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Skimp on the unimportant so you can spend on what matters

lucky monkey bandages
Photo by Christopher Matson

I love the maxim shared recently by JD Roth at Get Rich Slowly – he says, “You can have anything you want – but you can’t have everything you want.”

We really can purchase just about anything, or pursue just about any thing.  The key is knowing the attached price tag to what it is you want.

If you want the biggest house in the neighborhood, in the up-and-coming suburb in your city, you could probably buy it.

But you might have to be willing to have a mortgage payment that’s 50% of your income.

And unless you have at least a 20% down payment, you need to be okay with PMI.

And – especially if it’s a decision made on a whim – you might need to settle for a not-so-great mortgage.

The want: A big house in a nice neighborhood.  The price tag: A lot of money each month for a long time.  Putting yourself at risk for mortgage payments increases and loan defaults.  Is it worth it? Maybe, if your income can handle it.  It’s not worth it to me, though.

If you want a high-quality haircut with top of the line highlights, you could set aside the money and pay cash for it.

But it might mean no eating out that month.

And there’s a chance you can only treat yourself to this luxury twice a year, especially if you want to eat every now and then.

The want:
Great hair.  The cost: Saying no to other creature comforts.

Even with a “recession,” we Americans (and other westerners) really are the wealthiest in the world.  Most of us don’t realize what pure luxury it is to pursue just about anything we want.

But does that mean we should?

My answer – it depends.  It depends on whether its price is worth it. Just because we want something doesn’t mean we should get it, and just because we want it doesn’t mean it’s inherently bad.  But as wise stewards and as responsible adults and parents, we need to count the cost before splurging on a purchase that might have a higher price tag than we realize.

As JD points out, it’s important to curb expenses on the things that don’t matter to you so that you can afford the things that do.  Because our family doesn’t go into debt, It means we have a finite budget and a limited amount of resources with which to work.

fruit stand
Photo by Gabi

Here’s a few ways all this works for me

1. I prefer having quality, name-brand, well-fitting clothes that will last a long time.  The cost? Sometimes a pretty penny for a great piece.  Not having a lot of clothes.  Shopping in thrift stores.

The result? It means I only have a few articles of clothing, and it means I first shop at the thrift stores in the nice neighborhoods.  But this is how I’m able to wear well-made clothing that will stand the test of time.  It’s worth it to me.

2. I want this blog to be a place I can be proud of, serving as a portfolio of good-quality writing, a creative outlet for me, a tool with which I can encourage others, and where I can bring in extra money towards our financial baby steps.  The cost? Not much time for things like TV.  Spending energy learning the tools of the trade.

The result? It takes a good chunk of my time each week, but I’m immensely proud of this place and the community that has cultivated.  I’ve learned so much, I’ve met some fantastic people, and I’m adding to the family income.  It’s absolutely worth it to me.

3. We want to build a home without borrowing much (or any) money, and we want it to be well-built, ideal for our family, and a place where we can live long-term.  The cost? Renting for now, and possibly for awhile, and a chunk of our income going straight into savings for later use.  This means not much extra money for fun luxuries.

The result? Hopefully, we’ll have enough to pursue our home plans before we’re 80.  We’re pretty sure it’s worth it for us.

Everything has a price tag.  No matter how we slice it, we’re paying for our decisions.  The question to ask is not whether something is cheap or expensive, but rather, it is worth its price?

The answer to that question should determine our decisions.

What are some sacrifices you’re making for price tags that are worth it to you?  Are you sacrificing enough in order to afford certain luxuries?  Or are you needlessly sacrificing for something that’s just not important?

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  1. Marvyn

    My wife says I always get what I want, eventually. I rarely buy little trinkets, rather when I buy, I buy BIG — a house, new TV, etc. How do I manage this? I simply stay away from the mall as much as I can.

    Marvyn´s last blog post…The Christmas Chuckie: Elf on the Shelf

  2. Shannon

    We want to have some land to raise our children and grow our own food, but we don’t want a mortgage and we want don’t want mama working outside of the home.
    The cost: renting for now and saving until we have enough to pay for the land outright. Possibly living in a yurt or very small cabin while we build our own home. Not spending money on other things like traveling to see family, television, cell phones, eating out, furniture, gadgets, etc.
    Totally worth it.

    Shannon´s last blog post…Poll #2: Food Budgeting

  3. jodi

    Since we’ve been married, I’ve cut my husband’s hair, which then allows a little extra $$ for haircuts for me. We watch our “tricky budget items” closely by using cash envelopes…for us, eating out. We built a good-sized house 3 years ago after renting for a couple to prepare, but skipped some of the nicer, high-end finishes…we know that along the way and after we get it paid off, we can go back and upgrade some items with cash – it’s definitely been worth it for the lower mortgage! As our income has increased over the past couple of years, we’ve tried to keep our standard of living the same and have put the extra $$ on the mortgage…and it’s really making a difference!

    And probably one of the most important things we’ve done is stay away from all the stores…if you don’t go to the mall, you can’t fall in love with all the stuff that’s there…I enjoy perusing Target, but don’t go unless there’s a true need. Keeping focused on the end goal really helps us keep our wants in check along the way!

    jodi´s last blog post…My Cutie

    • jpritchard

      jodi, this is my DREAM 🙂 my husband & i would love to own land…not a giant ranch, just a little plot. enough to grow a big garden. enough for kids to run & play & explore. enough for fresh air. and the huge, daunting task of paying back my medical school loans is looming overhead…but i know that through many more years of “living like students”, our sacrifices will be worth it….i just hope it’s before we’re 80!

      jpritchard´s last blog post…up next….

  4. Kelly

    I am constantly preaching the gospel of the thrift store. Considering the beautiful things I find for myself and my daughter I am always surprised at how negatively people react to the idea.

    • Debbie

      I find myself is the same situation. I get a lot of compliments on my home and my wardrobe. Yet if I mention I picked something up at a thrift shop people are appalled. Here’s a recent example:
      I wore a great Jones of New York suit to work.Someone asked me where I bought it . The expression on their faces when I said Goodwill was just ludicrous!

      Debbie´s last blog post…

      • simplemom

        I’d say 95% of my clothes are from Goodwill. And they’re originally from places like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and Calvin Klein. So worth it to me.

        • Michelle

          I agree. The other thing that is nice about it is that by re-using clothing, you’re being green too!

        • V. Higgins

          I just wish our Goodwill was in a better area, our town is kind of middle-of-nowhere and our Goodwill rarely carries quality items 🙁 I grew up shopping at a consignment store during high school/college, I got my BEST clothes there!

  5. Bryssy

    You are right, everything and everyone has a price.

    For me, I cut everybody’s hair in my family (even my own), I don’t buy fancy food (flavored coffe), we go out only 2 times a year for dinner, we don’t watch tv (no cable bill), I make our bread instead of buying it (about $0.80 a loaf), our family wears sclothes (nice ones even) bought at second hand and consignment stores.

    Right now both my husband and I both work full-time, but our goal is to homeschool our children, so I will not be working in another year when our oldest is ready for Kindergarten. I work a second job (part time) so that I can pad our savings with that income.

    And even with all those things, we live what I think is a decadent lifestyle. We have everything we need. We are able to support charities and our church. We are happy. We are not suffering during this economic downturn. So, I am happy that I sacrifice, most of the time.

    Sometimes I feel a bit jealous of friends and family that seem to spend money without regard. They have new furniture (when I buy secondhand and at fleamarkets and refinish it myself), remodeled kitchens, new washers and dryers, fancy cars, new iPhones, and babysitters and pedicures at whim. They don’t talk about stress over money, but I am sure it is there.

    I am always trying to trim the fat off our budget in order to put away a few more pennies. Yesterday, my 3-year-old cried for 30 minutes non-stop because we didn’t go to McDonalds when “everyone else” has money to go. I cried, too. I wish that I could just spend $3.19 on a Happy Meal without a care in the world. But, in the end, I know she is learning a life lesson about money and spending. We ended up eating by candlelight (chicken nuggets and apples with chocolate milk – a homemade happy meal) and we all had a fine time.

    I am always asking myself, what is my price? What am I teaching my kids about their own worth? Do I value her less because we didn’t go to McDonalds?

    Bryssy´s last blog post…Words for Wednesday

    • simplemom

      Thanks for sharing that it’s hard sometimes for you, too, like it is for your child. I’ve teared up over saying no to things as well. It’s not easy. But it’s worth it, both financially, and for the life lessons we’re teaching our kids – it’s not wise to get everything we want.

  6. Kelly from Almost Frugal

    One of the things that I’m learning in economics this year is that there is a cost- of the next best opportunity foregone- to every opportunity. This means that if you choose to spend $5 on a book, you no longer have that that $5 to spend on something else. That is the opportunity lost.

    I think, like many of the other commenters here, that saving that money is a good thing, and not just lost opportunities. For me however, I’m mostly struggling with time choices at the moment- I’m working really hard- on my blog, at school, with my family. But the time I’m spending working now is going to pay off in the future.

    Everything is about choices, and the trick is to really strongly believe in the choices you make. You don’t always have the choice, so feel confident in the ones you do.

    Kelly from Almost Frugal´s last blog post…Becoming Frugal is Like Quitting Smoking

    • simplemom

      “Opportunity cost” is a great concept, both financially and in things like decorating your home. You might have lots of things in your home, but the opportunity cost is a cluttered home, more to clean, and a visually busy space. Not worth it to me.

      • Sherry

        I agree with you completely! What used to be my pride and joy; buying stuff to decorate my home, now has become something of the past. Not that I regret having them but more so now I seem to have changed my concept – which is the Zen concept. I have am more inclined to the minimilist look.

  7. Lucie @ Unconventional Origins

    This is a really great post. Being a responsible adult when it comes to money has been a long and difficult process for me. My spending habits are much more thought out than they used to be, but it’s still hard and I often have to remind myself I can’t have everything I want.

    We rarely eat out, ride our bikes a lot for transportation, don’t got to malls or stores unless we absolutely have to, and all of those things work. I have found if I keep away from temptation I make better spending choices.

    One thing I save up for is good haircuts. My hair is super curly, thick, and wild, so a hairstylist who knows what to do with this mess on top of my head is pretty priceless. But since I pay more for my haircuts I don’t get things like coloring.

    We also live in an apartment. I am also of the feeling that I don’t want a house until we can really afford it (mostly or all in cash) because a large mortgage means what was once a dream becomes a burden.

    Lucie @ Unconventional Origins´s last blog post…Your Dream Job – The Unconventional, The Traditional, and Somewhere Inbetween

  8. Avlor

    This is so true. It goes along with the saying my high school English teacher had over his door, “Actions have consequences.” If we spend all our money on the little things – there isn’t room for the big things.

    Avlor´s last blog post…Intentionally slowing down

  9. stephaniesmommybrain

    My husband gets asked at work how we “make it” with 4 kids and only his job. We make choices. To begin with he ALWAYS takes his lunch to work. Sandwiches and leftovers. Those lunches out add up in a hurry!

    But, somethings are worth paying for. I just had my hair cut again at the cheap place. Last time I used a gift card at an expensive (to me) place. It cost twice what the cheap one does. However, that is the only time I’ve loved my haircut. So, I’m afraid the cheap place is now dead to me. {sigh} I was afraid that would happen. Now I have to sacrifice in another area to get the haircut that I like.

    It’s all about choices and priorities.

    stephaniesmommybrain´s last blog post…I WON!

    • simplemom

      Cheap hair salons are dead to me as well. Sigh…

    • Cara

      I hear you on the haircut thing, but I’ve figured out that a great haircut is priceless! I only go 2 or 3 x a year, but as my cuts/color grow out, they look better than the cheap place! Plus, I spend less on the little things that scratch the “I look terrible” itch – makeup, clothes, face cream, the latest beauty product, etc. A great haircut is a great cure for what ails us – especially bad p.m.s.! If you find a great stylist who doesn’t cost a fortune ($400/visit) you’ve found a priceless treasure. When I found my current stylist, whom I adore, when I turned 30, I cried thinking I spent all of my 20’s with really bad hair! Life is too short for really BAD hair!

      • V. Higgins

        Seriously, having hair that is easy to take care of is worth every penny!! I can never go to a cheap place either, I’m totally ruined for them 😛 Think of it as saved time and emotional energy, if you feel good about yourself and don’t always just toss your hair up in a frustrated ponytail, life is just more enjoyable. 🙂

  10. MelissaS

    My husband and I talk about this a lot. We pore over large purchases and hem and haw over the decision to spend a chunk of money. Often, in the end, we decide it’s not something we NEED and the money would be better off in savings. For instance, last year we started looking at new homes. Mind you, we have a nice home in a middle-class neighborhood full of GREAT people. So why would we want to move? We thought we wanted more space, a bigger living room, an updated kitchen, etc. But the cost of getting those things was the necessity of me working, less money for vacations and entertainment, and the fact of a 30-year mortgage from scratch when we only have 10 years left on our current mortgage. In the end we decided to spend some cash on our own home, gave ourselves a great new kitchen, remodeled a bathroom and rearranged some other spaces. Now we still have our small mortgage, great neighbors and a home that really is customized to our needs!
    One thing we do spend on is our son’s day care. It is important to us that he is in a curriculum based enviroment that challenges and enriches him. That expense is worth skipping a fancy dinner out once in a while!

    MelissaS´s last blog post…My November Aloha RAK

  11. lolasmom

    What a fabulous post!

    I’ve given up fancy coffee to allow our family to go out to eat once a week. I’m also avoiding the malls and using the library instead of buying books. My husband was slow to catch on but now it’s getting difficult to splurge when I want to because he’s so aware of making every dollar worth it!

  12. Frugal Dad

    Awesome post! To me, this is the golden rule of frugal living. If you sacrifice just a little on extravagance, you can enjoy a rich quality of life by using your money for things that truly matter.

    We make lots of little sacrifices in our own lives to spend on a few nice things every now and then. As I mentioned in a post a while back, sometimes you just have to stop and smell the roses. Those sacrifices allow us to do just that from time to time.

    Frugal Dad´s last blog post…Cyber Monday Frugal Gift Ideas

  13. Writer Dad

    “You can have anything you want – but you can’t have everything you want.”

    WOW, is that a great quote. Makes sense from a domain as sensibly titled as Get Rich Slowly, but still. That’s one for the ages.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post…Writer Dad in Rough Draft

  14. Peggy

    Great post. I try to remind my daughters to think first before they purchase anything. When we go into a store they go for the clearence rack first. They aren’t dummies they know they will get more items than if they choose just one tthing from the front of the store. Now that they are grown and almost grown up they love to brag about the deals they find. I’m proud of my frugal shoppers.

    Peggy´s last blog post…Whew!

  15. Leila

    Great post!
    In reality, we all have so much! It would take all our energy and more to get everything, and not be fun!!

    Leila´s last blog post…How do you decorate for Advent?

  16. Michelle

    Great post, really important at this time of the year when people are running around purchasing and purchasing items that they might not truly need.
    For me, it is still important to buy some items organic, environmentally friendly, and I skimp on other things.

  17. Mandy

    We live in a very rural area of Ga. The school systems around here are the pits (about a 40% high school graduation rate). We pay a pretty penny for our kids to go to private school. It has cost us new cars and other luxury items but it has been well worth it.

    Mandy´s last blog post…

  18. Turtle

    Most of our clothes are from the sales racks in outlet malls or from the higher end goodwills. Quality is important but we are not trendy. We grow what we can, buy in bulk on sale, trade with neighbors….my canning for their garden goods, etc. I also do many trades at work, i do a spa pedicure for a man each month and he buys my monthly ferry pass, I trade for my daughters haircuts, facials for us both, waxing, massage. I color daughters hair and stretch my haircuts and color out by touching up my own at home in between apts. I make most of the hoiday gifts we give . We use for both giving and getting. Someday we hope to build our dream home with a mother in law home for my mom who will retire this winter. With the economy we are staying in our current home but property shopping in the meantime. Our home is not an expensive one (which always suprises our friends who are in debt up to their ears) but it is nice, on a lake and well , well, well within our budget. We have all we need and are comfortable but someday! Till then……we enjoy what we have.

    Turtle´s last blog post…where has the year flown to?

  19. Carrie

    Your points are all very important to me.
    Our family also considers other “hidden” costs when we spend money. How much does this item cost the environment? How will this item affect my family’s health? Was this item made by people asked to live in unacceptable circumstances so that I can get a cheap (in dollars) price? Did this item get shipped from super far away, causing an extra huge carbon footprint? What about the packaging? Could I find this item locally or borrow it from a neighbor?
    All of these things matter a great deal in terms of a psychological cost for me. What and how we buy things is one of the strongest votes we have and I feel the best when I “vote” in direct line with my values.

    Carrie´s last blog post…Pumpkin, Leek and Chard Enchilada Casserole

    • simplemom

      Excellent point, Carrie. Thanks for reminding us, and thanks for wording it so well.

  20. Kyndale

    In my home I don’t have a lot of luxuries. I say that my biggest luxury is buying organic meat and feeding my family good healthy food that may cost a bit more. I think it’s worth it. I also use cloth diapers and I never use paper towels. I have collected, over the years, hundreds of dish towels that I use. I also use washcloths (that I tie dyed!) for clean ups. I do have to get my $40 hair cut though. I have tried over and over to get that 20 hair cut but it never turns out good with my hair type.

  21. Kayla Oakes

    On that note…the carbon footprint….I was just informed that we (Port Angeles) actually ship our garbage out to a landfill in Olympia (I hope I have the location correct). Regardless, when our trash is picked up, it doesn’t just truck down the road to a local landfill….it is actually transferred to a large truck and hauled many miles away. This is all the more reason to recycle, compost, reduce waste and stay away from large, non-recyclable containers.

    Just FYI…I had no idea!!

    • Kyndale

      What I do to lessen my impact on the earth is fun! It’s really not a sacrafice. I see all my neighbors put out huge amounts of trash every week. I have three kids and we forget to put out the trash because we don’t have to. About once a month we put out the trash with our recycling. Actually, between composting, and recycling, we have very little trash. It feels good.

  22. Lynnette

    My family is considered below poverty level because of our income or lack there of. BUT we always have enough to eat, we have a roof over our heads, cars to get where we need, some savings and no debt. Personally I am ok with not having all the extra and living with less entertainment. I do need to learn how to spend more on quality that lasts instead of the cheapest I can find. Thrift stores are great but I tend to just get what I like instead of looking at the brand, perhaps it is because I don’t really know what brands are really quality and which ones are just a label.
    We are still looking at ways to live a quality life that is by most people’s standard roughing it. We want to build a house out of energy efficient methods that will last and build it ourselves. So for now we research and don’t buy everything our whims take us. It helps we are not bombarded with t.v. commercials and live in a small town that keeps us from window shopping.
    Thanks for the hints in the comments on how to keep our focus and reach our goals.

    Lynnette´s last blog post…

  23. Sarah Park

    Wow, another incredibly insightful and well-written post! This was awesome. This really aligns exactly with our philosophy, too. And it’s nice to be reminded that our skimping on some things (no tv, only getting clothes as gifts) is what enables us to spend in other areas (quality haircuts for me :-), raw milk, no-hormone meat). It’s far too easy for me to start internally grousing about the things I wish I could buy, when really… we *have* made the priorities that are right for us.

  24. Briana

    Great post. Some good things to think through again. My husband and I are currently “living like no one else” in order to get my student loan paid off. This is a good exercise to do every now and then to make sure we are truly having what we really want and not settling for immediate gratification and the pleasure of the moment.

    Briana´s last blog post…Search and Win

  25. Kelley

    We are currently sacrificing many meaningless luxuries in order for me to stay home with our children. I’ve never lived liked this- buying only on sale, buying used, saying “no”, etc. I’m enjoying the creative part of this lifestyle as well as the simplicity of it all. The cost for our family would be greater if I went back to work (and end up barely covering childcare) and someone else was caring for our children. No thing can replace time with my kids.

    Kelley´s last blog post…25 days of Christmas

  26. Carrie Lim

    I want my family to eat organic foods that are good to the environment and are produced in a way that does not harm the environment. The price of these foods is more expensive. We eat a little less meat and more veggis and fruits. (A sacrifice my husband would say is hard) We buy less snacks and higher quality foods. We also do not get to go out to eat as much. The benefit is my family is eating better and I know I am shopping at a store that is giving back to our world and working hard to save and mend what damage we have already done.

    Carrie Lim´s last blog post…Party favor’s for Sinky’s 1 year old Birthday

  27. Amie Hartman

    Thank you for another well written post!
    A few years ago, I left a higher salaried career that required a 45-min. commute for a 4 day work week at a small company only a 10 min. drive from home. This has meant a few sacrifices or changes. I now bring my lunch, no more designer suits, no trips to the spa for those pedicures and manicures (though I do treat myself once a year), 3 haircuts a year instead of 6. The payoff – more time with the kids, money set aside for the badly needed renovations on our home, education fund for both kids, AND a less stress on the environment.

    I still have a long way to go before I can say that I’m living the simple life that I desire, but I can say that I’m proud of the baby steps that I have taken.

    Amie Hartman´s last blog post…More Gift Ideas – under $40US

  28. Lisa

    My husband and I both really value high quality items for our home and we’d prefer to buy a really nice used item to buying a lower quality new one that would be in our price range. Right now though, our biggest “luxury” item is my ability to stay home with our children. That has meant sacrificing lots of things – like many others have commented – but I wouldn’t trade it. After my first daughter was born, I continued working part time to pad our savings so we could have a significant down payment for our first (small, modest) home. Sometimes I struggle with the fact that my kids don’t have their own rooms, that we don’t have this or that that my other friends have but I honestly love our simple lifestyle. I hope that even when money isn’t as tight we will always make simplicity a priority.

  29. Chelo Marroquin

    I think it’s really important to remember ALL of the things in the article. By the way which is great!
    It’s hard too as the kids get older and they want the name brand things that just don’t make sense!!! I mean $160 for shoes for a 9year old that will only be wearing them for probably a year because of growth.
    I think it’s really important to keep everything in perspective. Why do we need the really big TV? By the way there is nothing wrong with shopping at a thrift store to get second hand quality items.

    Chelo Marroquin´s last blog post…Week in Review: 11/17/2008

  30. Mary

    Great post! We followed much of this advice when we raised our kids – it served us well financially – I just wish we had played more and enjoyed of the journey. Even though we lived in a humble little home for many of those years, we could have taken the time to just play and enjoy the journey while we waited for the better things that did indeed come.

    Mary´s last blog post…Consider adding a taste of Savannah to your Thanksgiving menu …

  31. Gabrielle

    We try to buy less, but when we do, we get quality items that will last. Great blog, today! Thank you.

    Gabrielle´s last blog post…It’s Time To Get Lean

  32. jpritchard

    i think this is an awesome post–& just in time for the friendly reminder this holiday season that life, in all its bustle, is not about the STUFF 🙂

    after reading through the comments, i’m thoroughly impressed with how many of you seem to have your spouses on the EXACT same page (or so it seems from your writing). did you have to work at it–toward a common goal? or did you both set such standards/ boundaries from the beginning? furthermore, what tips &/or “life lessons” would you give someone else working toward the same goals alongside a spouse/partner who isn’t completely on the same wavelength?? for example, my husband (he’s awesome) & i have decided that we’ll only go out to eat during the lunch hour (food is cheaper) & we only go about once every two months, if that. however, his work “requires” lots of “meetings” at lunch, usually away from the workplace @ a restaurant/deli. so although we don’t go out much together (we try to get a little more creative on dates than watching each other eat), he still eats out with colleagues at least once per week. i’d certainly like to open his eyes to the money we *could* be saving but am hesitant to bring it up.

    any tips? insight? former “stupid debt-now-i-see-the-light” stories?

    jpritchard´s last blog post…up next….

    • Kelley

      To jpritchard-
      I think you should bring the eating out expense up to your husband, in love- of course! It sounds like he doesn’t have a choice most of the time. What helps us is to look at the big picture. So, what is this costing us per month? Per year? There may not be anything he can do since it’s for work. Maybe he could ask his boss for an allowance/budget for his lunch meetings. Maybe he could meet his clients at the office in the morning for coffee and pastries instead of an expensive lunch. You could make banana bread for him to take to support the cause! Hope one of these suggestions helps you.

  33. Jane Choo

    I agree. The other thing that is nice about it is that by re-using clothing, you’re being green too!

  34. Lori

    My husband is an incredibly wise and frugal man, and I actually admire him for it! While building our home as newlyweds we agreed to NOT incur ANY debt on furnishing it. 14 months later we still have some empty rooms, but that’s okay. When I look at our purchases thus far, I really love the character we are building and the story behind each piece we’ve purchased. PLUS their paid for…in FULL. It will likely take us years to fully furnish our home, but that’s okay with us.
    Also, in these economic times we recently sat down and agreed to really buckle down and always ask ourselves “Is it something we NEED, or something we WANT?”; and we are ONLY purchasing what we NEED. Sometimes that’s tough to swallow, but we really dream of retiring at 55, locking up the house for a year and jumping in an RV to discover AMERICA.
    We keep our eyes on the prize!

  35. Amiyrah

    Wonderful post! Thanks for writing this. This is how we think in our household and its fantastic to see another family feeling the same way.

    Amiyrah´s last blog post…The best laid plans….

  36. V. Higgins

    What a great post! I actually just realize this concept about 2 or 3 months ago in my own personal finances. Since I got out of college and started working full -time I had a small portion of my paycheck just for whatever I wanted (usually about $25 a week), it was my fun money and kept me from wastefully spending on big ticket items. But for about a year I spent that money on lunches, snacks and Starbucks. I would drool over a nice pair of boots or something online and bemoan how I never seemed to have enough to get it. Then I started just setting aside my fun money and leaving it alone until I could afford what I was wanting. I’ve been able to slowly build my makeup (I had next to nothing and work in a corporation, to move forward I realized I needed to look more professional). I was able to get that nice kit or brush and not dip into money that was for something else. It was a such a freeing moment for me when I realized that! Yeah, I rarely ever got Starbucks anymore and I was bringing lunch with me every day, but it was worth it for me.
    Now I’m taking about half of my fun money every month and putting it in a High Yield Savings Account to save up for an all out trip to Disneyland with my sister for her 30th birthday in a few years. Giving up my coffee and little things is totally worth it to create lifelong memories with my only sibling. 🙂 To keep myself motivated I’ve printed out pictures of the trips we took while I was in college, the huge smile on her face keeps me from feeling deprived.

  37. Dominique

    I do believe in saving up and only purchasing what you really need. It is possible to get what you want when your proritise and set your mind to it.

    Dominique´s last blog post…Learning to read with RIF

  38. Sarah H.

    Very thought-provoking post! One example I can think of off the top of my head is shoes. I haven’t had much luck with cheap shoes. So I spend the extra money up front and get good shoes that will last longer. I love your examples…great post!

  39. Jendi

    I so agree!
    My dad always says, “People have money for what they want.”
    The part about the blog really resounded with me even though right now I’m struggling with mine. I like it and I’m seeing some slight growth just going through a discouraging time.

  40. Amy

    Fantastic post … definitely one I”ll be linking on my site when I do a roundup tomorrow 🙂 Really great information & very thought provoking. Our kids are wonderful but sometimes they have meltdowns over similar ‘little things’ that others have that we choose to not have due to our commitment to other things. It’s a tough balance & hard to watch our children learn those lessons. Thank you for sharing!

    Amy´s last blog post…The Essential Time-Saving Guide for Busy People

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