When I was growing up my Mother taught me to be frugal because I was raised by my Grandparents. However, my Mother mandated that I always spend money on two items: 1.) my teeth and 2.) my feet. To this day I am very particular about my shoes - they must be comfortable. And I never run out of baking soda and salt for polishing my teeth, tooth whitener, mouth wash or tooth paste.
Both of my Mother's mandates were for health purposes.
What are your mantras of throwing frugal to the wind and why?
I have three factors/requirements that go into my one mantra:
1. Something that will benefit my kids in some way, even if it's in a small or indirect way.
2. Something that will assist me in earning money/making a living.
3. Something that, if bought, will make me feel happier (and that I can justify buying by saying, "Well, it's a lot cheaper than paying for anti-depressants." )
So, I guess my mantra is something like, "Contributes something positive, and ideally long-term, to life (mine, my kids', or that of someone else that I love) in some meaningful, even if small, way. (Of course, that "cheaper-than-anti-depressants" thing can cover a lot of "throwing 'frugal' to the wind, and a whole lot of different kinds of spending, much of the time. ) In all seriousness, I guess my "thing" is whether or not something contributes to the mental/emotional wellbeing of family members and myself (with financial stability/aims being something that does contribute to overall wellbeing - but also allows for more spending on that other spending that's aimed at mental/emotional well-being.
Facebook has gotten me addicted to their online games. So once every pay period, every two weeks, I'll spend $10 on my favorite game on there. But that's it! LOL, it's so terrible but everyone else in the house gets what they want or need. This little thing makes me happy and cost less per month than anything they get.
Nothing, cannot afford it. I am not good at making money,I guess, at least I can save.
There are a few things we "splurge" on -
Things for the kids. My older son plays beginner ice hockey and loves it - so we pony up for the ice fees. We want to start piano lessons for him, too. My little one wants to play tennis (they actually have a program for four year olds), and we will sacrifice almost anything to let them develop different skills/enhance their education.
Vacations - we are going to save every penny to get to Myrtle Beach this spring break. We need a break from the snow, and the kids really enjoy going on trips. We do a lot to save money on vacations (hello, Hotwire!) but we also like that time to be stress-free and full of fun.
The last thing is medical expenses. My little guy needs new hearing aids every 4-5 years and medical insurance doesn't cover hearing aids for children. We could get the cheapest ones available, I suppose, but since we are essentially buying his "ears," we go for the higher quality digital ones. $6,000 every four years - ouch!
The only thing I splurge on is vacations. I've always thought that as a family it's important to spend quality time together (I know there are cheaper ways) but two weeks away from the usual environment, without any of the usual stresses, is good for us all.
I try to live as frugally as possible w/o depriving myself and my family of the things we enjoy. I look for good value, ignore designer labels, and splurge on things that are well-made and will stand the test of time. I'd rather prepare a nice dinner and have friends in than go out to a restaurant- it's more intimate and relaxing. When vacationing, we insist on being comfortable but do not feel the need to go for the highest-end. It's more rewarding to fit in w/ the locals and see the sights, not sit in a fancy hotel room. Of course, a romantic getaway is different!
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