Even though our inclination is to save and invest money, that doesn’t mean we save every penny. We do spend money on a few different things that aren’t necessary. While we do try to stay pretty frugal, we also want to enjoy life. So if you were looking for a reason to justify spending money on something you want but don’t need, this is the post you’ve been looking for.
Why We’re Sometimes Ok with Unnecessary Spending
Sometimes if you’re extremely canny, you get wrapped up in working for the future, but not appreciating the present. If you have all your bases covered, then why not allow yourself to have a little fun? Why not indulge yourself with a fancy coffee every few months?
If you’ve read our other posts from the Personal Finance Section such as, How to Engage in Smart Spending or 5 Things to Cut Out to Save Money, you’re pretty aware that we don’t like spending much. We’d rather save and invest for the future. We do focus heavily on the future, but we also don’t want to make ourselves miserable by pretending we have no extra money to spend on things we want or need in the present. To some extent we live like broke college students. We’re in an apartment much smaller than we need to be. We figured out a budget for our time here in New Mexico. We’ve already set a rough budget for our wedding (we’re not even engaged yet). We have retirement accounts and enough money in savings for most emergencies.
We want to have an amazing future together and enough financial resources to make that easier. But we also want our lives right now to be great. Yes, we spend most of our waking hours working out, working, trading, blogging, building up the Instagram page, and learning how to improve in all of those things. But when we have time, we sometimes spend money on things we want.
Motorcycles are one thing we don’t skimp on. We typically buy used motorcycles, but we ended up buy new dirt bikes this time. There just aren’t many options here. We specifically wanted trail bikes rather than MX bikes. MX bikes are more expensive anyway, so even if we found used ones that looked good, the price wouldn’t have been too different compared to the new trail focused ones. In addition to the bikes themselves, we also bought gear. Most of it was also brand new. This is pretty weird for us since we often buy things secondhand. Again, this was just due to limited options. Even finding new women’s gear was kind of challenging. We’ve both crashed a few times, so having all the proper gear is important to us.
These purchases were some of the biggest we’ve made in a long time. We justify it to ourselves because we will use all this for years. It’ll keep us entertained and get us out of the apartment. We looked for cheaper options for bikes and gear, but there just isn’t much here. Motorcycles are one of the few hobbies we have. You can see some photos on our Instagram.
We have started getting food out a little more regularly. We’re up to once or twice a week. Typically, we get a small takeout meal as a second dinner. In total we spend around $10-30 on this extra meal or two each week. We’re fine with this because: a) We usually get healthy-ish food. b) we sometimes even subtract that from our grocery budget, so really we aren’t spending more that week. c) gives us a reason to get out at night on weekends without interacting with too many people. d) extra calories.
It’s not a ton of money. Yes, it would add up if we saved that, but really it’s not going to make a huge difference. So that’s one way we spend money to indulge ourselves now instead of focusing on future finances.
Stuff for the Dog
If I didn’t already have Chili, I don’t think we would have a dog. They cost a bit to take care of and we probably wouldn’t want to put that extra money towards a pet. Especially now, because we don’t have a lot of time to spend with the poor little dude. He doesn’t seem to care though. He just naps a lot. Anyways, we do have a dog and we do spend money on him. He’s been having behavior issues for the past few months, as you may know from the post The Pros and Cons of Having a Dog. So we’ve spent some money on trying different training products for him. We also buy this expensive grain-free food for him because he’s picky and has a sensitive stomach.
Not that we can travel right now because of coronavirus, but we used to go on either day trips or weekend trips. Some examples are in Our Weekend Road Trip to Carlsbad, New Mexico and Date Ideas: Meow Wolf Santa Fe. So far we haven’t spent too much on these trips, just around $50-250. We don’t go to the fanciest hotels or get the most expensive food, so we still go into these trips with a frugal mindset. We just allow ourselves to spend money and go on these trips. If we really didn’t want to spend any money, obviously we just wouldn’t travel anywhere.
These are just the main things we spend money on that we don’t really need. It doesn’t happen often (except getting food), but they’re all things we enjoy in the present. Remembering to balance living life now and preparing for the future is difficult. Being ok with spending money on a few things we want currently is one of the ways we keep the balance.