Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Discussion: What's Your Biggest Splurge?

Greetings y'all! I hope most of you are staying warm - it looks nasty in most of the country. The Northwest has the makings of a perfect winter's day - crisp, sunny and dry!

Anyway, my friends over at WiseBread had an interesting question posed to their readers this morning, and I thought I'd ask you all: what's your biggest splurge?

This was a question that took me awhile to answer. I allow myself to spend $25 every month at coffee shops...is that a splurge? I recently upgraded to a nicer gym with amazing amenities and cleaner facilities for an extra $5 per month than I paid at my old gym. Splurge-worthy? I don't have expensive clothes or shoe habits, I don't get weekly manis or pedis, I've had 4 massages in my whole life...what the heck do I splurge on?

The closest things I could think of as splurges are a) food and b) home improvement. With food, my husband and I cook 5-6 nights a week, and when we go out to dinner, we usually go to a delicious restaurant that doesn't cost more than $40 for the two of us (including tax and tip). Hardly splurging...BUT when it comes to groceries, we probably spend $75-$90 a week. What do I buy? Lots of fresh produce (which is often organic), Greek yogurt, and hardly any processed foods. This means that our grocery bills might be a little higher than average, but eating good and good-for-you food is important to me. If you can, I totally recommend buying from a farm that participates in community supported agriculture (CSA). You are buying directly from the farmer, so your produce is super fresh, seasonal and supports your local businesses! One more food-splurge: grocery delivery! While I don't do this all the time, I have ordered from AmazonFresh on a handful of occasions. It's not necessarily more expensive than a grocery store, but there is a delivery fee if you don't purchase a certain amount of food. It's convenient (I've had groceries delivered at 6 AM before), it saves me time and money on gas, and it might even stop me from those impulse buys.

As far as home improvement go, I think it's almost in our biology to prepare our home for a new member of the family. Before little Claire came into the picture, my husband and I wanted to put in California Closets or pimp out our backyard. Maybe make the basement into a man cave. After we knew we were expecting, all those fun projects got replaced with buying new carpet (not fun, but necessary) and getting a nursery ready to go. And while we didn't go over budget too badly, it's just hard to say no to buying things for your unborn child. The willpower is not so strong with us when it comes to getting cute art for her room or a onesie that says "It was the dog." (yes, we have it in orange).

But I do have a splurge goal now: traveling. I want to see more of the world, and I want Claire to see more of the world with us. I think exposing children to different people and places is extremely important for them to learn and grow.

What about you? What do you splurge on and why?


  1. Good question!

    I splurge on eating out at nice dinners + wine. I'm a bit of a foodie.

    I also splurge on vacations - like ski trips (lift tickets are $$$).

    And I also splurge on organic produce. That stuff is not cheap!

  2. That's a hard one! We do go out to eat but usually nowhere fancy. We do spend money to go to Oregon games, and I would say or other biggest splurge is travel. I would rather give up little things all year long to go on a nice, week long trip and a few mini trips here and there. I also let myself splurge on nice jeans since they last longer and I always end up wearing them more.

  3. Travel definitely....but I do find myself splurging on "deals." And what I mean by that is Groupon, Living Social etc...just because it is a deal does not always mean I NEED it. But, my whole justification is it forces me to try something new or eat at a new restaurant. So, a cheaper splurge maybe, but I still need to control it. :)

  4. I splurge on durable outdoor and exercise gear - stuff that lets me do new activities and that's a one-time purchase. I also spend a lot on groceries but mostly just because I eat a lot. Not sure whether it counts as a splurge or not but I also make a point not to miss one-time events like bachelor parties and weddings.