Oh good, now we have our holiday card.
The above photo was taken by a professional photographer (Jody Gross for any locals!). We chipped in to do a big family photo session for Josh’s parents’ 50th anniversary. So worth it!
We did a big frugality episode last week on BOBW, and Josh commented to me that perhaps I am not the most qualified to lead such an episode. And he’s right; in general, I tend to like to spend. My personal ‘allowance’ does not last long; in fact I’m currently in some allowance debt (not real debt, just in my own YNAB fund) because I splurged on my current laptop when my old one bit the dust a little earlier than planned.
BUT, I don’t know. I think I spend pretty intentionally, for the most part. And to me, that is one facet of frugality.
Plus, one person’s frugal is another person’s spendy. It’s all somewhat relative.
Things I enjoy spending money on:
Plentiful, high-quality childcare.
Preschool. Camp and activities for the kids.
Some really nice clothes for the kids (mixed with cheap staples & hand-me-downs). See above Tea outfits. Getting them some nice clothing really brings me joy.
Vacations. Including fancy hotels sometimes. This is probably my favorite indulgence.
Beauty ‘investments’ – my hair straightening, pedicures every month or so, makeup (very sparingly, I tend to find products last a long time and I am not frequently shopping this genre, but sometimes I will splurge on favorite things)
Clothes for me. But I find myself buying much less often than I used to. I haven’t replaced my jeans in years. I am wearing the same few dresses to work most of the time. I am trying to get more wear out of my garments than I used to.
FOOD. Both groceries (at least I get deals and 5% back at Whole Foods with my amazon credit card) and restaurants. What can I say? I love good food. I feel like as long as we are not wasting food, we are doing okay in this realm.
Things I used to spend more money on but have not been doing as much lately:
Workouts. I joined a gym and love it, but find I get a more convenient and just-as-appealing workout at home most of the time and it fits better in my current life season. So I’m going to go ‘a la carte’ and make outside workouts a special treat (once/week or less often) rather than a high monthly expense.
Stationery products. !!!! You know what, I think I just got saturated. Plus I have found that my Hobonichi planner is most of what I need. I’ve even been reusing an old cover from 2016 (black, leather, professional) and this will probably continue to hold up for years to come.
Things I really don’t like spending money on:
Additional tech gadgets (no apple watch, no iPad, etc)
Home decor items or renovations of any kind. This is the absolute lowest priority for me. It’s SO expensive and I tend to not notice my surroundings much as long as they are neat and clean.
Living in a super-expensive area. Yes — for this reason, I am glad we moved out of Miami Beach. I do miss being able to walk to family gatherings and having easy access to so many good restaurants but — it’s not that far! I feel like I’ve just traded some weekday commute time for weekend commute time.
On this note, we also plan to try to keep our kids in the (excellent) public school system. We are outliers as physicians in the health system where we work in this regard, but man – it’s an insanely expensive decision to send 3 kids to private school! As product of public school myself, I guess I just want to believe that it will all be okay even if we do not ‘invest’ in fancy connections and opportunities. Maybe the kids will grow up with more perspective, too — never a bad thing. I’d rather have that money to take the family on amazing trips, and to save it for college!
What do you like to spend out on?