A little while ago, my friend Kate shared a post about the things she does or does not spend (her hard-earned) money on and I am jumping on the bandwagon, because if I have learned one thing over the years while budgeting, it is that people just prioritize their spending in different ways. And while it is interesting to see where other people spend their money, it really shouldn’t have any influence on your own priorities whatsoever.
But because comparing on the Internet is fun, I’ll share with you what things I do and don’t pay for.
What I pay for
Both groceries and eating out. J and I like to cook and we like to cook good food. I’ve said this many times before, our grocery spending falls in the “moderate to liberal spending category” for two adults per month and I am trying to be ok with it because we value good food.
I know, we’re probably some of the few people who still pay for cable, but it’s worth it to us. We regularly watch news/talk shows on cable networks that we wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. I also really love all the animal and nature shows on NatGeo to zone out to (and knit).
+ Running stuff
I admit it, running is a relatively cheap sport if you want it to be, but there are also so many cool clothing items and shoes and gadgets to buy and races to pay for. I have made a bit of room in my budget for all things running related (mostly because they make me happy). On a side note, I only enter maybe a handful of races per year, so I am picky about the races I will sign up for in order to try and keep the entry fees (which sometimes can be hefty) in check.
It’s always something that is on my mind when I think about where I want my money to go. I try to go home once a year and then also try to see some of the beauty that I am surrounded by here in California (and the US in general). Well, I wish that travel was more of a priority right now (and that I had more time off, ha!), but I do generally like to pay for experiences > things.
I’ve become a bit of a yarn snob over the years, I won’t just knit with any old yarn. If I spend the time to make something, I want it to feel good and be high quality. So, when I buy yarn, I make sure it’s quality yarn, like the gradient yarn from 100Farbspiele.
What I don’t pay for
I know that sounds terrible. Ideally, I’d want this to be one of my “what I pay for” categories, but in all honesty, I get all my books from the library these days. My Amazon Fire + Overdrive are my bffs. It’s just easy, convenient and I only buy physical copies of the books that I really LOVE and would like to own.
+ Coffee at Coffee shops
I love coffee shops and of course, every once in a while I will walk into one and order a fancy drink, but mostly, I make my own coffee at home (or at the office).
I do likemy coffee with lots of milk, so if I feel like a latte, I can also make those at home because I own a fancy milk frother, (ok, minus the fancy foam art, I don’t have the patience for this). There is little reason for me to drop $5 on a caffeinated drink. If you want to give me budgeting advice, don’t tell me to cut out my Starbucks habit. I don’t have one.
+ Hair salon
I have (for now) given up on getting my hair done professionally at the hair salon. It’s just too frickin’ expensive. I only got it done twice a year as it was, but I easily paid $150 (incl. tip) for color and trimming my ends. I decided that for now, I am cutting down the cost even more. I color my own hair at home and get a trim at the barbershop.
I am not particularly fashionable, I probably would say that I don’t even have a “style” (unless you count jeans and t-shirt as a style), although sometimes I wish I did. (How did you find your style?) I can pretty much wear whatever I want to work, so I also don’t need a closet of fancy work outfits. I sometimes invest in a few higher quality items (like my Birkenstocks), but most of my clothing was on sale and/or pretty inexpensive. It’s just not a priority.
+ Music apps
Most of the music I like to listen to, I own already, so I don’t subscribe to Spotify or Pandora. I like the idea of dedicated music channels (like the “Pearl Jam channel”), but there would be no way I’d have the time to listen enough to make the subscription worthwhile. I know some people can’t live without these apps, but since I also don’t have an unlimited data plan at this time, it would eat up my data even faster than it already does.
What do or don’t you spent money on?