As we are working on our family budget and getting serious about paying off debt and saving money, I thought it would be worthwhile to examine what we want to include that might be considered a splurge. These are things that we could cut out if needed but at this point in time are still important enough to us to account for. Here is what I came up with:
1. Air conditioning. We live in Houston and it is H-O-T. I can’t sleep well at night unless the house is cool, and David can’t be in the house at all if it’s too hot. We definitely keep it cooler than many people would but it’s huge for our quality of life.
2. Daycare activities. We pay a little extra each month for Meredith (and Liam, when he gets to be old enough) to do the “extra” activities at daycare. When Meredith was younger it was a weekly music class, and now she is doing Phonics. I personally don’t care if she learns her letters in preschool or not, but she really enjoys it and she definitely is learning.
3. Family outings. We’re talking small stuff like frozen yogurt, rides on the mall carousel, and the movies (with Meredith or date nights). These kinds of things aren’t necessary but they are so fun for us that it’s worth it, although we have cut down on the frequency.
4. Clothing basics. I don’t do much clothes shopping, but when I buy something for me it’s going to be good quality and versatile and preferably ethically made. I rarely (almost never) buy new clothes for the kids – we do hand-me-downs from friends & family as well as thrift stores when needed – but I do buy them new high-quality shoes. They wear pretty much the same shoes until they are worn out so it’s a good investment.
5. Gifts. Our extended family still does gift exchanges for birthdays and although we don’t go insane with the spending, we do still spend more than is probably necessary.
Other than that we really try to cut out all extra spending, although it’s a work in progress! What does your family splurge on, and where do you save?