With the coming of the New Year, I want to briefly focus on a few aspects of living a frugal life. I love sharing how we chug along with keeping our goals in this family, and the pitfalls that we may encounter. But, I do also love sharing with you all, and finding out from you all, the ins and outs, ups and downs of trying to save.
Today, I wanted to share the few things that we don’t do frugally. Yes, there are some things that we choose not to worry about when it comes to how much it costs. I do know that these things can be done in a frugal way, but I found that we need a balance in our lives of what to hold back on and what to splurge on. I’ll try to explain why we do what we do in each one:
1. We go to the movies. Movies are something that are near and dear to mine and Hubby’s hearts. Yes, we are the couple that you can ask about “so and so” movie with “so and so” in it, if you don’t remember the exact name. More often than not, we’ll have the answer. This is something that we bonded over when we were dating (along with our love of obsure 80s cartoons) and something we choose not to let go. For those 2 hours or so, we are in a whole other place. It becomes a mini-vacation for us, without having to pack a bag.
Yes, there are ways to save on this. Matinees(which we try to do), free movie tickets from swagbucks(which we’ve done a few times) and even waiting until it comes on video or on television. But, we don’t really like to do that. We like to treat ourselves to a night out, WITH expensive movie popcorn and drinks, and get away through film. Although this is becoming an even bigger splurge for us, we probably won’t falter. When it comes to blockbusters, or those have-to-see kids films, we’re in line to see. And we don’t feel at all bad about it.
2. Cable. Yes, we have cable. Not only do we have cable, but we have cable in two rooms with a DVR box in one room. Premium cable. “Good” cable. This actually is one of those splurges that my Husband won’t do without. He lived with a grandmother and aunt who took a long time to decide on basic cable, and then moved in with roomates who had no intention of allowing cable in their house(this will contribute to splurge #3). So, he feels he needs this. Me, on the other hand, grew up with cable in every room and gets “cabeled out” quite easily, unless it’s on a food show. We do enjoy having cable at the moment, but to be truthful, this would be the first thing to go, on my list, if we needed to cut back drastically.
3. DVDs. This splurge was one that we fell upon when we moved in together before our wedding. We realized that we each had a substantial DVD collection. A few doubles of movies we both loved, and of course, the movies that might have just been loved by one of us. I’ll take responsibility for this one. Since I worked at a video rental place for 2 years, we were able to get the newest releases, and some of our old favorites, for next to nothing by combining sales and my discount. I don’t dare count the amount of DVDs we have now, but each movie that we still have(we purged quite a few a while ago when we moved from our first apartment) actually hold some type of importance. Whether is one that we know will cheer us up, or one that we remember seeing as a kid and takes you back to that time, they all hold a memory of some sort. And yes, we do keep adding to the bunch. Like I said in #1 we have a “thing” for movies.
4. The Boy. I think as a parent, this one is a given. There are a few things that we do frugally when it comes to Sonny Boy, like getting his clothes at a discount, and finding his vitamins and special dietary foods on sale, but if he needs it, we buy it. Plain and simple. The most recent example of this is the amount of his new school. He was already past the age that he should have been in school, and I was very leary to let him go. But, when it came down to it, we did end up picking one the most expensive schools in our area. Why? Because he has less than a year to be ready for kindergarten, and I want him to be part of the best learning environment possible. There are always ways to cut back on something else, but I learned from being blessed to attend 10 years of private school, the best possible learning sets your child up for continued confidence. Confidence not only in school, but in life. So, if we one day have to cut out the first 3 splurges to take care of this one, so be it. It’s that important to us.
Now, because we don’t give on these few things, we do buckle down on everything else. We see these things as the icing on the very frugal cake we build all year. If we didn’t stay aware of all the other aspects of our everyday life, like bills, well taken care-of vehicles, and stocked fridge and pantry, we could not dwell in these “luxuries.” We could easily take away all of these things and ascend even higher into savings, but I wouldn’t want to risk the sanity of my family. I gotta give them some slack every once in a while so they don’t hate me. I’m a good Mom like that; make them delve into the fugal life just deep enough and then pull them back with a new DVD. For this, splurges are just fine for us :o).