Saturday, December 10, 2005


For some reason, today I am just sick of my whole scrimping and saving mentality. Calgon, take me away!
I'll get over it fast, but for once, instead of talking about how I hang onto every possible penny, I'd like to fantasize about just blowing a lot of cash on STUFF, NEW STUFF! I can be very anti-materialism, anti-consumerism, blah blah blah, but there are things I sort of need, or at least want. I will limit this to what I could buy if I just felt like being a little irresponsible, this isn't an "if I won the lottery" scenario:

A new computer. My iBook is about 5 years old now and it was never top of the line, so I want a really snazzy new one. And I'd get the broadband, the wireless, etc etc so I could download more music and video and then maybe I'd want one of those new iPods too. I'd also get a printer and a scanner, neither of which I currently have.
A personal trainer and weekly massage.
Shoes. I love really good shoes and am always looking for the perfect boots, loafers, sandals, etc. Gucci, here I come.
A new pair of Lucky jeans. I love the ones I have and they fit me perfectly but I haven't been able to pull the trigger on spending another $100 on another pair when I do have other jeans that are totally wearable.
And clothes in general.
A not-too-big flat screen TV, and cable, and a DVD player, so I could watch movies somewhere other than on my laptop.
A new digital camera.
Some new lamps.
I could use some new silverware, as half the set I have has disappeared over the years. I think I'd buy some more pots and pans too. And a coffee maker.
A very comfortable armchair.
A Nokia 8800 phone.

I actually can't think of anything else right now. Obviously I'm out of practice!
I'm guessing all this stuff would set me back maybe $10-12,000 or so, not counting the ongoing costs of the personal trainer, massages, and cable TV... in a way, that doesn't seem like that much. I could take that much out of the bank and go on a shopping spree if I really wanted to... but I would never do that. Ok, I think I'm over it now.


mti said...

Hi (first time commenter, been reading for a few months),

I am no expert, but I've read that feelings like the one you've described come about when one hasn't alloted any "fun" in their budget. Could that be a reason?

I normally go through phases where I feel my lifestyle must be wrong (am carfree, do everything in the city, and don't own a TV), but then we rent a car or watch TV in a bar and realize that my decisions are right afterall.

For me as far as wanting "stuff" goes, my laziness trumps my desire to buy anything - I am too lazy to actually go shopping, deal with crowds, lines, horrid music and terrible store employees, so I normally spend a few hours browsing the web and thinking about how I could buy this item and that item if I wanted. Often the feeling passes after a while...

vr6trd said...

I know exactly what you mean. I don't have many wants but I was in need of a new computer since mine was about seven years old and not worth trying to upgrade. So when my $1000 computer reimbursement from my company came along, I took the money and found the best system I could find within that allotment.

I should be good for sometime before having one of those urges again.


Nina Smith said...

I'm all about ways to justify the Gucci purchase.

Dr. Thomas J. Stanley of The Millionaire Next Door writes that the typical millionaire lives a comfortable lifestyle, but he/she is not wasteful. Most in his survey report they buy expensive shoes, but almost all have them resoled.

So in my opinion, splurge on the Gucci's (but just one pair) and make 'em last forever.

By the way, Lucky jeans are the only ones that fit me too. Worth the $100+!

Hazzard said...

We must all go through this, because I know I have. Unfortunately, when I get the bug, I usually aim high. In the past it would be a new car. I've gotten much better over the last few years.

I do agree with one of the other commenters in that I think you have to budget a certain amount of "fun" money, otherwise, we could go through life scrimping and saving and look back with some disappointment.

What we do is make all of our monthly investments, pretax and after tax, pay extra on the house, and pay all of our bills. Once those are all done, we let ourselves be a little irresponsible with the rest. We could hit some of our goals faster, but we've decided that we want to have fun now too. The main thing for me is to continually track our net worth and make sure that we are hitting all of our targets so that we are sitting pretty when it's time to quit working at 55. Anyway, just had to put my two cents in. You are definitely very responsible with your finances so make sure you treat yourself too. And since I'm a guy, I have no idea what your are talking about regarding the Lucky jeans. :)

Keep posting. I like reading your blog!


thc said...

Life is short, have some fun. Saving, investing and frugal living, like anything, are best in moderation.

Caitlin said...

I'll put in a vote for a spending plan. If you list out the things you really want to buy, with say an annual budget, alongside of your savings goals -- then it's easier to prioritize those things.

Every time I make a purchase off my spending plan it's really exciting and I have *never* regretting anything. And the things that I *think* I want typically keep getting moved to the bottom or eventually deleted.

Keeping the list makes me feel like I can have what I want and as I said the prioritization sort of happens naturally.

I carried the "new tivo" on the list for almost a year...and then got that great deal. Other items have a timing implied (like trips).

Give it a shot, play around with might be just the thing :)

And when it's time to get a new computer and/or ipod, I have frugal tips for that too.

I've never tried on Lucky jeans and now I think I better stay away for my own good! LOL

savvy said...

Look for your jeans on eBay or at thrift and consignment stores. Set a limit and tell yourself that if you can find the jeans you want for, say, less than $45, you will buy them. I do this a lot, I really want something, but when I think about what I want to spend, it is usually less than the item costs. I give myself a limit, and when I find the item for less than that price, I have permission to buy it without guilt.

optioned unarmed said...

If you really love to watch movies, buy yourself the LCD TV. Buy a decent 19 or 20" and pay $400-$500 on sale after you move. Watching movies on a laptop is just a pain. But don't get cable or a TV antenna, as they enable you to bring regular TV programs (with commercials) into your home, and we all know that TV is the gateway drug to rampant consumerism. (My penchant for spontaneously ordering pizza went away virtually overnight when I eliminated TV from my life.)

It might be nice for you to be able to have movie nights in your new home. If you do it regularly with friends as an alternative to going out, it would not take very long for the TV to pay for itself.

Just some thoughts. Only consider this if you really love movies. TVs are ugly and imposing, often not worth the aesthetic sacrifies of having them.