PS: It’s Okay to Buy Stuff

One of my favorite sayings in the world is “you can afford anything, you just can’t afford everything.” Attributed to the beautiful (and financially independent!) hustler, Paula Pant. Who’s probably in some far off country right now enjoying the fruits of her labor as she rightfully should!

A year or so before hearing that phrase, I also remember reading a post by Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be on how one of his friends spends thousands of dollars on bikes which to most of us sounds pretty ridiculous (the last one I bought was when I splurged at a yard sale and picked one up for $50 – hah). But when you find out this guy lives in a one bedroom apartment and barely spends a penny on anything else, it’s hard to give him any crap. And in fact, you actually have to admire the guy who’s prioritizing his spending on what’s important to him!

I say all this today because us money nerds tend to get a bad rap in that all we do is save all our pennies and don’t know how to have fun ;) We may even get the occasional “cheapo” or “Gawd you’re boring” lines thrown our way on top. Perhaps deserved at times, but this is a friendly reminder that’s it’s OKAY to spend your hard earned money. And I’d even encourage it! You don’t want to end up an old geezer hoarding all his gold only to find that it was pointless in the end.

And if you look around the blogosphere, you’ll see plenty of other $$ bloggers picking up stuff too that might make your stomach queezy without any reference.

For example:

  • Michelle from recently picked up a $100,000 RV to enjoy their camping/road tripping even more!
  • Chris from just bought a boat! A BOAT! And paid all in cash too – BAM
  • Tiff  “The Budgenista” just dropped $1,800 on a trip to Africa
  • Tracie from completely renovated her basement for $22,000 recently.
  • Martin from Studenomics (and budding professional wrestler) just spent $867 to order a whole month’s worth of food ‘cuz he didn’t want to think about cooking while training hard.
  • Mark and Lauren from spent $8,000 on a new deck and professional paint job
  • Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents picked up a golf cart. “Because, you know, we don’t play golf. But they are really convenient to track down your boys when they are playing with their friends.”
  • And Deacon from Well Kept Wallet just snagged an Infiniti G35. With cash money, baby.

infiniti g35 - paid in cash

The thing all these guys have in common? They can afford it. And not only that, but they consciously CHOSE to afford it. Full well knowing that had they invested it in the market for 40+ years they could have centupled their investment ;) Real word.

The best type of spending is on our dreams.

That’s why we pay attention to our money so much – to get us closer to our ideal lifestyles, regardless of what that looks like for each of us. Contrary to popular belief, not all budgeters are misers, haha…

I’d also like to point out that it’s okay to change your mind on what makes you happy now vs before too. When I was cleaning out yet another box of accumulated stuff lately, I came across my old $700 watch and pair of earrings I used to obsess over. The watch was a Bulova with diamonds of its own accenting it, and the earrings had a solid 1/2 karat for each ear too – lest anyone think I wasn’t a baller ;)

bulova diamond watch

I loved them at the time and they fit my personality, but nowadays they just don’t do it for me anymore. As lame and OLD as that makes me feel, ugh…

So while money’s OKAY to be spent, also try not to get down on yourself for having splurged on stuff that now makes you cringe. Just list those puppies on Craigslist or eBay and get yourself some cash back! Which you can then put towards your next “want” and recycle the goodness :)

At the end of the day, that’s all this stuff really is: a want. And that’s perfectly okay. We’re allowed to splurge on niceties when our finances allow it. We just can’t let them consume us.

So don’t be ashamed of spending those hustled for dollars! And feel free to divulge what you’ve been splurging on yourself over there too… It’s a judgement-free zone here today ;)

Photo cred: Leland Francisco

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  1. Chris Muller September 9, 2015 at 5:22 AM

    I completely agree that it’s okay to buy stuff, within reason. “Afford” is a dangerous word to throw around. I can “afford” anything on my credit card, but can I actually afford it?

    You make an excellent point in that those folks chose to afford those things – they knew what they were buying and what impact, if any, it would have on their future goals. One thing I like to do is force myself to hold off on purchases for a day or two. It can be really difficult, but if you step away from the moment of buying and sleep on it, you might change your mind. Or you might find that you can get the same thing cheaper somewhere else.

    I also ask myself, “does spending money on this add to my quality of life?” If it doesn’t, I won’t buy it. If it does (for me, this usually means spending $ on vacations) then I’ll pop for it.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:11 PM

      Great way to look at it. And exactly why I’m totally okay spending $$ on coffee at any point in time. Best happiness for your dollars right there no matter how much it costs! Haha..

  2. Charity September 9, 2015 at 5:54 AM

    Alcohol! Ok, it was only $100 but we live overseas and good beer or hard cider is hard to come by. So when the local store had some, we stocked up!

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:12 PM

      Hahah… party time!

  3. Kate Horrell September 9, 2015 at 6:00 AM

    Sweet watch! Do you think it would fit me?

    This week, I’m on the “how much work does this cost” philosophy of rationalizing spending. It sure does make it hard to spend any money…

    Great post, as always.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:13 PM

      Thanks Kate :) And considering how many of my guy friends told me it was “a chick’s watch” even though it’s very much a guy’s watch, I’m sure you could pull it off no prob!

  4. Thias @It Pays Dividends September 9, 2015 at 6:02 AM

    I think the big take away here is that you need to be conscious of your spending. There is nothing wrong with spending money but you want to be sure you can afford the item and not just buying it on impulse. Learning to delay gratification can be one of the best things a person can learn to help improve their spending.

  5. Mr Zombie September 9, 2015 at 6:16 AM

    A BOAT!? That’s amazing.

    I just got myself a new surfboard (in cash obvs), alright! Built up cash in my current account from being a frugal dude over the last year or so. Half on a treat and half saved.

    Probably should have replaced my leaky wetsuit first before we power into winter and 9 degree water. Ah well, you live and you learn!


    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:14 PM

      Nice!! I just inherited back my surfboard from when I was like 8 haha… gonna try and make some cool art/furniture out of it or something since I def. don’t live near any water :)

  6. Cat@BudgetBlonde September 9, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    We were thinking on the same wavelength today! I also quoted Paula in my post today, and it’s one of my favorites also. My idea of splurges has definitely changed over time!

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:15 PM

      Hah! She’s inspiring everyone – love it!

  7. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies September 9, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    These all seem like examples of purposeful spending that align with people’s priorities. If money is a tool to help people accomplish goals and dreams, then this kind of spending is right on the money.

  8. Emma | Money Can Buy Me Happiness September 9, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    Yup – this is awesome. I’m still pulling all the figures together but we just spent around $40kNZD (currently around $25kUSD) on a 15 month world trip.

    But then I just hustled to save $6 on a mattress we needed to buy. And I used the old white paint my dad had in his garage to paint my house – rather than buy new paint in a colour I preferred. I’m ruthless when it comes to spending on sh*t I really don’t care about. It’s all about the priorities!

    The flipside is that we are downsizing our housing arrangement (so we can travel more – ’cause travel is addictive like that, once you’ve had a decent taste you just can’t stop) and focussing on building income in ways that enable such a lifestyle. So I kinda see that huge spend as an investment – because it gave me complete clarity on what I want in the future. Yes to multiple income streams, travel, time with family and meeting awesome new people and no to being stuck in the same office day in day out in order to pay for a ‘normal’ consumerist life.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:18 PM

      OMG yes yes yes. You are so close to the dream! And living it already pretty much, without the *perfect* dream part w/ the $$ yet. What a freakin’ adventure though for you and your family – so cool!! And now I’m officially jealous that I don’t have the balls that you all do to just make it happen right now :) I can barely wrangle my kids to go to the park, haha…

  9. Kalie September 9, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    Great title. This is definitely something I have to tell myself sometimes. I also use the mantra that meeting needs–ours and others’–is what money is actually for. It’s mindless consumerism, not intentional spending, that runs us into trouble.

  10. Des @ Half Banked September 9, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    It’s not “stuff” necessarily, but oh my gosh did I ever appreciate this as it relates to my dog.

    I actually was having this conversation yesterday at work, since people know I’m kind of frugal, and they were talking about their expensive hobbies (jumping out of planes, to be specific.) I was quick to remind them that while yes, one of my favourite stated hobbies is to spend a day reading books from the library, another one is walking my dog – my “luxury” dog who has his own emergency fund, eats up hundreds of dollars a year in vet bills even when nothing is wrong, and gets birthday presents.

    He makes me so happy though, that even when I look at what percentage of my budget every year goes to dog ownership, I’m happy to pay it.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:19 PM

      That’s the part that matters the most :) If you don’t love dogs, don’t get one and spend money on ’em! And if you do, love them to death and spend the $$ provided you have enough to eat and live on yourself! Haha…

  11. NGNEER September 9, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    Awesome post. I totally believe in spending within reason. A bad a$$ investor grandma who was in her 90s at the time told me she wished she had spent more of the money she spent so hard saving. It was a defining financial moment for me.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:20 PM

      Older people have SUCH good freakin’ knowledge in their heads, yet so many in the world completely disregard them as if they “don’t know what they’re talking about.” So crazy to me!!

  12. Kristy September 9, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    Perfect timing since we are spending some of our hard earned money for a downpayment on a house within walking distance to the beach. It is so easy to say spend that money, but difficult for us savers to actually pull the trigger. 6 days til settlement….here’s to living our dream!

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:21 PM

      Wowww – congrats! What a dream that is (which will no longer be a dream, but a reality :))

  13. Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents September 9, 2015 at 8:08 AM

    Keeping the spending conscious is key. Even if it’s a splurge, as long as you know where the money comes from and how it affects your financial situation, who cares? Your life, your choices.

  14. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar September 9, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    What if I just put a bunch of money on the mortgage over the last few months to get rid of PMI? And then fought with the bank to get it removed at 80% instead of 78% (they were totally wrong). Does that count?

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:21 PM

      Anytime you talk $$$ to me it counts. You know that $hit turns us on! Haha…

  15. Money Beagle September 9, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    It’s important to build experiences and memories in addition to building wealth. The happiest and most successful are those that can find the balance between that. You don’t need to pinch every penny and have no memories to show for it, but you don’t need to blow every dollar on an experience as soon as it comes your way. Finding that balance that works for you is the key to happiness and financial stability.

  16. Stephen @ How To Save Money September 9, 2015 at 8:24 AM

    I totally agree with this. I am all about spending money on what is important to you as long as you have it.

    I’ve never smoked or drank and consequently saved myself a fortune throughout my life. I also save money wherever I can (I find rock bottom prices for everything and have NEVER had cable in my adult life).

    BUT, I can look out my back window right now and see my speedboat sitting on its trailer in my backyard right now. I also love to travel the world. I save every penny I can on travel costs BEFORE I leave, but when I’m there the wallet opens, we eat out at expensive restaurants, go to the best attractions, and basically spend money on whatever we want.

    Save money on the mundane so you can spend money on the exciting I say.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:23 PM

      Sounds like a damn good life to me :) I haven’t ever smoked a cig myself, but I sure do like my beer and occasional cigar, haha… I could have probably retired on the amount I consumed in college, d’oh.

  17. Jason Vitug September 9, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    I’m totally with it. We earn a paycheck to spend it whether we do so today or in retirement.

    Live full. Die empty.

    It’s about consciously spending on what truly adds value in your life. And, yes that too may change but how you determine what you love won’t when you become more aware. It is an ongoing process for me and one I realize does not involve debt. I can’t truly enjoy it if I don’t actually own it.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:29 PM

      Yes, live full but don’t die *too* empty if you have kids you want to help out! Haha…

  18. Mrs. Budgets @mrandmrsbudgets September 9, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    I always make sure our fridge is stocked with beer. We’re not heavy drinkers at all but its nice to have one on hand so when the feeling arises. It’s a small splurge and one were not willing to cut back on when we’re looking to save money in some areas.

  19. Jover2 September 9, 2015 at 8:49 AM

    Last month I spent more on precious metals than I did on my mortgage. I’m not so much into numismatics like you are, but I do love the modern bullion from around the world. Besides, it is somewhat of a forced savings, plus I get the benefit of tickling that spending urge.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      Yeah! And you’re *diversified* more too in case the $hit ever hits the fan (like, even more than it has been lately haha…).

      I feel like silver/gold is SUPER low in price too right now. I have no doubts it’ll be going up at some point. If only we knew when :)

  20. Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way September 9, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    It’s okay to buy some expensive stuff, but make sure that it will not hurt you financially. If you can pay it cash much better than having a debt and paying it every month with a high interest.

  21. Emily September 9, 2015 at 8:58 AM

    I think sometimes wanting something that was beyond my means was what pushed me to become a more conscious spender. When I was younger I really wanted an SUV, but couldn’t justify the expense on my then salary. So I bought something less expensive, and learned to save so that the next time I needed a new car I could afford the one I wanted.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      Did you ever get your desired SUV??? I’ve wanted one going on 20 years now too haha… One of these days.

      1. Emily September 9, 2015 at 2:01 PM

        Yep, although 7 years later it was a different desired SUV, a CR-V instead of a Jeep. The last two times I have bought a car I have been able to get the exact one I wanted. My wants are relatively modest and I was able to save enough to satisfy them.

        1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 2:20 PM


  22. Mr. SSC September 9, 2015 at 8:59 AM

    Watches are my weakness, not necessarily expensive ones, but quirky ones or ones I like the looks of. I have an all wood watch for instance, and a carved out of granite Tissot I got for a present, but they come from my “allowance” so as long as I have the $$ there, it doesn’t affect our budgets.
    Mrs. SSC is upgrading her DSLR camera as she realized it’s the same image quality of her phone now, and it’s about 9 years old. Oddly enough, the more she keeps shopping she finds the camera cheaper and cheaper with more free stuff. We don’t need a new printer, but we can resell it and make the camera cost even less. Same with the accessories. If they’re the same as she has now, re-sell and drive the ultimate cost down. It’s weird they get you “consume more” and ultimately spend less

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:40 PM

      Yes! Love that y’all have allowances for this stuff! Those wooden watches are pretty dope for sure – i almost picked one up myself. Now I rock this white $20 one I found at TJ Maxx a cple years back :) Funny how things can bring you the same amount of happiness even though the price tags differ so extremely.

  23. Lisa O September 9, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    Like the post and the thought that spending is okay if you believe you “need” it. I put my 2 kidos thru Catholic School and people would ask “How do you afford it?”. My response was it is a priority to me and I feel that strong foundation they will receive will be the base of a successful life. Now that they are young adults and doing great, I still feel that education was the best decision for that $65k. I really feel that was an investment and so far I am happy with the return :)

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:41 PM

      And so is The Big Man above :)

  24. Heather @ Simply Save September 9, 2015 at 9:31 AM

    Thank you for the reminder! Part of the personal finance journey is figuring out what is REALLY important to you…not just what advertisers want you to THINK is important. If you can afford it, then it’s ok to invest in what matters most to you!

  25. M/M Kash September 9, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    For us….its traveling…it’s what we love. Every other year we plan a big trip…could be a cruise, could be to some great islands, could be for 2 weeks..whatever the family picks for that trip. We plan it a year in advance with our awesome travel agent, put down a tiny deposit (cash) and pay it off before we go. It’s like a great vacation on layaway….remember layaway?? Haha. We always challenge ourselves to pay off the trip with side hustles and selling no longer used crapola. I love a good challenge…it motivates me.

    The in between years the vacations are close to home. Sometimes it might just be for an extended weekend. There is just so much to explore and we really enjoy doing it together. Money very well spent.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:45 PM

      I do remember layaway – hah! I guess credit cards pretty much killed that, womp womp.

      (also love that idea for traveling/paying it off – you’re smart :))

  26. Mr. Utopia @ Personal Finance Utopia September 9, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    Everyone splurges on something every so often. For me it was playing rec league ice hockey which is an expensive sport/hobby to have. Unfortunately I have been injured for a while and not able to play for the past few years. Or maybe I should say “fortunately” since at least I’ve been saving all that money I would’ve spent!

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:46 PM

      You got in a fight on the ice, didn’t you? :)

  27. Michelle September 9, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    Love this post so so so much! I’ve gotten some flack for buying the RV but it’s something I love. In fact, we are thinking about living in it full-time next year!

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:48 PM

      You know what’s funny – all those people giving you flack will then turn around and say how brilliant you are if you end up living in it haha… Which I would LOVE to see you do btw. If only because I can then live my own dream through you since my wife refuses to sign off on it ;)

  28. Serena @ Thrift Diving September 9, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    You know what I splurge on? Apple computers. I’m a Mac girl. Yes, I buy all my furniture from the thrift store… hate buying clothes, really (although when I do, I may drop $100 on a dress)… and only really spend money at Home Depot for supplies for DIY projects and at the grocery story (and I don’t like making shopping lists).

    On my blog, we are all about thrifty decorating, but for many of us, it’s because we are artists wanting to create. For me, it is about money, too. I can’t afford to pimp out my home at retail price. But it’s an excuse for me to be creative.

    But I won’t ever stop buying the best electronics I can afford. I won’t apologize for that :). And maybe, because I buy cheap furniture (good quality, though!!), I have money left to pay for that Mac. ;)


    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:49 PM

      Hell yeah you do ;) That’s maxing out your financial efficiency right there!

  29. Lance@HealthyWealthyIncome September 9, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    You need a goal with money. If you just save to save then I feel less inspired, but if I can do fun things along the way and save large amounts of cash….that is a fun life. You are rewarded for hard, diligent, frugal, smart work and investing. We love to travel so we frequently do it. It inspires me plus I learn from others on how they earned their money to get where they are today. Nothing wrong having a goal in mind and then working to get it and enjoying the outcome of smart financial decisions.

  30. Jordann September 9, 2015 at 11:43 AM

    Love this post! Earlier this summer I spent $550 on a new bike, and although I don’t regret it for a second, I definitely felt a little guilty for spending my money and not putting it towards my house down payment. That said, it’s MY money, I had the cash, so I spent it how I wanted. :)

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:49 PM

      And I’m proud of you for doing so too :)

  31. Steve Miller September 9, 2015 at 12:09 PM

    Great post. I was laughing when I saw your comment about the watch. My wife bought me a Rolex when I turned 30 years old and I haven’t worn it in probably 10 years. It is just collecting dust, I guess I should sell it :)

  32. Tawcan September 9, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Totally OK to buy things, as long as you saved up for it. The problem so many people have is that they buy things on credit and cannot pay in full when the bill comes.

    We are going on the 2nd international vacation of the year. We feel great spending money on these vacations.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 12:53 PM

      Haha yeah, he’s cray.

  33. Kate @ itsakatelife September 9, 2015 at 1:30 PM

    I often have to remind myself of this, especially when I look at how much I spend on restaurants each month. But that’s quality time with friends and you can’t put a price on that!

  34. Isabelle September 9, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    I am not a big spender. But what we are spending money on right now is an empty house. Let me explain : when we bought the townhouse 6 years ago, as a starter house, we knew we wanted more eventually. With time, we ended up with a list for our futur ” dream house”, and a couple extras that were not absolutes but would be nice. 3 months ago, “not looking seriously”, we went to visit a house for sale… OUR house!!! We feel in love. It had EVERYTHING on the list! including the extras!!! We could not pass this. And it was a “take it or leave it”deal, we could not wait to sell the townhouse first. So we made the move and bought the new house. The old house is on the market, unsold, and costing us about 800$/month. Unwise financially? Probably. But we love where we live now and are really happy being here. So this is where we are spending money at the moment… Some people spend that kind of money monthly on clothes, makeup, hair, drinks, hobbies, etc. We spend it on an empty house in order to be in our happy home!

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 2:22 PM

      Oh wow! Haha… that takes massive balls to pull off, especially as a $$ nerd!

      I am impressed :) Anxious for you, but impressed haha… I hope it sells soon!

    2. Kristy September 10, 2015 at 9:39 AM

      We are in a similar position. We were not actively looking for a our full time “beach” house, but it fell in our lap. We move next week into it and have not yet sold our current house. But, we too, just could not pass it up. Some think we are crazy, especially since our old house is only 20 minutes from the beach, is nicer than the one we are buying and bigger. But to us, being able to walk to the beach is well worth the expense and sacrifice. Good luck and I hope you are able to sell your home soon!

  35. Kim September 9, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    Amen. And it’s so simple too. My friends laugh at all of the “finagling” I do to save money. They say they couldn’t do it because it takes too much time. And I get that. I’m probably on the passionate side of it. But anyone can do something. But when they see me with a new pricey toy, or whatever the fulfilled desire is, they’re all like, “You? I can’t believe you would buy something like that.” I’m like, “First of all you know I didn’t buy it full price. :) Secondly, why not? I wanted it and that’s what money it for. Third, I paid cash (well paid with a cc to get points and then paid it off the next month).” ha ha

    P.S. Five years ago my splurge was a Bulova similar to yours. Yes, big faced man’s watch like yours. It is a two tone silver and gold (so I can wear it with anything of course) diamond rim and at the directional points. Talk about BLING-Y!!! Looked at that thing for two years before I pulled the trigger (with coupons and gift cards of course). I had to have six links taken out for it to fit my wrist. They wanted to keep the links. I was like, “Nope. I paid good money for those links.” hahaha! I wore it every day until I changed professions. Now I only wear it on special occasions, but I still love it. It’s probably my single most “fabulous” purchase. Girl’s gotta have one piece of bling…other than the wedding ring of course. ;) Great post.

    1. J. Money September 9, 2015 at 2:25 PM

      Amen, sister :) Funny how people are too when they find out about splurges from us more frugal peeps. Hopefully it inspires them to pay better attention too so THEY can live the good life! :)

  36. Mrs. Crackin' the Whip September 9, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    Time to sell the watch and earrings, huh? Mr. Crackin’ has a white mink coat. It’s the fluffiest thing you’ve ever seen and it’s only worn for picture taking / playing dress up! If he ever tried to leave the house in it, I don’t know what I’d do!

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:27 AM

      Haha…. baller.

  37. Sarah September 9, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    Totally agree! As a stay-at-home-mom (about to return to the paying workforce) whose kids are all in school I’m in a splurge year, and it feels AWESOME. I love going to the salon, and buying new clothes, and generally sprucing myself up a bit. After so many years of DIY hair cuts, and box dyes, and pony tails and jeans, it’s a fun change. I’ve been such a cheap-o, and do wish I would have invested more in myself during these past years. It’s such an easy trap for a parent to fall into though, and it’s both good, AND bad, that we are willing to put our kids first. Kind of complicated, right?

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:32 AM

      My wife would be nodding her head to this all the way :)

  38. Shannon September 9, 2015 at 5:58 PM

    What timing! Husband and I recently put down money on a new, custom made travel trailer. It’s going to cost about $30k CDN, quite the splurge for us. It won’t be ready until fall 2016 but from those that have one, it’s worth the wait and exactly what we have been looking for. We also did not want to upgrade vehicle so we were happy to hear half of these trailer owners pull with an Outback. We also plan to retire early and spend a lot of time in it, maybe living in a few months at a time. We put a sizeable chunk down already, but the rest we need to come up with on or prior to pick up date. Now, we could come up with the rest if we just stopped our retirement contributions for two months – but we’re not going to! We’re doing a “Challenge Everything” plus various side hustles, to try to find $1,000/month extra for 12 months. Yikes! And we already set our pre-tax contributions pretty high so that we have just about what we need as net take home to live off of, so this is going to be a true challenge. I am having great success eBaying my stuff but mostly selling friends’ things for commission. I am also a wedding officiant specializing in outdoor mountain ceremonies such as hiking to a top of a mountain to get married, saying vows just before skiing down a mountain, heck rappelling off a cliff if you want. So far I’ve only done two weddings, but I really enjoy it and am working on a website too! We dropped cable ($100/month saved) a few months ago, have been eating out less, trying to drink less alcohol – all so we can maintain our high savings rate.

    1. Adrienne September 11, 2015 at 9:24 AM

      It’s not a CampInn trailer is it?

      Regardless, I love the idea of a wedding officiant camping in a little trailer, hopping out to hike to the top of a mountain to perform the ceremony and then hiking back down to her trailer!

      (And if it is,I hope you love your splurge as much as we love ours! And we pull with an outback too!)

    2. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:35 AM

      SO COOL!!!

      If you ever want to share your officiant hustle with us we’d love to have it :) That would make a fun part of our series here – would have never thought of it!

  39. Lauren @ iamthatlady September 9, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    Thanks for including us in the article – we just paid out an additional $18,000 in cash today to purchase a new to use van. I think so often we rob ourselves of the joy of saying “we saved up for this” by taking out loans. The feeling of hard work paying off in a HUGE way is one of the best feelings and so often people rob themselves of that joy.

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:36 AM

      You guys are cash machines! :)

  40. Jason @ Islands of Investing September 9, 2015 at 11:47 PM

    Man, I don’t have any real exciting splurges to share, it’s all small occasional things that I love to spend my money on, like books and simple, enjoyable food (and the odd round of golf!).

    Our one big ongoing splurge is the house, which we’ll continuing to splurge on in the form of mortgage payments for many years to come (much to our banks joy) – but not a day goes by when we don’t think it’s the best thing we could possibly do with a big chunk of our money.

  41. Caroline September 10, 2015 at 4:07 AM

    I have been adopting the concept of ‘choosing’ to afford something for a while now. There are lots of things I can afford but maybe that means going without something else or just choosing not to spend on something for whatever reason. At least it gets you thinking about purchases in a more considered way.

    I splurged on a month long vacation over the Summer, something I have been meaning to do for a while and always out off. A month of travel and R&R was worth every penny!

  42. jestjack September 10, 2015 at 8:49 AM

    I’m thinking this spending is enabled by frugal habits and living deliberately. I find it difficult sometimes to purchase things even when a good/great deal is staring me in the face. While at Goodwill yesterday I spotted an oak dining room table with 6 Windsor chairs….took a look and spotted a couple of “flaws” and asked the attendant for a price reduction….Though not in the “market” for a dining room set…I purchased one yesterday….for $75. Brought it home and put my old set ….which DW HATED….up for sale on Craigslist. For a moment I paused and wasn’t going to pull the trigger….But soon came to my senses….This is a very nice set….

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:38 AM

      What I love about this is that you swapped your OLD one out (and will soon be reimbursed for it!) vs just keeping both and adding to the clutter. So well played!

  43. DP @ Someday Extraordinary September 10, 2015 at 9:25 AM

    Right! All about prioritizing! What are we all doing this for if we can’t enjoy the fruits of our labor? I’m a true believer that it’s not about the material items we can buy, but about the freedom the money creates. However, it would be completely miserable to sit in your apartment day in and day out, afraid to do anything or spend a dime on a single experience, just to save a couple of bucks. It’s all about the balance.

    $1,800 for a trip to Africa? Sign me up!


  44. ThriftyD September 10, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    Great post, J. Money!

    Long time reader, first time commenter here.

    The one area I splurge on is road trips. Whether it’s with my buddies or my wife, I love to go on road trips. Of course, I save up for them and don’t go into debt in order to enjoy them. With my friends, we love visiting major league ballparks, NFL stadiums, NBA arenas, etc. With my wife, we visit national parks, historic sites/cities, etc. I try to hit up at least one long road trip each year (1-2 weeks) and a couple extended weekend road trips. Even while splurging on this luxury, I still try some frugality hacks. I try to find game tickets through StubHub. I’m ok with sitting in the cheap seats b/c I spend most of the time walking around and touring the ballpark/stadium anyway. I limit my concession purchase and avoid the gift shops. The best souvenirs for me are the pictures I take!

    As long as your financial house is in order, there is no reason to be a cheapskate miser. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Just be sure that what you choose to spend on adds value to your life! :).

    Keep rocking it, J. Money! Love your blog!

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:40 AM

      Thanks ThriftyD – appreciate you stopping by and saying hi :) Big lover of road trips here too – though not *as* peaceful when you bring along some kids, haha…

  45. Free to Pursue September 10, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    Agreed, and then some! We spend…but we spend on what matters, at least to us. Every month, we do a tally of our expenses. Nope, not because we follow a budget (other than a specific savings target) but because we want to make sure that our spending reflects our values: learning, health, relationships,experiences come first; great food & drink second; and everything else comes afterwards (housing, transportation).

    That means we’ll stay at a hostel for $40/night in order to go crazy on 5-star meals and amazing outings (as we just did recently in Vancouver). It’s all about how to get more bang for your buck…whatever your personal “bang” preferences may be.

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:41 AM

      Hah! I like that mash up actually. Though I could never really tell the difference between incredible food and decent food, so I’d probably reverse it and stay in nicer place and normal food :)

  46. Financial Samurai September 10, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    It’s fun to spend on things you really want. I wanted a pimp master bathroom with dual rain showers, jacuzzi tub, a private stall with water sprays, double vanity, a built-in closet, and room enough to put a chair, so gosh darnit, that’s what I did for $58,000!

    Some people spend on cars. I like to spend on creating as many sanctuaries as possible :)

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:42 AM

      Nice! You could get like 6 used Honda civics for that! Haha….

  47. Sandy September 10, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    Actually this morning I was thinking of you J. while hauling a wooden bench downstairs! I sold the bench on Craig’s list following your pattern of listing things every Friday. Anyways, I got $15 for it and yes that $15 will be invested too. :) I said this to say that I did all that work for $15 but when it is time to spend on what I want, I do it without sweating. At times friends have a tough time understanding how I function and think. A year ago I spent $7000 for a 12 day trip to Japan, Singapore and Bali while my car is worth way less than $7000! When I came back friend’s kept saying oh my goodness that is a dream vacation, that is a trip of a life time. But I refuse to think that it was a dream vacation, or a trip of a life time, I very much plan to repeat that trip in the near future. All of this is possible because I don’t spend on anything that is not necessity and I do haul a bench 6 floors down for $15. I sweat the little spending all year so when I spend on things that I really love, I don’t have to sweat it. Yes, I live in a high rise and was hauling down the bench from the 6th floor while thinking of your Craig’s list listings.

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:44 AM

      BOOM! Love it! Pretty funny that your trip costs more than your car too :) That would actually make for an interesting article.. comparing all our cars to the fun stuff we all use our $$ for?

  48. The Roamer September 11, 2015 at 1:47 AM

    This year I am pretty sure I have spent more money on myself then ever before.

    I purchase a program from Ramit almost 2k then add FinCon with all its associated expenses and I’d be surprised if its not close to 4k by the end of the year.

    It’s actually easier for me to spend money on other people, but I say no to myself regularly so this year has been Super different.

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:45 AM

      That’s hard for me to do too – so good for you for being able to pull the trigger! And Ramit is a bad ass, you’ll learn a ton. See you in a few days!

  49. Felix Wong September 12, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Add me to the Frugal But Bicycle Obsessed list! I have six bicycles ranging from $88 (Huffy cruiser) to $2700 (Litespeed carbon fiber race bike built up from hand-picked components). However, each one of them has done something epic, such as self-supported racing from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide or, more recently, from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts.

    Riding bicycles absurd distances has been one way I have enjoyed my time since semi-retiring at age 30 ten years ago. :)

    Enjoying your posts!

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:47 AM

      Incredible, Felix! Spent 30 minutes on your site the other day when I first saw this comment come through and had my jaw wide open the entire time, haha… Talk about going after your dreams! :) If you ever want to share your story with us, would love to have you as a guest author one day… pretty inspiring stuff.

  50. NDQ September 13, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    Sure, I can afford lots of stuff right now. But I choose to delay so that I can have the lifestyle I want later. Frankly, I have everything (and then some) that I need/want: I drive a great car that I bought used and paid cash, I have lots of electronic toys, streaming tons of shows, fast Internet at home, and fabulous food for every meal.

    Life is actually awesome right now, even though I spend very little.

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 6:47 AM

      I think we’re all more fortunate than we sometimes realize :)

  51. Christine @ The Pursuit of Green September 15, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    Money spending confessions…
    Dropped over 20k on a new renovated kitchen
    Just bought a bunch of new shoes

    Totally happy:P Kitchen is so brand spanking new and awesome and I love walking into it everyday. I also cook a ton so it’s worth it for me. And the new shoes…I had to throw out a bunch of old ratty shoes I had worn for years…and of course I got them on sale but good brands.

    No regrets here to spend money I’ve saved and worked hard for when I need it!

    1. J. Money September 22, 2015 at 4:30 PM

      You need a new gallery on your blog to showcase all those sexy shoes ;)

  52. Travis September 28, 2015 at 1:32 PM

    Wow,I would say that my experience is a bit smaller than most on this. I am the working poor (thank college debt and recession for that). I could only dream of spending like most here. It’s not hyperbole when I say that my “splurging” are things like saving enough for gas to visit my family more than once a year, buying discounted meat because the budget can’t handle it, or taking my fiancee out to eat at a steak&shake once in a couple months. It’s the small things we have to save for and enjoy because anything else is fantasy. I look forward to the day I can actually spend money on things I truly enjoy and cherish.

    1. J. Money September 29, 2015 at 2:29 PM

      You’ll get there if you keep watching that $$! All of those above, and myself, have spent years kicking ass and building up our wealth. (and before that – sucking with our money!). It’s all a phase, and you have to get through the hard ones before you can reach the fun ones :)

  53. Christine Luken, Financial Lifeguard December 30, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    I completely agree with you, as long as you’re paying cash for your splurges! Some people see budgeting like dieting – they can never have a cookie. But in reality, budgeting is more like a healthy eating plan. There is room for portion controlled fun! I recommend my coaching clients schedule small splurges at least once every six months, even while they are paying off debt. I’ve found that prevents burnout and keeps them on their plan.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 11:21 AM

      Yup! Great idea indeed… Plus, nothing saying you can’t budget in awesome stuff too! At the end of the day it’s all about controlling where you send your money :)

  54. Aldo February 29, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Best purchase I have ever made: Lasik eye surgery. Life changing. It’s been a few years and I still cannot believe the amazing difference in my day-to-day life. The decision to spend a chunk of my savings on that really internalized for me the concept that ultimately money is for spending in order to improve quality of life.

    I am also in the spend on travel camp. I have never heard anyone say they wish they had traveled less, seen fewer places, made fewer great memories. Never.

    Of course, all of this spending is saved up for first and only puts a small dent in overall savings, that is to say, it is not a cycle of save-then-deplete-then-repeat. Thank you for all your excellent posts and for the realistic attitude you share here.

    1. J. Money February 29, 2016 at 11:28 AM

      Perfect example!! Way to make that happen :)