Thursday, March 10, 2016

Savings & Splurges

Money is something Matt & I talk about fairly often.  Me being the accountant/bookkeeper, I keep track of everything (there is no way Matt would track everything as obsessively as me...which is why I do it) and pay bills but when it comes to how we spend it, that's something we are definitely in together.  We are saving for some big things (adoption, next house, retirement, Luke's college) and are pretty frugal people (thanks to our parents!).  I was thinking about what we splurge on and what we save on...and I had trouble with the splurges.  Haha.  We are definitely not big splurges but we have a few.

And what we consider splurges might not be the same as others'.  And what we "save" on others might not ever imagine.  Different strokes for different folks!
1) Annual (or twice annual) vacations - we've taken 15 so far with 2 more planned for this year!

2) The jet ski(s) - besides the purchase price and the big repair we did on our current one, these aren't very expensive to maintain/run.'s still a splurge.  More so when gas was $4/gallon and we had two... But now we also have a pretty obsessed little boy who wants on it as soon as he wakes up at the lake.  He doesn't care if it's 7am and raining.  He wants a ride.

3) I get professional haircuts every ~12 weeks.  Not expensive but probably more than I need to go?  I might go more than 4/5 of my sisters so I think that makes it a splurge.

4) Clothes - I don't buy expensive stuff (we've long established it's pretty much all from Target or Old Navy) but I do buy some new things every season.  And all new, I don't thrift (although I really like the idea of it being a "greener" way to shop...I just can't get myself to do it.).

5) Our house.  Our bathroom remodel was pricier than it needed to be; we probably could have done it for half the price but weren't as picky about looks and finishes.  We are always working on some house project that doesn't "need" done.  I have big bedroom and closet remodels rolling around in my head.  We put bamboo down in my office when it certainly wasn't needed.  I like to think it's all helping our selling price some day but know that's not true.

1) Heavy use of the library.  We average at least two trips a week.  I get books for me and Luke, movies for all of us.  I read magazines through their online portal, download their free songs, and watch some free movies.  We definitely get our tax dollars out of the library.  I buy very few books brand new, almost all the reading I do is library books.

2) No coffee out.  I don't drink it at all for one thing.  Matt gets free coffee at work and at his parents' on Sundays.  This bothers a lot of coffee drinkers...but he makes the instant stuff at home on Saturdays.  We don't own a coffee maker.  I could easily count on one hand all the Starbucks drinks I've had in my life.  Just not something we do.  Not liking it realllllly helps.

3) Rarely eating out.  Maybe once a month?  Not including drive-in snacks (which we mainly do to support the drive-ins, we don't buy snacks at regular theaters).  And we try to make it for special occasions (birthdays, anniversary, adoption day, New Years Eve) or as rewards for hard work, like when we spent 10 hours one Saturday cleaning the garage.  We earned a take-out pizza for that one.  Matt also packs his lunch pretty much every day (he might buy once a month) and I packed my lunch almost every single day I worked.  (I don't understand the thought process behind buying out daily!  Both on your wallet and waist!)

4) Painting my nails at home.  I ALWAYS have my toes painted.  Not so great in the winter but still always painted.  Feet are unattractive enough.  I try to paint my fingernails once or twice a month but I always just do it at home.  I've never, even for our wedding, had a professional even touch my nails.  And I'm perfectly fine with that!

5) No cable (just Netflix!).  The only time either of us have ever lived with cable were my years of on-campus housing in college.  Neither of us grew up with it and it's not something we've ever considered.  It helps that we aren't big sports people, I know many people who say that's the only reason they have it.  I'd love HGTV but also, probably wouldn't get as much done so it's good we don't have it, for many reasons!

6) Combining errands.  I make it my goal to only fill up my Jeep once a month.  It gets about half the mileage of the car Matt drives to work and so we drive his car as much as possible. I combine errands, we walk places in the summer, and almost always drive the car when we're all together unless we need the hitch on the Jeep (hauling a jet ski...).  Makes a big difference in our gas expense!

7)  DIY everything. You've maybe caught on to this.  I make a lot of food from scratch.  I make almost all our cleaning supplies.  We do many many projects ourselves, from Matt's wood working to my crafting.

8) Meatless meals.  Regardless of Lent or not, I make meatless meals ~3 times a month which comes out to about 25% of our meals without meat.  I rarely eat meat for lunch (a lot of PB or meatless soup).  And when we do eat meat it's often chicken because it's a lot cheaper than beef.  Although, in the summer we definitely do some burgers and brats on the grill.  I mean, how can you not?

There are probably many, many more but those are the ones I came up with.  How about you?  What do you save and splurge on?  It's so different for everyone!

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