Yesterday, I mentioned a bit about my challenges with splurging on certain items, which led a few readers to email me and ask for more information. I thought about this for a while and was able to come up with a short list of things I still splurge on.
Food I mentioned yesterday that I tend to splurge on food, and it’s definitely true. If I find a dish I want to try – like my recent experiments with croque-madames – I’m quite willing to spend to make sure I get the correct ingredients, and ingredients that are top notch. In this case, I got some top-shelf gruyère cheese, which isn’t particularly easy to find in Iowa, and I even attempted some Mornay sauce to go along with it.
Kitchen tools Similarly, I’m often willing to splurge on kitchen tools – things like a KitchenAid Pro 6 stand mixer, a magnetic knife rack, and so on. I don’t buy a lot of tools, but the ones I do have are either of very top quality or will eventually be upgraded to top quality ones.
Frugal “investments” Whenever I determine that I can easily be money ahead over the long haul by buying a fairly expensive item now, I’ll go for it. This includes all sorts of things – CFL and LED light bulbs, a programmable thermostat, cloth diapers, even an old-fashioned safety razor. I usually research these like crazy and try to make sure that I would actually use the item, but if it is so, I’ll splurge and get the item. The interesting part is that most of these have actually paid off for me and thus subtly reduced our living expenses over time.
Video games This is probably the least of my “splurges,” but it is out there. I own a Wii and a Nintendo DS and a few games for each of them, but these are generally games with a very long shelf life and a lot of replay value.
And that’s pretty much it. Outside of those things, I basically don’t splurge at this point on anything. I read a lot, but I get my books from the library almost exclusively… and that’s pretty much all of my free time.
Anyway, here are some personal finance links of interest.
15 Tips to Avoid Overspending for First-Time College Students This is a pretty good set of tips – I wish I had done half of these in my college days. (@ moolanomy)
Cooking at Home with Basic Kitchen Staples Saves You Money This is an excellent article that really nails what you ought to have on hand to be able to just cook at home at your convenience. (@ girls just wanna have funds)
Learning to Love the Emergency Fund I remember the exact moment I loved my emergency fund. It was late last year when the brakes went out in my truck. Rather than going “OH MY GOD!” and panicking and running in circles, I just took the truck to the shop, paid for it on my credit card, went home, and paid the whole credit card balance from my emergency fund. Done. No fuss, no muss. And all I had to do to build that up was to cut down a little bit on my silly spending and instead sock that money away. (@ get rich slowly)
Curb Spending by Writing Goals on Credit Cards I usually keep my card wrapped in a picture of my children to remind me of why I shouldn’t spend – incidentally, this reminds me I need to make a new sleeve, as my old one is just about in tatters. (@ blueprint for financial prosperity via gather little by little)