what we splurge on

June 24, 2015

what we splurge on

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?

Posted in: personal

Comments on what we splurge on

  1. 1

    From Indiana:

    You and Sully are so great at budgeting, which is something that I don’t put much thought into at all… and honestly, we need to!

  2. 2

    From Nora:

    We splurge on cable TV, mostly for Knight’s benefit (he has to have his live sports and to be able to watch the STL Cardinals) and entertainment like concerts, movies, the theater… although the theater is more my thing than it is his. And travel. We are treating ourselves big time this year on travel (family trip coming up with the girls, visiting our friends in DC and I’m hoping to get to Seattle to visit my brother).

    Where we save: I buy a lot of the kids’ clothes on super sale, on swap sites or at thrift stores/garage sales. I’m with you: we buy them high quality shoes, too important not to. We eat out rarely, make good use of leftovers and freezing them/taking them to work, we don’t eat lunch out at the office, we don’t say yes to every outing or friend trip (even if we want to) since it gets to be so expensive.

    I am sure there are other areas where we could do better on saving… we always tighten our belt a bit more after the girls leave as it feels like we bleed money for six to seven weeks every summer!

  3. 3

    From Ashley:

    My favorite splurge is by FAR food. :)

    And vacations. We’ve had a pretty tight budget for the past 5 years while Mike was in school, but we always save up for vacations! The make time stand still and the memories are so wonderful.

    I’m also with you on clothes – rarely buy them, but will spend more when I do because I dislike shopping enough that if I find something that works, I don’t mind too much if it’s pricier!

  4. 4

    From Kathleen:

    We haven’t been able to afford a vacation (ever) but I agree that it’s totally worth it and it’s something we want to prioritize in the years to come. I’m hoping that some extra effort now will mean we’ll be able to travel when our kids are slightly older. (Not that I’m waiting for them to get older to travel, just that’s when it might be possible.)

  5. 5

    From Stephany:

    I think my biggest splurge is food. I enjoy eating out and at this time of my life – being a single twentysomething – it is just something that happens a lot, with happy hours and girls night out and date nights (when I’m dating).

    I also splurge on expensive haircuts and color. Sure, I could get a discount cut but every time I have, I haven’t been happy and I just like the luxury of a really good haircut!

    My mom and I have cable TV and high-speed Internet – those are must-have’s for me.

    We also keep our apartment SUPER cold, too. That’s just quality of life, living in a super humid climate.

  6. 6

    From San:

    We definitely splurge on food (our grocery budget is a constant topic for me, because I want to bring it down, but don’t want to compromise what we eat!) and travel. We also have cable TV (for J’s benefit mostly).

    We currently still save on rent (our apartment is small), we don’t eat out much and I almost never buy coffees or lunches at work (those can add up).

  7. 7

    From Sarah:

    A/C is totally a necessity here, not a splurge! It’s impossible to live here without it!

    We splurge too much and I’ve been trying to rein it in, but the biggest ones are probably vacations and eating out.

  8. 8

    From Kathleen:

    I agree, it is necessary! But we keep it turned way further down than most of our family.

  9. 9

    From vera:

    Oh I have a post coming up tomorrow on our splurges too! :-) Okay, so I have to know…what temperature is your a/c set at? :-)

  10. 10

    From Kathleen:

    When my husband is in the house it’s in the upper 60’s, but I try to sneak it up to mid-70’s!

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