I Buy Whatever I Want

I am a huge pro wrestling nerd. (Yes, I know it’s scripted but it’s still real to me dammit!). I am such a geek about it that I managed to incorporate it during my best man speech at my brother’s wedding. First, like a true wrestling heel (i.e. bad guy) I got the crowd to boo me by making fun of the local NBA team (Golden State Warriors), and then finished my speech by getting the crowd to stand up and chant “YES!” in unison like then WWE Champ Daniel Bryan. It. Was. Epic.

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What does this have to do with anything?

The week after I got laid off my brother and I went to a WWE event at The Staples Center in LA. Since my brother isn’t much of a wrestling guy (he is not the biggest fan of watching men in tights battle ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ), I offered to pay for both of us. Total cost? Over $300 for two suite tickets.

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Over 30 and it’s still real to us.

This is not really an expense you would expect from a guy who sometimes describes as cheap, right? But here’s the thing that people might not realize about me – I actually LIKE spending money.

For example, there are quite of few things that my family has spent money on recently that some might think is a bit extravagant for such frugal folks:
• iPhone 6 for wife – $750 (subsidized plans or monthly payments are the devil)
• New Orleans Vacation – $2800
• Christmas gifts – +$1000
• Annual Membership to the Long Beach Aquarium – $125
• An I Love the 90’s Concert featuring Vanilla Ice and Color Me Bad. Seriously. – $125

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It’s Okay to Spend Money on Fun
I think a common misconception about budget nerds like me is that we don’t do anything fun with money. You have to save everything and you should never buy a fancy outfit or a 4KTV. That’s not the case at all. If those things are important to you – by all means buy it. We all work hard for our money. If you can afford something, you shouldn’t feel guilty about buying something others might think is silly.

Buying Whatever I Want
Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich says “Spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.” Being money conscious is all about making sure what you’re spending on really matters to you.

My wife and I are frugal in some areas so that we can spend more on what is most important to us. We have a smaller house, cheaper cars, and older gadgets so so that we can afford to go on vacations, weekend adventures, and even go to a crappy concert. My wife, who likes to go shopping for her and Addie on occasion, balances out her spending by cutting back on work lunches and cooking at home.

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It’s in the budget.

For the most part, our wants aren’t things but memorable experiences and a brighter future for our family. My daughter will probably grow up not having the coolest toys or clothes, but she will experience the world and will always be taken care of. We’ll probably spoil her plenty with some stuff along the way. 🙂

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Saving for Tomorrow vs. Spending Now
Now I’m not suggesting that you should blow your money to have fun today. Before Addie, I didn’t want to sacrifice fun in the present by focusing too much on saving for the future. I now realize that if you pay a little attention to your money, YOU COULD ACTUALLY DO BOTH.

It’s all about finding that balance between seizing the day and planning for the future (Kristin from Brokepedia has a great post on how to go about doing that).

All of our savings goals (retirement, vacations, investments, emergency fund) are immediately paid on the first of the month so that we can spend the rest of the money on whatever we want. Even with my current layoff, we are still able to afford to go out and buy random crap because we have a decent cushion (and the superpower of budgeting).

Kristin said it best –

“If you’re saving enough for the future and saving to make your dreams a reality, who cares how you spend your money?”

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26 thoughts on “I Buy Whatever I Want

  1. Thanks for the mention, Vic! YES. It’s okay to spend (love the title of this post, btw). Money is just a tool for buying things you want, whether that’s a trip to New Orleans, financial security, or even (I guess) tickets to a Vanilla Ice concert 😛 And frugality is a tool to help you make the most out of your money. Love this post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved that post Kristin!

      Yep! I’m all about being frugal in some areas so I can splurge in others.

      I know a Vanilla Ice concert sounds crazy, but it’ll probably be a lot of fun! You should go! It’s in Downtown LA in March – I bet if you tell your fiance he’d be totally down! Think about it! 😉

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  2. I never read How to Be Rich, but I fully agree with the statement “Spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.”
    I`m happy when I get a bargain but if I want something that is expensive *and I can afford it* I will buy it. Mine would be fashion. Others may think we have too many holidays, but when money enters such a discussion, I`m always surprised at how much others are spending on theirs. “You can go to Egypt,” my friend says “It was only EUR 2000 for a week!” Our budget is just a bit more than half of that, and if that`s not possible, we`ll go elsewhere. That`s how we can go several times a year, and never once been in a “crappy” place.

    If I think something would give me a guilt trip (such as an expensive meal) I don`t want it, and that`s a good thing – so I, too, buy whatever I want 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One thing I need to be better at is price shopping.Unless it’s something simple like using a cash back card or ebates, I usually don’t take the extra time to comparison shop. I figure if it’s in the budget I’ll go ahead and buy it. Luckily I have my wife to price check things at the grocery store and when we go on vacations. 🙂

      I look at my YNAB budget all the time on my phone, so it makes me really think if I want to spend money when I’m out. It’s good to have that constant reminder so you know where your priorities stand!

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      1. Sometimes, comparing prices and isn`t really worth it, particularly if you`re busy. I don`t want to check prices for things like groceries and drive much further just to save a fiver, but with more expensive things, I always do.

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  3. Oh my gosh, that last picture with the lighthouse is gorgeous! I hope you have that framed somewhere.

    I LOVE this Vic – and you know why? Balance is key. Balance is everything. My balance may not always match others when it comes to finances, but that’s because I hope we are both finding ways to spend on what we value. 🙂 I am very much an advocate of paying yourself first & automating savings for all your goals. It makes it that much more plain view what is leftover to spend on things that I value (experiences, concerts, an occasional pint night out with some friends). Some months I can propel my future goals with money we may decided not to spend on those things – which is great because it adds even more balance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good idea Alyssa – I just might have to put that pic in a frame!

      To me paying yourself first is the only way to get ahead! If you wait until after you pay your bills and have fun, usually you won’t have much to save (if any). The great thing about how we budget (with YNAB) is that it kind of turns spending into a game. We pay ourselves first in the beginning and consciously spend throughout the month. Any extra money left over in our categories goes into our future goals.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Once you take care of the big savings things, it’s fine to spend a little on the fun stuff for today. No one ever went broke because they went to I love the 90s concerts and WWF (it’s still WWF to me!) events AFTER they’ve saved for all the important things. I think all too often people think they have to cut everything down to the bone in terms of saving money to succeed and it’s definitely not true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! People are often surprised when we buy pricey things or go on a trip because we don’t spend as freely on a daily basis. What they don’t see is that we save most of that income and putting it to better use than buying the latest iPhone every year (still rocking the iPhone 5s). I think if you do go broke trying to go to an I Love the 90s concert you need to rearrange your priorities! That’s a completely unnecessary expense! 🙂

      WWF was a long time ago my friend – welcome to 2016.

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    1. A lot of people just think I’m cheap because I don’t buy a lot of clothes or have the latest gadgets. It’s just not something I value that much. Also – because I have the word cheap in my blog name. Haha.

      I for sure don’t regret any experiences I’ve had with Addie. We’re planning to take her on a weekend trip to San Diego to go to the zoo!

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  5. I must confess that my husband is a HUGE wrestling fan! Of course, he also realizes that it’s not real, but he grew up obsessed with the Four Horseman and the Undertaker.

    Not to get too far off the subject at hand, but years ago we were in Boston for an autograph signing by the Undertaker. My husband (then boyfriend) got all excited and when we showed up at the door, security saw us and immediately started to escort us past the long line. We thought we were in trouble for doing who knows what. When we got to where the Undertaker was, he asked “who are these people?”. Long story short…security thought I was the Undertaker’s girlfriend! We never laughed so hard. We ended up getting multiple autographs and even scored some free tickets to that evenings show. I hate to admit that I’m not a fan, but I still had a blast!

    I agree that life is meant to be enjoyed and as long as you have the right balance, there is no reason not to spend your money on what you desire in life. We are currently saving over 50% of our income, so I see no reason not to spend what we have left on things we want to do. For example, my husband wanted to see the Star Wars movie this past weekend, so we ordered the tickets and went. We still won’t waste money on frivolous items like $8 soda’s and $12 popcorn, but we did go out for pizza afterwards. Yes, we could have waited until the DVD came out, but where is the fun in that?

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    1. That’s so awesome Madison! My friend Fred (the one on the right in the second pic) goes to those signings all the time! He would be so jealous that you got hooked up like that! He’s a big Bret Hart fan :).

      For sure – there is no fun in waiting until Star Wars gets released on video sometime later this year. I just HAD to see that on the first day. I didn’t want to get spoiled accidentally by anybody!

      I think our savings rate before I got laid off hovered between 40-50%. That made my unemployment pretty bearable as we were already used to not spending that much money. So we were still able to save and invest – just not as much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This was so refreshing to read! I think it’s so important to remind ourselves why we save and why we are frugal. It’s to provide yourself with the ability to enjoy the things you actually love and want to splurge on! It’s also so appropriate if you are responsible, and do manage your money (which you definitely do). Love this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alyssa!

      It’s funny because a lot of people call me cheap all the time (which I took and owned with my blog name :)), but it’s so we can spend on what matter most. To be honest I’m not that big of a fan of the word cheap, I actually think the better word to describe me is frugal. But Dad is Frugal just didn’t *pop* when I was coming up with a blog name. Haha.

      Although I did once buy some Costco/Kirkland running shoes because they were like $18. I tried running on them for a week but it was like running on cardboard. Now that’s cheap. 🙂 Thankfully Costco has the best return policy in the world.

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  7. You make a great point in this post. It’s important to spend on the things you love and eliminate and cut the things you don’t love. I’m sure the WWE event was something you’ll remember forever, similar to when I went to see my favorite band in Chicago!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks DC!

      What’s your favorite band? My wife and I love going to concerts!

      The WWE event was great, but my bucket list item wrestling wise is to go to Wrestlemania – their big annual show. I regret missing it last year when they were in San Francisco. It would have cost a pretty penny to go (probably between $1k – $1500 for tickets and travel). I’ll probably go next time they come to California when Addie is older!

      I probably geeked out a little too much for ya. Lol.

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  8. I try to do this to the best of my ability. Living in NYC everyone (it seems) wants to go out and get drunk Fri/Sat every weekend. I’d rather have a low-key night at someone’s apartment drinking a $12 6-pack, and save my money for travel. In 2 weeks I’m going on a cruise to Central America. I think that’s a much better way to spend my money than at the bar with $8/glass beer! Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was in the same boat! I used to work in downtown LA and everyone had to do fancy $10-$15 lunches and happy hours a few times a week. I got caught up in the madness when I first started but just couldn’t keep up. It seems silly looking back since I don’t keep in touch with most of those people anymore.

      That’s awesome! Hope you have fun in Central America. Definitely better than a bunch of expensive beers at a bar!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think people think that being frugal means not being able to enjoy life. I think you have a good balance between enjoying life and spending wisely. I agree with you about buying your phone outright. good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have so much love for this post Vic!

    My partner and I struggle with saving money AND spending on things we love and care about (well I have more of a problem than my partner; he actually likes to spend money but in respect to our savings goals has been more conscious with spending :P) I am worried about saving more than enough to retire on that sometimes I forget to spend some of the money on dreams (like travel, social events with friends/family and personal development)… something I need to work on >,<

    “Spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.”
    ^ This is the first time I heard this quote and I think it's brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words Jaymee!

      It’s a tough balance between saving and spending now. I think as long as you treat yourself once in awhile and don’t completely deprive yourself you’ll be good 🙂

      I love Ramit! His book was the first personal finance book I’ve read and it helped change my life!

      Like

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