image via Odette New York
I believe wholeheartedly that things and experiences that are hand-crafted, lasting, well-made…have a sort of inherent luxury. As products are increasingly mass-produced and highly processed, it feels hugely satisfying when I spend my money on something infused with a sense of mindfulness.
I rarely experience buyer’s remorse when I purchase a dozen eggs bought at the farmer’s market (directly from the farmer that raised the chickens) or a handmade leather bag. But the trick, for me, is balancing my commitment/desire for these types of things (which tend to be more expensive) with my budget. And lately, with a slew of new expenses, some self-inflicted (our pool, summer camps for the girls), some unplanned (home repairs, car repairs, surgeries, etc…) we’ve had to prioritize more than ever.
image via here with quote from this article...
In our budgeting efforts, assigning numbers to broad categories is the (somewhat) easy part, determining, for example, that we’ll allot a certain amount per week on groceries. The more complicated decision is how we’ll actually spend the allotment -- what we’ll cut-back on and what we’ll “splurge” on.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot of late, so I decided to make a little list (I do love me some list-making) of some of the things I’m willing to splurge on. The list might evolve over time, but it was a good exercise to put a stake in the ground on how we're want to spend our money. Here’s what’s currently making the cut:
- Cultural Experiences/Memberships (museums,performances, etc...)
- (Occasional) Travel
- Organic Produce, Good Food...Good Coffee (!)
Equally important is the belt tightening necessary so we can actually swing the organic strawberries and the museum trips, which means dialing back on pretty much everything else… clothes, shoes, house stuff, eating out. Bolstered by my resolution to buy way less and buy higher quality when I do purchase something (and with Operation Simplicity to keep me accountable), I’ve finally got a pretty good grasp on curbing the acquisitions. The eating out, though, is a harder nut to crack. We struggle in this area, big time…so we’re committed to spending the summer focused on making eating at-home easier and more appealing and shifting our mindset so a restaurant visit starts to feel like a rare and special treat again rather than the norm. We’re bringing special back…
Have any of you guys gone through a similar exercise? How do you define luxury? How do you approach your budgeting when you think about “splurges”…what do you splurge on?