What were your most memorable purchases this year?

Happy New Year’s Eve!!

Anyone partying it up a la 1999 tonight? I was pulling an all-nighter with my college friends back then, which is a far cry from what we’ll be doing tonight – SLEEPING IN ALL NIGHT after a cup or two of hot cocoa with our kids, depending on how wild we want to get ;)

Before we get to all that excitement though, thought it would be fun to review all our purchases from the year and see which ones stand out the most – whether for the better or the worse. I know some people like to rate all their transactions according to their values (which I love in theory, I just don’t have the patience for it!) so this is kinda like my cheat sheet version of that, mixed with pictures :)

Here were some of my most memorable purchases from the year – how about you?

#1. Most surprising purchase — My longboard!!

Picked it up on a whim over the summer at a yard sale, and turned out to be the best $10 spent all year :) Not only does it ride MUCH faster and smoother than a typical skateboard does, but it also only requires 1/5th of the energy to get it into motion! So now I can keep up with my kids a lot easier, while looking at least half-way cool in the process, haha…

new longboard

#2. Most comfortable purchase — skinny jeans!

Another huge surprise! Not only for how well they fit, but also for the fact I actually tried them on at the store, haha… But at a whopping $4.99 from Goodwill, it was worth the gamble and been enjoying wearing them ever since :)

#3. Most *expensive* purchase — Our new house ($337,000)

Not my favorite purchase of the year, but every time I start hyperventilating I just look over at my kids and wife (and now dog!) playing so peacefully and I’m reminded all over again why we chose this route. And deep down I know it’s financially better for us in the long run too since we’ve finally settled down in our “forever” town, so it’s basically just letting *time* calm my fears until I’m finally at peace with everything.

This is what our family looks like though at least once a week ;)

owning a home again

#4. Most loving “purchase” this year — Our 11-month-old puppy!

I know I already shared this nugget, but had to do it again as that’s what I’m learning Dog Owners do ;) And plus, look how cute she is???! How could you not want to see that face any chance you get?? Haha… But I promise this won’t turn into a doggy blog anytime soon, though I have been asked multiple times to share my thoughts on *pet insurance* once I’ve gathered them… Which I haven’t dove into yet, and would love to get your advice on as well? Anyone currently signed up to it or have in the past?! Has it been worth it?

Here’s our new baby – finally a girl!!

baby girl

(Apparently this makes us “foster failures” I’ve heard, haha… I guess lots of people have trouble giving back their foster dogs when time’s up! :)

#5. Most frustrating purchase of the year — Our couch from Ashley HomeStore

I won’t repeat the story here and get my blood boiling again, but alas we finally got everything delivered, and as you can see in that pic above it now includes the ottoman ;) Which really has come into use, so it was well worth the fight! (Though I’ll never shop there again)

#6. Most enlightening purchase(s) of the year — Tickets to all local area museums and attractions!

After living on and off in our town over the years, I finally made a commitment to visit all the area attractions in order to culturefy myself more ;) And it’s been one of my favorite experiences in recent years! I was hitting 1-2 new places *a week* at the start of the mission, and now that we’ve been at it for a while I’ve run out of places and now try to drive somewhere new once every other week or so. But wow was I learning a lot in those first few weeks! Highly recommend trying it if you’ve been a stranger in your home town too…

#7. Our smartest purchase of the year (tied for the 10th year running) — hiring an accountant ;)

This can be filed under “boring” ways to use your money, but boy does it pay dividends year in and year out – even if you’re a money blogger! I’ll never regret paying the $300 or $400 it costs every year to be able to pick up the phone and ask our accountant whatever questions we have. Which in recent times have been many with all the big changes going on in our lives (home buying, blog selling, states moving, etc etc). And then of course just having someone organize – and file! – everything appropriately is a life saver in its own! Always one of the best decisions of the year, hands down.

#8. *BONUS* Our *almost* purchase of the year: that 2008 Mercedes ML-320!

It’s been a few months now since the decision to pass and I don’t regret it an ounce, but every now and then I like to envision what life would be like in an alternative universe as I roll down the streets in it, windows down and wind blowing through my hair ;) Could have been fun times! So long as it stood the test of time! (For anyone new to the story, it had 140,000 miles on it but on the flip side cost only $5,000 and was well pampered from a family member. We got close to getting it!)

Next week we’re re-starting our minivan search with the goal of picking one up once and for all by the end of the month. It’ll be a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna – whichever one we can find the best deal on! Wish us luck!

What were some of your most memorable or almost memorable purchases of 2019? :) Any one really surprise you?!

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  1. Megan December 31, 2019 at 6:32 AM

    Sounds like an exciting year! Ours was as well. As for pet insurance, I’ve never had it personally but good friends had it for their dog and liked it. When she became seriously ill and had to spend a week at the emergency vet before unfortunately passing away it provided my friend a lot of peace of mind that she could do everything she could for her. The insurance doesn’t pay 100%, I think theirs was more like 60/40, but it helps (I’m pretty sure they had Pet Plan). I also know it’s better to get it while the dog is young because I think your premiums will be less and I don’t think it covers preexisting conditions.

    We *almost* got a dog this year. And by almost I mean I found a dog that I fell in love with and wanted to apply to adopt but my husband wasn’t completely sold on the idea due to the fact that we both work full time and are out of the house for 9.5 (him)-11 (me) hours/day. We also have 2 6 year old cats who very much enjoy their quiet, dog free life. He finally said if I really wanted her, we could give her a try, but as I’ve had more time to think about it I realized he was probably right and that it’s just not the right time for us. So that was our almost purchase.

    My most memorable both fall into the “my husband spoils me” camp: this spring we bought a brand new bicycle for me (about $600), and for Christmas he bought me a DSLR (another $600). My old bike was purchased used (like new) for $125 over 10 years ago and was the bike I had at college which means it spent time out in the rain and snow as I didn’t have a great place to store it. It was getting pretty rusty and needed some work so we bought my first ever brand new bike. I love it and am already looking forward to riding weather again.

    I’ve wanted a DSLR for 8+ years (hobbyist photographer) but could never quite justify the purchase. My husband earned a few hundred dollars at a side job so for Christmas put the cash in a box, printed out photos of a DSLR to affix to the box, and wrapped that up. And then I got to pick out the camera I wanted. I’m excited to get outside and take some photos!

    Our expensive purchase was a new roof for the house as a tree hit our roof in February and caused some damage. Insurance covered the cost less deductible but my husband and his uncle were able to do the work and added a porch onto the front which really adds to the curb appeal.

    Not really a purchase, but the money spent that I am proudest of this year was paying off over $8300 in principal and $2900 in interest on my student loans this year. This is over 25% of my gross pay so no small chunk of change. Our emergency fund is also significantly higher than it was at the beginning of the year.

    Best wishes for a productive, frugal, and meaningful 2020 to you and yours!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 2:51 PM


      All (mostly) good things! :)

      Love that when stuff breaks at home you can at least upgrade stuff to make it sting a lot less, haha… A new porch not only looks better, but can add to your quality of life too! The perfect place to relax with some lemonade after a spin on the new bike :)

  2. Kathy December 31, 2019 at 6:58 AM

    The best purchase of the year for me is the design and tailoring course I took. Granted, it was short, but it gave me so much confidence that I have started sewing on my own. I am still practicing before I can start offering my services. It is the best buy this year and I am happy with it.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 2:52 PM

      That sounds awesome!! Will you let me know when your site/services are live so I can check it out? I feel like that’s a lost art these days :)

  3. Adam December 31, 2019 at 8:03 AM

    Every January 1 I update our Net Worth .xlsx with updated figures. And each year I use “insert comment” to make excuses for that field about why it isn’t higher. Here’s this year’s list of excuses:

    $7800 HVAC
    $7750 gas line installation, tankless water heater
    $671 Indianapolis airbnb/flights
    $400 50″ TV
    $1017 exams and eyeglasses (HSA)
    $883 dental cleaning and extractions for Gus the dog
    $781 in bathroom tile, $800 vanity, $400 faucet/valve/shower control
    $3351 down on $11170 bathroom reno (Jan 2020)

    …NO REGRETS. Totally worth it, since we’re going to live here until they wheel us out. And man am I ever glad my wife makes $25k more than I do.

    Also, speaking as a twelve-year employee of the veterinary software industry, I don’t use pet insurance but probably should.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 2:54 PM

      That’s too funny you list these all out in your spreadsheet like that ;)

      But do you really only update everything *once* a year?!

      I get way too eager/impatient to wait that long! Haha…

      1. Adam December 31, 2019 at 3:35 PM

        Oh heck naw. I update retirement and HSA investment balances (and record the contributions for each) at least weekly, often daily — overwriting the values that were there last time. Mortgage balance updates monthly. I revisit our monthly budget estimates whenever we sign up with a different cell or utility service, and annually when our joint credit card analysis is available. But I really look forward to the big January 1 numbers!

        1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 5:17 PM

          Okay, that makes much more sense, haha…

          Looking forward to running ours for the month here shortly too! I heard the markets went up, but I don’t really follow it so it’s always a surprise no matter which way they go :)

          Happy new year, brother!

  4. Jackie December 31, 2019 at 8:04 AM

    My best “non-purchase” was a new home on the beach (almost 1700 ft away, well within walking of a major Florida beach). House was $375K (my paid for home is worth $220K)….well it went sour back in April when contracts we thought were signed, but one of the sellers didn’t sign it right and started changing all the terms…..can’t do that, so our gut said, this is wrong and we decided not to go through with it….WE ARE SO GLAD TOO. We discussed just staying put a few more years and fix ours up a little….we spent around $25K to put new flooring in our home and built a beautiful backyard patio/screened in cage. We are staying put and in the long run saved us so much, and we are super happy with our decision not to move and buy that home by the beach! (We still love the beach and will still take our mini trips there and just not live there yet!) Some expensive things was helping one of my kids after a major car accident in the mountains. Helped them with airplane tickets and gifted them $15K to help them with a new vehicle. I also loaned $10K to another child. It’s been an expensive year, and hope things will calm down now in 2020. (PS….I live in FL and pretty close to the Gulf now, so I still enjoy Florida and beaches, just can’t walk to one yet!)

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 2:57 PM

      So glad you’re feeling at peace with such a decision like that – it’s the worst when you can’t tell what to do and drive yourself crazy! So good job!! It doesn’t hurt having a paid off home to stay in either :)

  5. RMF325 December 31, 2019 at 9:09 AM

    I hate shopping and already have more than enough, so my best “purchases” this year were also the most emotional: I used up several hundred thousands of my frequent flyer miles to go home to California from the east coast about 10 times to spend time with my parents during the last year of my father’s life. I’ll never regret any of that.
    What is the new puppy’s name? She is beautiful!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:01 PM

      what a blessing that you could do that!!! I bet he loved it so much too!

      we’re still in talks about her name (do we keep the one someone randomly assigned her or do we go for a new one?) but will be having a family meeting on it shortly :)

  6. Chris December 31, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    Not this year but my most memorable purchase of maybe my life (?) Was my baby grand piano purchased two years ago.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:02 PM

      oooh fun!! they also look GREAT in homes too, especially really old ones :)

  7. Brian December 31, 2019 at 9:42 AM

    I would say my best purchase of the year was a new iPhone. Not because I wanted a new phone but because I needed a new phone. The battery on my old phone would only last 5-10 minutes on standby so it was time to just go ahead and bite the bullet. I quite enjoy this new phone and look forward to using it for another 5 generations or more before the battery quits on this one.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:03 PM

      Cool! I bet it’s a huge upgrade too if your old one is super sold.. My Android is now about 3 or 4 years old I believe and I’m sure technology has changed quite a bit even since then.

  8. Nora December 31, 2019 at 10:04 AM

    Something I learned while shopping for a car: I went to a dealer that is part of a group. One brand’s salesman discussed Costco pricing with me. A few weeks later, another brand’s salesman told me it wasn’t an option. I sat in my car – still in the parking lot – and got first Costco on the phone, then other dealers. While I was phoning around, the salesman made a few trips out to the car to “see how I was doing.” Long story short, his “rock-bottom” price got even lower. Sitting around, talking on my phone saved $$$. Just goes to show that the first person to name a number usually loses. Happy New Year!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:03 PM

      Hah! Well played!! Happy New Year to you! :)

  9. Francis December 31, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    It was the year of spending the emergency fund.

    1. New HVAC system which broke during the Chicago Polar Vortex. Costco was so responsive after the heating guy failed at 7 attempts to repair: $8,142
    2. New Tesla Model 3. 12-year-old MDX had an electrical malfunction. $47K
    3. Multiple medical emergencies and hospital stays. That took months to figure out.
    a. Hospital bills rang up to $120K. Out of pocket: $6500
    4. New water heater (proactive replacement for 17 year-old one)
    5. New sump pump.

    Including normal expenses for the year, $131,497 was spent, the new record.
    While I tried early retirement last year, fortunately, the new fun W-2 job has awesome health insurance. Paychecks are nice too.
    Financial Independence and planning helped adsorb the year of an unexpected and unprecedented spend rate.

      1. Francis December 31, 2019 at 3:48 PM

        Thanks for this article. Selling price is the biggest thing to swallow. Cash purchase eliminates the financing and I don’t see using $2,250 for electricity.
        Not sure how they get $8,140 for gasoline. Jeez that’s a lot. In 2018 we spent $1607 on 588 gallons of gas for the MDX. Average 10 year annual is about $1700.

        This year, the added electrical expense to the house electrical bill is $144 to charge the Tesla and drove 6,263 miles. We do pay $80 more for insurance and expect that to decrease.

        1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 5:18 PM

          I want a full report after 5 years to see how accurate they were, please! (And then when you re-sell it, please re-sell it to me :))

  10. Christine December 31, 2019 at 11:12 AM

    As usual, another interesting and thought-provoking post, J! Happy new year!

    Puppy!!!! We got a puppy too this year and best adoption fee (plus vet bills plus daycare plus training plus plus plus) we ever spent. Looks like our dogs could be relatives!

    We made a lot of purchases this year…our home was bought last year so that doesn’t count but a lot of stuff that we got for the house was this year. Including furniture (a sectional, a power reclining leather Sofa, power shades for the bedroom) and services (including finally getting around to having our bathtub/shower fixed in a spare bathroom, which meant my husband could take a jetted hot bath after a cold day working outside!) all in all, I haven’t regretted anything spent there. The bedroom shades are the best—room darkening, automatic and programmable and they measured and installed. I’m about to have them come for two other rooms. Biggest regret was something my husband purchased against my advice—a used elliptical machine. It never worked right and he ended up scrapping it. $300 down the tubes.

    Best RETURNED purchase—an Away suitcase. I was suckered in by all the IG ads. Not a fan. I ended up buying a new Travelpro to replace it…which is sitting in a package at my neighbor’s house to pick up as we speak!

    Biggest impulse purchase—a bike. We found ourselves with time on our hands at a bike store and I had been talking about getting one. But that was a big purchase to do without major thought ahead of time for me.

    Smallest best purchase—a bird feeder. It’s so amusing watching them out our window. And the other wildlife. And it keeps the dog entertained too!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:10 PM

      Oooh will have to try out a bird feeder here! or even fill up all the old ones left in our yard when we bought the house! haha… i bet our dog would go bonkers for it too :)

      LOVE that you listed best RETURNED purchase here, haha… I’d have to think for a bit on that one, but it’s always such a great feeling when you send stuff back you realize you don’t want/need/care for. So many people just say forget it and never return it which is such a waste!! Not to mention the adding to the clutter in their homes!

  11. Norma December 31, 2019 at 11:31 AM

    Best purchase, tickets and airbnb to spend Thanksgiving with my sons and family.
    Most exciting purchase, going to a hockey game was a bucket list item. I am hooked!

    1. Adam December 31, 2019 at 1:04 PM

      My wife gave me two 200-level tickets to a Capitals game for my birthday in 2019. Live hockey was more fun than I’ve ever had at a sporting event! …but not a habit I need to get into. Early retirement may involve scouting out cheaper road venues against the schedule and just happening to be visiting with my old #17 Ridley jersey when the Caps are in town.

    2. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:11 PM

      Fun!! I can’t stand watching hockey on TV but it’s SUCH a different experience in person for sure… Glad you got to check it off, with more checks in the future! :)

  12. Alan Cassinelli December 31, 2019 at 12:06 PM

    I actually just posted a blog post about this: https://medium.com/@alancassinelli/the-10-best-items-i-purchased-in-2019-2e5ed0fa9386?sk=a7e0c386aa479f210c5e314363e45607

    In short:
    1. elastic shoelaces
    2. Atomic Habits book
    3. Wood hangers
    4. Kitchen drawer organizers
    5. OXO broom & dustpan set
    6. Duvet cover with a zipper!
    7. Thursday Boots
    8. Ooni pizza oven
    9. Sonos surround sound
    10. Peloton Bike

    All products I would purchase again in a heartbeat!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:13 PM

      All things that make your life better – i love it!!!

      And most are so SMALL too!

      going over now to check out the blog post – too cool we both had the idea (though one of our posts are much more helpful to others, haha… (YOURS!))

  13. Marcia December 31, 2019 at 12:22 PM

    My best and most expensive purchase this year was plantation shutters. They are beautiful!
    I had a really good company install them, too. I’m very pleased!!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:14 PM

      Oooh just looked them up – they are pretty!!

      Tell me you have a nice historic home to add them to also?? :)

  14. Joe December 31, 2019 at 12:46 PM

    My frigging huge 65″ TV! Mrs. RB40 says it’s too big, but I love it.
    It’s only a month old so it’s really memorable right now. :D
    Happy New Year and good luck in 2020.
    That longboard looks really cool. I got a penny board a while back. It’s so hard to ride. I should get a longboard like yours.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:15 PM

      Try it!! Had no idea how much fun it was and why all the hipsters like them, haha…

      So much better than skateboards, so long as you’re not doing any tricks with it.

  15. freddy smidlap December 31, 2019 at 1:40 PM

    after having the $ saved and put away for many years we bought an attic art studio renovation for mrs. smidlap’s painting. it really is just an expense but the 2 bonuses are the insulation below the drywall is going to save us money and it’s a huge finished space and should add a lot of value if we ever sell our house. the thing that makes it worthwhile is her enjoyment of it without taking on debt or sacrificing for our futures.

    we’ve had dogs the past 15 years in our house and never had pet insurance. instead of paying the premium we just put some aside in a sinking fund for vet visits/meds and maybe beef up the e-fund a little. keep up on her meds and all should be fine. i hope you’re enjoying the new house and that’s a good lookin’ dog. cheers.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 3:20 PM

      Ahhhhhh art studios are so sexy!!!

      What a gift to her and quality of life upgrade!!

      I dream of having a studio of my own one day, maybe not for art specifically but for blogging or building or just dabbling with my coins… A sort of “old man” cave now that I’ve reached my 40’s ;) And turning un-used space into livable space is a double win on top! I approve of this purchase!

  16. Frogdancer Jones December 31, 2019 at 3:36 PM

    My best (and most unexpected) purchase was on an operation to save my miniature dachshund’s life. Scout swallowed a huge seed pod from a tree, gave herself an intestinal blockage and nearly died.
    $3,200 later and she recovered, much to the vet’s relief. It really was touch and go.
    That operation cost more than she did, but as I look at her, snoozing on the couch beside me, it was the best purchase ever.
    Happy new year!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2019 at 5:20 PM

      yayyyy!! so glad that story ended that way! Would have been even more terrible if you paid for all that surgery and then it went the other way :(

      You two enjoy your snuggles tonight!! about to do the same here and call it a day :)

  17. Sue J Braun January 1, 2020 at 3:09 AM

    Wood spliter. Dorian did a real number on the OBX of NC. Lot’s of uprooted oaks and we now have about 3 years of wood. Hard times for those about 1 hour south of us, but in this northern part, we made out okay..

    1. J. Money January 1, 2020 at 6:49 AM

      Only going to keep on coming over the years too :(

  18. Nita January 1, 2020 at 5:28 AM

    I bought an apartment as well… It may be the most expensive thing I buy in my lifetime :) but I finally moved and I’m really happy :)

    Happy New Year!

    1. J. Money January 1, 2020 at 6:50 AM

      I’m glad you’re happy!! That’s the point of all this money stuff :) You’re using it well.

  19. Natalie January 1, 2020 at 4:59 PM

    My best 2 purchases go hand-in-hand. We adopted a new puppy for my son’s 10th bday. I thought we’d saved up sufficiently (~$400) but some early medical issues ran it up to just about $1,000! It was way more than I would have thought but the joy and laughter my son has with his pup are priceless.

    But that brings me to my second best purchase, Healthy Paws pet insurance. We didn’t have it for our 2 older dogs and they’ve drained our sinking funds on more than one occasion, but I always thought of pet insurance as a scam. The extra vet expenses in Cosmo’s first month made me reconsider and do some research. I went ahead and signed him up since you just never know with puppies and within 2 months it paid for itself multiple times over. Cosmo had a stomach blockage (he chews/eats everything) that required a hospital stay. Thankfully no surgery, but still rang up to the tune of $3000. Healthy Paws reimbursed me almost 90%. I had to pay the deductible and the doctor visit fees, but the rest was covered.

    Depending on your dog’s behavior and exposure to other animals I’d highly recommend it while she’s still young and relatively cheap (we pay $25/month for Cosmo). Our older dog would probably be cost prohibitive to insure but my experience has been the biggest costs were the first couple years of life (we’ve dealt with Parvo, distemper, worms, and more). We haven’t had any rate increases yet so I’m not sure the cost is worth it long term, but it definitely saved us a small fortune already.

    1. J. Money January 2, 2020 at 7:58 AM

      Very good info – thank you!! Can’t believe that vet stay cost $3,000!! Sucks having another “person” to watch out for/care for, but I agree so far that the love and happiness they bring far outweighs it :) Just so long as they live a nice long life! Haha…

  20. ERIC D MEYERS January 1, 2020 at 9:31 PM

    I had a pretty heavy spend this year, but it was well worth it. I also managed to max out my 401k for the first time making $65k.

    $3300 Move to San Diego – My fiance and I moved from Arlington, VA. Giving the west a try.
    $2300 Engagement Ring – Got engaged and in the process of figuring out wedding plans. Luckily her parents are paying for it. ($10k max)
    $1024 – iPhone 11 Max – Got kicked off my parents plan, so sold my iphone 7 and switched to visible.
    $950 Tooth Implant body (still dreading the next step) – Wasn’t a fan of this process, but suffered a bad tooth.
    $900 Rimowa Suitcase – Splurge spend…not sure why I bought this.
    $650 Las Vegas Trip

    $9124 was the total for the year. I would like to get my investments up around $100k since I’m approaching 30 quickly and would also like to purchase a house in the next 2 years.

    1. J. Money January 2, 2020 at 8:01 AM

      Congrats on the big changes going on!! A move AND an engagement – nice, man!! You’ll have to let me know what you think of Cali after a year or so. I did the opposite years ago and moved from there to the DC area :) Still prefer CA environment-wise, but all my friends and family now live on this coast so would be hard to move away from that…

      Going now to google “Rimowa Suitcase ” haha… that’s a lot of dough!!

  21. Laura Condit January 2, 2020 at 2:25 PM

    Best “planned for” expense: a trip to the West Coast to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We spent 2 weeks and LOTS of money but we’d been saving up for this for quite a while.

    Best “unplanned for” expense: a new-to-me Smart ForTwo! My 5-year-old Nissan Cube rolled 100k miles and things immediately started breaking. I’d been wanting another Smart for a long time (I had to trade in my last one for the Nissan when I needed to start hauling my mother-in-law around and her wheelchair didn’t fit).

    I figured it would take time to find a used Smart with low miles in the color I wanted but instead it took all of 2 or 3 days – we checked all the online auto sites and ended up getting it through TrueCar.com. I paid $9,995 for a 2016 model with only 17,000 miles on it and it’s in perfect condition. I love it – it’s so much fun to drive and the gas mileage is great!

    Bonus: I sold my Nissan to Carvana and got an excellent price of $3199 for it, even though it had so many miles and some hail damage. Both Carvana and TrueCar were excellent to deal with – I will never buy another car through a standard dealership again!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2020 at 2:04 PM

      Oooh good to know, thank you!! Smack in the middle of car shopping myself and will need to check both out!

      That trip sounds amazing :)

  22. Steveark January 2, 2020 at 3:57 PM

    My wife and I took an adventure tour hiking trip along the Italian coast and through Tuscany this year. It was great fun. In a few months we are doing the same in Switzerland. As to a minivan, it will give you two really fun days, the day you get it, because it is so practical and useful, and the day you sell it! They are great practical vehicles but they also make you feel like you are 80 years old! And trust me, mom doesn’t really want to feel that old. They are a necessary evil for one stage of life, but everyone I know that endured one was thrilled when the nest emptied to the point they could get a different vehicle.

    1. J. Money January 3, 2020 at 2:05 PM

      Haha, sounds about right ;)

      Part of me thinks my wife just wants me to get one so she can drive the Lexus!! I’ll be the one who inherits the minivan as my new daily driver!

  23. Moneybee January 3, 2020 at 10:04 AM

    Most ‘grownup’ purchase: $163.60 to take my parents out to dinner for the first time (and my sister; this was all at a tavern she really wanted to go to)

    Best purchase for someone else: $12.17 to buy a six pack of a beer my sister liked when she was here that she can’t get at home

    Saddest and most important purchase: $250 for half my partner’s plane ticket to be there when my grandpa died. (My parents paid for my ticket, my grandma paid for half of my partner’s. Extremely grateful to them.)

    Second most important purchase: $800 to my partner’s mom for a big expense she had. She ‘lent’ us money when we needed it and wouldn’t let us pay her back, so we did it this way.

    Most expensive purchase: about $1050 all told for my Big Comfy Couch. It was stressful not in a ‘fight the store’ way, but because I’d gotten so used to its tiny predecessor I spent the day after it was delivered freaking out that it was too big! (It’s not.)

    Most predictable ‘Me’ purchase: $21.33 for notebooks to use for journals. Every year at school supply time I buy all the Five Stars I like.

    Best ‘Me’ purchase: $59.99 for my figure skating streaming subscription

    Best ‘us’ purchase: $29 for campground reservations at a campground on a river. The Adirondack night sky was glorious.

    Stupid Tax: $5 for an out-of-state fee on the above reservation. Would not be stupid if I was from out of state, but I’m NOT, in fact, from out of state, I just didn’t pay attention and let my old address autofill in the online form. Sigh.

    1. J. Money January 3, 2020 at 2:07 PM

      Love how a bulk of your memories here are for helping OTHER people!! What a generous and sweet person you are!!

      And if $5.00 was the worst stupid tax you had all year, I’d consider that a win :)

      Here’s to another year of giving and enjoying our $$$!