I found this list over at Dinks Finance, who got it from MSN Money, and they’re always so fun for me cuz they pretty much DO hit everything I spend money on, even though I know I probably shouldn’t ;) Like one of those “we all do it, so it’s okay!” kinda things, haha…
But honestly, as long as you have the budget for them and do it all consciously, I really don’t have a problem spending in some of these areas. Just goes back to prioritizing your goals, and how you use your money to get there. And sometimes you need a little release to keep you on track too – you can’t go “all out” 100% of the time.
But maybe you disagree? Here’s the full list from MSN Money below – along with my own personal habits. Run through them and see how many apply to you!
- Theater Popcorn – While I do get tempted every now and then, this one I usually never have a problem with. I always sneak in my snacks from the outside anyways, and all that dang popcorn just gets stuck in my teeth and drives me crazy the entire movie :)
- Event parking – Hmm… I used to refuse to pay for any of this, and just drive around in circles until I found something that was free, but lately I’ve been more up to paying for the convenience. My time is starting to become more important to me, than a little extra cash.
- Printer ink – I HATE THIS ONE!!! And there’s hardly anything you can do about it :( I def. blow through money via all this ink, it sucks. And the ink usually costs more than the damn printers! Haha… so crazy….
- Restaurant drinks – Haha, yeah – I always fall for these ;) But it’s all cuz of the awesome atmosphere! And what other choice do you have really, unless you sneak in a flask? The $5 or $10 I pay for a drink is def. worth it after a hard day’s work when all you wanna do is relax with your friends and have some fun. I don’t do it every weekend, but when I do, I try to not worry about it and just enjoy the time out with friends and family. The same goes with sodas and other non-alcohol drinks too (why does my first thought of “drink” always equate to alcohol?? Haha…). It all goes under the “entertainment” budget. Or “food” one, depending on the occasion.
- Bottled water – I think you know the answer to this one ;) Though I HAVE been better about it lately, and been drinking more out of our Brita filter. Especially since I’ve been working from home all year long so far (and it’s been too cold to go on walks, where I usually always need them for). But yeah, overall this takes a lot more money out of your pocket and just adds more mess to the environment out there.
- “Gourmet” coffee – I rarely drink anything outside of my home coffee pot much – though only out of convenience – but when I am out and about I have no problem hitting up Starbucks or Caribou coffee when I need one. I’m not gonna wait ’till I get home to brew a cup, you always want it right then and there, right? All just goes under the “miscellaneous” budget category…
- Restaurant holiday specials – Oh I never do these. But I’m also not a big restaurant kinda guy much either, only every now and then. Although oddly enough we literally JUST did one of these now that I think about it for Mother’s Day! Haha… but not on purpose, it just happened to be a “special” but we were going there anyways ;)
- Movie tickets – I looooooove me some movies!!! Even though I don’t get out as much as I’d like to, I’m a-okay with splurging on those $100 or so tickets these days ;) Yeah you can watch them at home, or stream ’em through your laptop, but it doesn’t beat that awesome theater experience! That’s what you’re really paying for – and I’ll do it time and time again, even as the prices rise every year… and if I were flat broke, I’d just go there less instead of cutting out altogether – it’s one of the cheapest forms of entertainment in my opinion all considering, so I’m a bit fan of them. And then going on a (free) walk afterwards to soak in what I just saw – love it! :)
- Oil changes – I’m not gonna lie, I ALWAYS pay someone to do this for me. A) out of saving time, and B) cuz I’d probably do something stupid and then cause even more problems down the line. I remember as a kid my dad showing me how to do it, and us always doing all our cars growing up, but even he has stopped and now pays someone to do it… I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world if you can afford it.
- Airport food – Haha… this is probably the only area I splurge in which I DO want to change :) But only in the snacks department. One of my favorite things in the world to do is to have breakfast or a nice dinner in one of their fanciest restaurants, all by myself. There’s something so exciting and rewarding about doing that. Feeling like “you’ve made it” or something, especially when you’re flying somewhere cool.
- Ticketmaster fees – Oh man, I haven’t been to a concert in yearrrrrrs, so def. don’t know anything about these guys… I think you can pretty easily get tickets from Craigslist and other sites now, yeah?
- ATM fees – Same here! Haven’t paid an ATM fee for 10+ years – Yeah, USAA! (They pay them for you up to like $15 a month or something like that, awesome perk!)
- Fund management fees – Hmm… I’ve only recently been paying for this since my IRA Test, but so far I don’t mind them as long as the managers are doing their jobs. If my managed funds keep losing to my un-managed ones though (I put in $60k into each to see which one does better in the long run!), I’m totally gonna just switch routes and put ’em all back into un-managed funds. Prove it in “real life,” ya know?
- Airline baggage fees – I go back and forth on this one. On one hand I LOVE being able to check in bags and just roam the airports hands free without lugging stuff around, but on the other hand it DOES suck having to spend like $50 total just to have that freedom. So I guess the answer to this one, for me, is that yes – I do pay for it most times, but no – I don’t think that’s smart. And going forward it is something I’m trying to curtail more.
- Hot dogs at sporting events – YUM!!! Those are the best kinds ;) And just like with beers and drinks/etc, I have no problem spending more for these either as long as you don’t overdo it and buy like 5 dogs every single weekend. Every now and then is fine in my books, though.
Lots of stuff you can probably relate to, eh? It looks like I do about 11 of these 15, with a couple of them needing to be changed. Probably not the best answer for a finance blogger, but it’s the truth ;) And as I said, as long as your money is going where YOU WANT IT TO GO, then I don’t see where the problem is. There’s a lot to be said for convenience and soaking in “the experience,” and as long as it won’t disrupt your ultimate goals at the end, I think it’s perfectly fine to splurge on every now and then. That’s what money’s for! You can’t *always* be Mr. or Mrs. perfect with it – you’ll burn out.
Those are my thoughts anyways, how about you? How many of those do YOU spend money on out of the 15? And which are the most annoying of them all? Haha… for me it’s ink cartridges all the way. I hate those things!
(Photo by razvan.orendovici)
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Though some of these dont quite apply to me where im from, I’m guilty of quite a few too! ESPECIALLY movie tickets, by the time we’re done we spend a cool $200 (in my TTD currency). Just found your blog rated as a great blog for 20 somethings :) going to start digging through!
11 – Ticketmaster Fees – Commonly these can be up to 50% of the actual cost of the ticket. It’s a really horrible situation. Most often when anyone resells on craigslist, they will ask for the full price of the ticket – including fees, so there’s no real way to get around this other than to save a bit by purchasing in person from the venue directly. BOOOO TICKETMASTER
I love theatre popcorn. I know it’s overpriced, but I can’t watch a movie in the theatre without buttered popcorn with a little bit of cheese topping. I love it!
I fall victim to quite a few of these. I’m right with you on the oil changes, event parking, restaurant drinks, and printer ink.
Ticketmaster fees is a big one for me as well – it’s so convenient it’s hard to resist going through Ticketmaster.
I am happy to say I am only victim to the oil changes and printer ink! Sometimes I have found it was cheaper to buy a new printer than to purchase the ink……..right now I have an okay printer ( no scanner though boo hoo) with actually realistic ink cartridge prices!)
Everything else I do not pay ever for! Yeah!
I hate buying restaurant drinks. Usually just water for me!
3. You can find a lot of printer ink online (3rd party) that works just as good as OEM. From my personal experience, the 3rd party cartridges seem to work better than refilled ink (from OD/Staples/Cartridge World/etc.) I think my last time around I paid close to $18 for 2 full sets of ink (CMYK + Black)
9. The best piece of advice I can provide regarding oil changes is to not skimp on them! Definitely want quality oil going into your car so the cheaper it is, the worse quality oil it probably is. I personally only use synthetic oil in my cars – an average dealer would charger roughly $70 for change/filter/oil/disposal. I’ve found that I can find an oil special through Auto Zone/Pep Boys/etc. for about $35 and have my dealer change it for me for about $15 – about $50 at the end of the day but I end up with quality oil (usually Mobil 1 synthetic) that lasts longer because it is synthetic – Can easily go 6 months or 7,500 miles.
Well… we all know I don’t have a problem dropping $5+ for a cup of coffee. But I’m going to be working on not doing that EVERYDAY. I have free coffee in the office – why should I buy it all of the time?
Most of these I agree with. Sometimes I’ll pay the extra for popcorn at the movies, but I do usually try to sneak my snacks in. I pay someone to change my oil for me – but luckily with my special deal I got with my new car if I take it into Honda it’s already covered with my monthly car payment. So while it’s not technically a “free” oil change (and there are other basic maintenance that’s covered with it too) it feels like it is because when I take it in I don’t have to pull out my wallet!
And – I HATE Ticketmaster fees. They are obnoxious. However, I usually get my tickets for anything through them because I know it’s reliable. Thankfully I don’t go to concerts and such very often.
Then when I fly, I try to do carry-ons all the way. Especially if it’s a short trip. I can fit everything into one small suitcase and a backpack just fine. I’m actually going to write a blog post about it tomorrow! Ha! And I try not to spend too much money on airport food. If anything I stop by Starbucks – but does that surprise anyone? I didn’t think so.
4.Restaurant drinks – We definitely splurge on this one once in a while, but it is under our “socializing” allowance so we don’t feel to bad to do it once a week or so.
5.Bottled water – Sort of – I buy a big 1L Fiji water bottle every once in a while and then just rinse it and refill it. It’s one of the most durable “disposable” water bottles out there, so I get several weeks use of it before I forget it somewhere or it gets crushed.
6.“Gourmet” coffee – If by gourmet you mean coffee not made at home, then yes, guilty. But I look at it as supporting the local economy – we have two cute coffee shops, one by our apartment and one by my office, and once or twice a week I stop in to get delicious just-roasted coffee and support their business. But I’m not a big fan of the “fancy coffees”… just a plain coffee with cream for me.
8.Movie tickets – I think I go to 2-3 movies per year – just the ones that would be better on the big screen (action films or 3D, mostly, like Avengers or Avatar – the sound system isn’t really needed for comedies etc). And when I do, I go to matinees.
9.Oil changes – Guilty, because I never learned how and we don’t have a garage/driveway to change our own oil – we’d have to do it on a busy road. No thanks!
10.Airport food – This one ties more into “restaurant drinks” than food. Whenever I fly longer than 2 hours, I stop in the Chili’s ToGo and get a margarita! It’s my treat for dealing with long lines and delays. Or, if it’s an early morning, cue the “gourmet coffee”!
I haven’t had baggage fees in years because I always fly Southwest. On this same note, I also haven’t paid for a flight in a couple years, because I use my credit card points and miles to get free flights. I think the last one I paid for was in 2010. This is another reason I don’t feel bad about paying for my airport margarita – though I won’t have to next month because they sent me free drink coupons!
I only have to buy printer ink like once a year so that one doesn’t bother me much. It is crazy that the ink is more expensive than a printer though. Like you, I love me some movies, and with that also comes the popcorn. We did buy a “year long bucket of popcorn” that we bring to the theatre with us and they refill it for only $3.50, which is a big savings on what it normally costs. I also do all of our oil changes, during the winter we might bring it in once that way I don’t have to sit in the freezing cold and do it. The only time I buy bottled water is when I have MX races, which we will then buy a case of it, but we have our own well water and I prefer that over bottled water any day. 2,4,6,7, 10-15 are rare for us to do.
I’m very guilty of the bottle water one. We buy them at costco so at least the price per unit is very low. We tried the Brita Filter and still didn’t care for it.
I used to always change the oil in my car, but my new car is too low to the ground so I would have to put it on jack stands and I don’t like doing that so it is just easier to pay someone and I save a ton of time that way too.
I LOVE movies too, but now I’m more selective when going. I check out rottentomatoes.com and if it doesn’t have a good review I’ll wait to rent it. I still pay bank fees. :( And yeah it’s hard to get away with not getting beverages at a restaurant because I find water boring. :)
Printer ink, bottled water and oil changes. I can’t find a way out of those things!
I bought a black&white HP laser printer a few years ago and about once/year the toner runs out. Amazon sells generic toner for basically every model for a whopping $12 and they work great. I only use my color inkjet when I really need to print something in color – like photos.
Movie Tickets & Theater Popcorn – I go to the Saturday or Sunday morning early bird showings and pay $6.50 for the ticket. I normally don’t do popcorn or snacks because I want to hear the movie, not myself crunching & munching on food.
Event parking & event food – For the hockey playoffs, I was going to take the metrolink, but my very nice mom drove me & dropped me off & picked me up, rather than having me walk to the station after 10pm (even though 15,000 other fans were with me). Since I got dropped off way early, I did end up getting food there – but splurged for the unlimited refill popcorn & soda.
Printer ink – I bought a used printer/scanner and the colored ink runs $11 per color, and I haven’t had to replace any of them yet. It was one of the things I checked into before buying a printer – how much the ink costs.
I don’t do gourmet coffees or bottled water. I will do a combo meal if it’s cheaper to include the soda in the drive thru but for the most part, I don’t do drinks at restaurants unless it’s alcoholic :)
I’ll be flying again next spring or possbily this winter, and I try to avoid airport food unless it’s a quickie snack and I’m starving. Of course, THIS trip will be to the UK, so I may completely change my mind and have something really nice either at the airport or before I get to the airport. Eight hour flight means I’m definitely going to have to eat sometime. I guess I’ll figure out the baggage fees then, as I’ve never had to pay them before. Two weeks in the UK seems to me that I’ll be packing a LOT of clothes.
Ticketmaster fees – the *)I_@#@ are supposed to list all fees now per a Federal court order. It still stinks, as they charge PER TICKET all those fees. Buying 3 tickets? You’ll pay $25 per ticket, plus $6 handling fee per ticket, plus $2.50 convenience charge, plus $1 delivery charge, so one $25 ticket will end up costing you well over $36. I hate them I hate them I hate them, but if it’s a concert that I know will sell out same-day tickets go on sale, I’ll hit the website and suffer with the extra costs.
My culprit in “overpriced things” is the snack sized bags of snacks. Rather than buying a box of 6 microwave popcorn bags for $3.50 or something, I waste money by getting one in the vending machine for $1. Same for chips. I’m trying to cut out getting snacks, but I may as well break down and admit I love me some snack and just get the bigger, less expensive per serving bags.
The only real thing I am guilty off is nr10 as when I travel, I am not about to pack food etc as my air travel means its from Norway to Singapore with a kid and I want peace. I feed and/or buy the kid anything to make him happy at our 6hr transit before our long flight. I recently am guilty of nr9 as its a brand new car and for the gurantee to still be valid, I need a licensed place to do the service. It used to be dear husband who does all the work to save us the money.
11. There is a way around the ticketmaster fees. If you actually go to the venue to order your tickets, then there is no extra charge. We did that for circus tickets when they were in town and saved about $9 per ticket (almost the price for the actual ticket $12). Hope this info helps!
Printer ink – I think it’s better to keep buying cheap printers rather than new ink.
Restaurant drinks- I do Applebee’s often and find other Restaurants with cheap drinks. I drink water in between drinks to prolong the next brewsky/cocktail.
Bottled water – Buy in bulk….no guilt.
“Gourmet” coffee – Gas Station (RaceTrac and QuickTrip) coffee is becoming more and more gourmet and cheaper.
Movie tickets – We do matinees and $1 Theatres. We also find coupons/discounts in Entertainment Books and e-clubs.
Airport food – Food on Business Travel = Write Off.
ATM fees – I refuse to pay these!!
Airline baggage fees – I fly Southwest as often as possible. No fees!!
Hot dogs at sporting events – I Agree…It’s hard not to splurge on these.
I pay for 11 of the items. I’ll pay for event parking if it is necessary, but I will try to avoid it and walk a little further if necessary. I hate paying for ink cartridges as well. When I bought a new computer for my wife I was offered a printer at a cheaper discount. It was actually the same printer we had, but a newer model. It was cheaper for me to buy that printer then pay for ink cartridges for the other printer. I actually sold the old printer for $25, which paid for the new one. One of my biggest vices is Smart Water. I like to have it available if I am in a hurry and don’t have time to fill up a water bottle. It is amazing how many stupid things we spend money on.
I only counted three that I do, although I rarely go to the movies so maybe I should only count 2. Ink is a big stinker but I don’t print too much at home so I don’t have to buy it too often.
I can be such a sucker for paying for convenience! When I was living in New York I would pay to have my laundry done rather than do it myself. Why sit at a laundromat for a few hours when I could drop my laundry off before work and pick it up folded and clean after? It was only about 1/3 more than the cost of doing it myself so the time saved felt pretty worth it.
I go to concerts all the time and Ticketmaster fees drive me absolutely nuts. Around 40% added on for the most ludicrous of reasons!
I’m doing pretty good, only 2 on the list for me; coffee and airport food! It’s such a scam though to be stuck at the airport with no food or drink, you really don’t have much of a choice but to pay :( As for the Starbucks, well I have no excuse…
I do most of them – the only ones I don’t do are ATM fees, fund management fees, and bottled water (unless I’m out somewhere). The rest, I’m guilty. But I can live with it. :)
Printer ink would be a biggie – and a big bugbear – for me too! Ditto cinema, though I don’t consider that a waste of money at all cos I enjoy it so much.
I hate buying bottled water. Here in Scotland the tapwater’s great and I curse myself if I go out for the day and forget to fill up a bottle from the tap. It’s probably the expense I most grudge because it’s so uneccessary.
@Katrianna @ Pretty Chaotic – Oh, awesome! Welcome to my little home. Holler any time :)
@Scott – Ouch, really? I didn’t know that :(
@Call Me What You Want Even Cheap – Haha… it’s not the worst splurge in the world ;)
@DC – Oddly enough I *just* got a “ink is low” alert, arghhhhh
@Poor to Rich a Day at a Time – Isn’t that crazy? How the ink is more expensive than the printer?
@Michelle – You’ll be healthier for it too!
@Tim – You just reminded me that I use Amazon to get my printer ink now… it’s still more than I’d like to spend, but at least I get a discount :) Agree on the oil stuff too.
@Emmy – I hate carrying around a bag at an airport – my favorite is a magazine in one hand, and a coffee in the other! Starbucks :) I’m never gonna feel bad for spending money there again, haha…
@Jen – I looooooove local coffee shops! We don’t have a good one around here, or else I’d be there every other day :(
@DebtsnTaxes – Year long bucket of popcorn??? Awesome!! I could get down with that! :)
@Brian – I know, I prefer bottled water over Brita and the others too – just tastes much better for some reason?
@Budget & the Beach – Bank fees? Really? That sucks :( You gotta find a good bank who treats you right! :)
@Yana – Maybe we’ll always have them in our lives?
@Carey – Black & white printer?? Didn’t even know those existed! Haha… good idea :)
@Jen – Early bird specials!! Forgot about those – I used to love them!! And now that I work from home, I suppose I can always sneak them in more now, eh? Thanks for the reminder :)
@sue – Oh, I don’t blame you when it comes to kids – I’m sure I’ll be doing the same thing once we start traveling with our soon-to-come one too!
@Erin – Awesome! I did not know that. Thanks for sharing it with us :)
@dewayne – Can you believe I have never, not even once, ridden on SouthWest? And I really DO want to too! I don’t know if it’s cuz of where I go, or that the odds are always just against me, but to this day I have yet to get on one of those bad boys… They must be more expensive than the rest I find on Expedia or else I’d choose them each time! Esp with me always checking in bags..
@Matthew Doyle – Oooh, that’s one bottled water I haven’t tasted yet but want to :) Maybe I’ll pick up a batch on the next round?
@Lance@MoneyLife&More – I think you’ve beaten out almost all of us here, well done :)
@Shannon-ReadyForZero – Yeah! I did that too when I lived there – loved it!! And I didn’t even *have* any money back then, haha… though I also didn’t have any savings either ;)
@The First Million is the Hardest – That’s insane. And REALLY glad I don’t enjoy concerts much now, haha…
@Sadie – I know, that’s the ultimate “convenience fee” right there. Sometimes ya gotta do what you gotta do though.
@Kris – As long as you’re cool with it, that’s all tha matters :)
@Skint in the City – I may have to visit you out there and take a water test myself :) We can then shoot a money video together – woohoo!
I actually disagree about oil changes. Maybe this is not common in other parts of the US, but most of the dealers near me offer loss-leader oil changes, so they can get you in to propose more expensive service. Pricing out a factory filter, plug gasket, and 6 quarts of oil, plus hassle of disposal comes pretty close to the $29.99 they charge for the full service.
That being said, you need to be able to say ‘no’ to the other services the service writer will propose. I stopped doing my oil changes long ago, although still do 30K service myself.
Don’t forget about hotel room service. When I was in Chicago recently a burger and wings cost me $57!!
Not sure I agree with getting a mechanic to do the oil changers. Take the time to learn how to do it the correct way yourself, it is dead easy and you will save a fortune, you will probably do a better job than most mechanics would do. Having said that I have seen cars that probably would not be able to be done so easily and looked as though they would require special tools and advanced lessons in contorsion not my idea of a practical car to own. I normally drive Fords or Holden’s as they are always easy to service and the genuin spare parts are reasonably priced.
Doing your own services will not void the manufaturers warranty as long as you use genuin spare parts and the job is done correctly. I usually buy new or near new cars and I do all of the services myself.
1. I don’t really like popcorn, so I never buy it.
2. I drive around and try to find cheaper public parking if possible. If not, I bite the bullet.
3. I get a discount by ordering printer ink through my friend that works at Epson, but if I can’t get that, I order generic after-market ink.
4. Yeah…restaurant drinks are a rip off, but it’s nice to get tanked once in a while.
5. I only buy bottled water for parties or emergencies. Rest of the time I use a reverse-osmosis filter and reusable canteens.
6. I use a French press coffee maker now. I just buy the beans from the gourmet foods grocer.
7. I stay away from restaurants on holidays. Too crowded = bad service.
8. I prepay for discount movie tickets. Have a handful but haven’t been in a long time.
9. My family has an auto-repair shop. Oil changes are free…sort of.
10. Ugh! Yeah…if I have an early flight I’ll hit up the McDonalds in the airport. I always hate myself afterwards.
11. I hate Ticketmaster, but there’s almost no way to avoid the fee’s unless you live close to the venue and have to the time to hit up the box office. I wonder how the class action on the fees is going.
12. USAA member as well. Love them!
13. Recently switched my Roth IRA over to Vanguard to use their funds exclusively. I hope to pay less on management fees with their index funds.
14. I’ve never paid for baggage fees. Only time I had excess baggage was when I was in the military and the airlines waived the fees.
15. You’re right…junk food at events are so satisfying! Guilty!
Oh cool! Glad you’re a USAA member too :) I have all my IRAs with them as well, but I’d be lying if I weren’t tempted to switch to Vanguard… I just like the super convenience of everything in one place right now, but we’ll see if that changes later. Have a great weekend, my man.
I love movie popcorn but at carmike cinemas 8 they have a tuesday night special you can get a small bag of popcorn for $1 and a drink. i usually do this so i get my “fixing” for the movie popcorn without the regret for paying more later and i sneak in other drinks and candy. i also use this website before i go to see if any more deals are happening http://www.carmike.com/ hope this helps.
Super illuminating post!
I’m so guilty of gourmet coffee and restaurant drinks… I can’t help it.
@Jessica – Nice! Not a bad deal at all :)
@Andrew | FabulousSavings – I know, they get you every time :)
I sold my printer on CL and share one with my boyfriend now (we live together). I found ink on ebay for 1/3 of the price of regular ink. It was factory sealed and the seller had excellent feedback ratings. Take that, ink racket!
There you go! Work it, yo!