

 

Pets.  They bring me SO much joy and are a major stress relief.  I never regret one penny I spend on them.

My hair.  It's my one really good feature.  'Nuff said.

Books.  I don't think I need to explain that one here. ;)

Good/fast internet service.  I like surfing the 'net.  Both mindlessly wasting time and researching need-to-know stuff.

Good shoes (maybe those fall under necessities, but I suppose cheap ones could fill that role)

A smart phone with a data plan

 

DH --

 

Cable TV and Netflix -- that's how he relaxes.

The yard -- he loves piddling around in the yard.

Travel (to my frequent dismay)

 

Both of us --

 

Reliable cars

Eating out a few times a week

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes! And the streaming services we use on the Roku - Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus (I know people don't like Hulu but we do). We gave up cable and satellite several years ago and this is how we watch tv now. Roku plus a digital antenna for local channels. Worth the money.

 

Ds watches mostly YouTube stuff, so internet service as I mentioned in my pp is worth it. Most of our tv, movies, etc, for all three of us are streamed.

 

We have the same ones. We cut out our Dish Network service, which I didn't even have time to watch that much. I relied heavily on the DVR and sometimes things would pile up before I could get to them. Entrance price wasn't so bad, but rates went up. Dh paid extra for the commercial free version of Hulu and even THAT has a weird exception with some shows. They'll say due to blah blah blah (I dunno, copyrights or such) this show does not come commercial-free. Then they play a commercial at the beginning and end of the episode. At least not in the middle. When we cut dish we started buying The Walking Dead episodes on Amazon but since we'd seen half the season already we didn't buy the season pass.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

hobbies (nothing too extremely expensive though)

 

I have spent money on taking various classes.  Once decided I always wanted to go to culinary school.  So I did.  Here or there I take classes and do when I have the money.  I've borrowed money to do so also.  Don't even really necessarily have plans to do anything in particular.  I just enjoy it.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me? Travel. Would love to put dh's job on hold for a year and go explore the US. And then, if we could, the world. So many places to see! I also enjoy massages and pedicures, would be nice to get them more often. And a service I'd pay for if I could...someone to help with housecleaning. Not every day, not even every week? It'd be nice if I could hire someone to help a couple times a month

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In order of importance for me:

 

Kids' education / well-being.

Charity.

Peaceful living space (indoor & outdoor).

Good community amenities.

Travel.

Healthy food.

Enjoying the arts.

For some people, pets.  (I'm a late bloomer here.)

 

I didn't include work stuff, because it kind of goes without saying that you do what you have to do in that regard.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me it's travel and other expenses related to dd's music…we give up a lot of other things so dd can pursue her interest. This includes a lot of travel expenses, often hotel rooms, gas, a reliable vehicle big enough for sound equipment and instruments we carry along sometimes, eating out, special clothing for performances, instrument expenses, lesson expenses, camps, and sometimes just nights out so she can sit and jam at sessions with other musicians. As she gets older, some things are being paid for by other people who hire her and scholarships so it's getting better in some ways and more expensive in others.

 

Also...

books

Teaching Company videos or online courses on things I want to learn

phone with a data plan (a bit of a necessity with the travel and for my work)

garden expenses

my pets (chickens and dogs)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, my list has gotten smaller over the years, but, I'd say anything that brings quite a bit more to your quality of life.  For me it's good quality furniture - buy once, never buy again.  Also car seats.  I truly believe putting your child in something that is easy to use, fits them well, is comfortable, and you know the whole history of is much better than buying something with no padding that you may have gotten at a garage sale. Goodness knows I don't want my butt sitting on a hard piece of plastic for 300 miles - more peaceful trips with comfy children.

 

I'd probably add good food to my list, too.  Once you try Parmesan you never go back to a green can again.  Same with real balsamic vinegar, herbs, chocolate, coffee..looking for the well made pays off.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we can take kids' education as a given here on this board, right?   :-)   Our kids will probably go to state schools, my husband and I both did, so no problem with that. 

 

In my house, internet and phones with data are utilities, not extras.  My husband's phone is paid for my his work; the rest of us have a modest data plan that we share; it's not expensive.

 

Then (in order that I think of them, not in order of priority):

 

Art supplies for our daughter.

 

Books and music for all of us (though we do use the library and Amazon prime for most of that now).

 

TV/movie streaming (though we also use the library for some of that too).

 

Good food; decent beer for my husband; decent wine for us both.

 

Some pin money for random cafe stops.  I have loved sitting in cafes since I was in college; when my kids were little I often read to them in coffeeshops. 

 

A membership to a public garden or art museum. 

 

Money for the occasional day or longer trip.  Right now big travel is not an option for us but 2-3 day trips that are driveable are necessary for family togetherness and my sanity.

 

Our dog, until we lost him last week.  With the kids moving toward college, it's not a good time to get another.  I foresee us being dogless for the time being.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, honestly, my first reaction to your question is to say Starbucks. Yes, it's a HUGE luxury but one that brings absolute joy to me and my dd. We go 2 or 3 times a week. My second thought was Kindle books. I have become spoiled by reading on my Kindle. I like the size of the font and the color of the screen so I buy books for the Kindle that I already own in paper format. Again, a HUGE luxury, but definitely worth the money because I reread so many of these books over and over. I definitely get my moneys worth.

 

I have two dogs and buy expensive dog food for them. I also take my dachshund to the chiropractor every other month. Definitely worth the money. They are family.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Things we budget for that aren't necessary but make our lives better:

 

Traveling to new places and old favorites

Experiences

Eating Out often (intentional, not the pick ups in the midst of errand running)

 

These things are so subjective.......... I see things other post and would consider those a necessity (internet, especially, as work often relies on it as well as our style of homeschooling).

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this depends on what the opportunity cost is. Basic life necessities come first, beyond that it really is a question of what matters most to an individual or family. Choosing one thing always means giving up something else.

 

Maybe you give up smart phones to choose a family vacation, or you give up more housing space to choose ballet lessons, or you give up a second car to choose homeschool supplies. Or anything. None of us can have everything, even wealthy folks are always choosing one thing over another, though often on a grander scale (ginormous ranch out in the country or penthouse in New York...)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that anything that makes you happy (and is legal) is worth spending extra money on.

 

True, but I'm curious about us as individuals (or families).  We all make our own calls about how we spend what we spend.

 

I'll admit to loving the diversity I'm seeing among us.  It reminds me of how much I love the diversity in the students at school.  Diversity is what keeps our world running so well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good mattresses. I insist my children and I have good quality mattresses.

 

Good shoes. I have bad feet and can't wear a lot of cute shoes. I need awesome arch support. So I do not have the number of shoes some women have, but all of them are high quality and last.

 

Good coffee. I don't buy coffee out often. I spend more for good beans to grind at home, though.

 

Tipping and treating. I tip well, offer to buy others' meals or coffee frequently, and try to help others out a bit. I want to live in a generous world so it feels worth it to me to put out a bit extra and try to never be stingy. It feels good to me to give when I don't have to, as opposed to those obligatory expenses that I resent sometimes.

 

Hot water. I know. Energy bills. Environmental foot print. But hot showers are so comforting. I love them so much.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this depends on what the opportunity cost is. Basic life necessities come first, beyond that it really is a question of what matters most to an individual or family. Choosing one thing always means giving up something else.

 

Maybe you give up smart phones to choose a family vacation, or you give up more housing space to choose ballet lessons, or you give up a second car to choose homeschool supplies. Or anything. None of us can have everything, even wealthy folks are always choosing one thing over another, though often on a grander scale (ginormous ranch out in the country or penthouse in New York...)

 

Yeah...I couldn't answer without this caveat.  Stack ranking of important things...

 

It's worth money to me to live in a safer than a less safe neighborhood.  

 

I told my dh years ago that there are two things that make me feel RICH:  a reliable car and not having to look at price tags when I go grocery shopping for the basics.  I would extend the two into three by including this one:  being able to go to the doctor for the normal - life stuff (infections, skin-checks, physicals, that sort of thing).  After those two things, it's all gravy.  :0)  

 

Now, as for the gravy:  I like *good* shoes.  I'd rather have 2 good pairs than 10 OK ones, both for looks and for "feels".  My "uniform" -- I get good quality; the fashion stuff that updates the uniform, I don't spend a lot.  That sort of thing. 

 

My weaknesses are pens and bags.  I think if I get one my bag, my husband will make me move OUT.  :0)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These have changed for me over time.

 

Currently, good b00kshelves and quality shoes are important to me.  I have a few Soma bras that I rotate between, and a few pairs of decent quality shoes. I wear Columbia flip flops (arch support!), Sperry Topsiders, and a pair of Anne Klein black flats. I recently replaced my old handbag with my first leather handbag.  It is well constructed, and I expect to carry it for several years.

 

I find that I am buying higher quality things as we age.  When we were first married and getting established, there were so many needs that we were just trying to get by. Now that many of our needs are taken care of, I wait longer and buy the thing that I really want.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For myself, homeschooling and private high school are luxuries that I think are worth it and would be the last things to go if the wolves were at the door. I live in an area with very good/dome of the nation's best-rated public schools, but I still love the culture of our homeschool community FAR more. Same with the private high school - it is not perfect, but most of our values are supported there and I like the size of the school and location. I like the diversity of that school, too; it is much more diverse than our PS in white-as-snow Carroll County.

 

Art materials and instruments and instruction in music have always been something I don't scrimp on. Though it is also true that when we have had to tighten belts, I have cut out private music lessons, and neither of my boys have lessons at the moment. I buy professional art materials and have a nice camera.

 

I would not want to be without my cats. Our dog just died, though, and I don't know if or when we will get another dog. It is really more up to DH because, while I loved the dog, the dog was much more DH's companion than mine.

 

I think travel is valuable and I hope to travel more in the future, but I do view travel as a full-on luxury and it gets axed very quickly when belts need tightening. We are not planning to travel this summer, except for to the family beach house. Oh - and that expense - well, it is shared with the ILs, and it would be difficult for us to cut this item from our budget, so travel to the beach house is a luxury that is unlikely to be cut. Which is a bery good thing, because that is very restorative to me, even if it's just for the weekend (but not so much when all the ILs are there too!).

 

I also thinking being generous with our resources is kind of a luxury, but I think it is extremely important. I would want to still be a generous person, even if I were down to my last two mites.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Music and music lessons. I'd reduce food for that. Also to see live music, to take the kids to the ballet, the opera when they are old enough.

 

Charity is a luxury I cannot do without.

 

I would say travel but I did that in my youth through work after having a "deprived" poor childhood.

 

Books if the library is inaccessible.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Date nights

 

eating out with friends

 

smart phone

 

SlingTV (dd and I love watching Project Runway, Cake Wars, Ellen's Design Challenge, Dance Moms, etc. together)

 

fitness memberships (after 3 years of weightlifting classes, my ds said he actually likes it now)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For us (Dh included although I sometimes get disagree with his wants):

 

Date nights with my kids, separately taking them out to the bakery or cake shop

 

Girl Scouts 

 

Experiences we don't really need to have that cost $$ (like next month's Kyoto trip)

 

Expensive running, hiking or computer gear (this is Dh)

 

A much smaller home closer to work but more $$ for more family time (State-side)

 

Homeschool curriculum that hold my hand (more $$) in subjects I'm horrible at

 

And it could be argued that I don't technically *need* wine but I have a tween so that's debatable. I only drink occasionally

 

And living here, you could make the argument that a car isn't really a need. We feel it's worth it to have one for rainy season but sometimes I feel guilty about it.

 

Lots of yummy vegan snacks or extras. We feel like if it keeps us vegan, it's worth it but it's not truly needed to do this.

 

Having pets as we love animals. This will be our last set of animals though I think 

I think that's it for us. We try to keep this stuff to a minimum.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll agree with higher education, but we are fine with the state university system. And pets. They add so much to our lives that the expense is worth it.

 

Big things - decent appliances, a reliable car. It doesn't matter if the car is new or used. Whatever fits your budget as long as it's reliable. Smart phones. Yes, smart phones.

 

Small (but not really) things - good shoes, internet access, and for us lawn service. For me personally getting highlights is my treat.

 

ETA: I would say books, but I try to borrow as many from the library as I can. During our homeschool years though, books were definitely worth spending money on. Books and curricula.

Just want to echo one of your key words, reliable. I don't need fancy, I don't need latest model, what I need is reliable. This applies to all major nonconsumable items purchased. I suppose it could also relate to experiences such as outsourced teachers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Internet

good computers (not Apple good, but updated PCs)

option to eat when I'm just exhausted

books - even though our homeschooling days are done, college has given me some great titles to splurge on (not just course required textbooks). 

better shoes - I'm finding this to be a necessity as I feel like I'm either walking or sitting at school 

 

Splurge on my budget is probably a misnomer, but these are the priorities lately. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Homeschool stuff

 

Music lessons for the kids

 

My dogs (good health care/good quality food, etc)

 

My hair and purses :)

 

Edited to add: Oh, and massages. They truly improve my well-being.

Edited by MMASC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me my biggest luxury splurge has been my induction stove.  Sure I could have got something cheaper that would have cooked food just fine but I so love this one.  I'm a messy cook always have been and having the ability to pick up a pan, wipe out whatever mess I made, and then set the pot back without burning myself or the rag, never having food burned to the stove top and much faster cooking times are just like a dream for  me.  It helps that I cook mostly from scratch 3 meals a day.  This thing gets a tremendous workout which made it much easier to justify the cost.  But DH knows, when this one dies, there will be no other options besides another induction stove.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

College for the kids.

Quality food - seafood, some steaks, some fine cheese, but not a lot...just here and there splurges

 

Occasional eating out because I do not enjoy cooking so this preserves my sanity

Winter sports - we use cheaply purchased used equipment so we only need lift passes. We buy them half price at the annual post season sale.

 

Travel - we love to at least see a new place once every other year

 

Facial care products - I used to be against spending much on such things however or skin is not aging well, brutally dry, and natural care options like coconut oil and such have not worked. The expensive formulation of moisturizers and night creams we buy have made a huge dfference. Dh in paricular had reached the place where his face felt parched and sunburned all the time.

 

Colored my hair today. Again not something I thought I would do(although I have tried highlights a couple of times letting cosmetology students practice on my head) but my parents' situation has been so very stressful that I started developing grey hair rapidly. I was feeling very emotional about it, all that we have been through the last two years, made an appointment, and had an all over mahogany color done. It is very pretty and lifted my spirits.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My cat

dogs

plants, indoor in the winter, garden in the summer

An occasional lunch out

An occasional movie night at a theater (2-3 times year probably, b/c I don't often like current movies)

good quality black tea

books, of course

fresh vegetables and fruit, good cheese

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our house...

 

Books

Art supplies

Good coffee

Starbucks trips

Smart phones

My garden

Meals out

Decent computers (definitely not top of the line)

I buy expensive makeup (but buy only what I'm sure I will use, so my collection is small)

Things like piano lessons, dance classes, art classes, swim lessons, and so on were all things I paid for in the past. My kids have dropped out of everything by their own choice right now. But these are worth paying for if they were interested in picking anything back up again.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*Good food. I *could* spend less on our weekly groceries, but I love having a ton of fresh produce, high quality meats and cheeses, and a few healthy and quick convenience options. We also enjoy going out to eat as a family, and we try to choose restaurants over quick-stop fast food places.

*Books and homeschool curricula. Enough said. Lol

*Extracurricular activities and experiences for the kids. They are all three really involved in gymnastics, they've taken archery and horseback riding lessons, martial arts, art, nature study, and computer programming classes. They've gone snow and water skiing, indoor skydiving, rock climbing, zip lining, repelling, ect. I like being able to take them to museums or to see Broadway shows or the ballet.

*Travel-we've gone a numerous 3-4 day mini trips. We bought a camper and have loved traveling with that as well. My hubby works out of town often, and if it works, we tag along and stay in his hotel room and go exploring while he works.

Edited by Gentlemommy
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personal training sessions and gym membership for me, hands down.

 

We joined a new gym 1.5 miles from the house a year ago January. I started working with a trainer a year ago. I am so much stronger now! I have visible arm, back, and lower leg muscles. My thighs are tighter every month. My balance has improved beyond all recognition--I can do all kinds of tricky one-legged things now. I may join the powerlifting team this year :D

 

Absent injury or disease, I refuse to be one of those out of shape middle aged women who become increasingly frail. Dh and I see this money as an investment in my future health.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...