Talking about spending this week. Yesterday it was a year of tracking our finances. Today: my luxuries.
Sometimes I think people get the impression that because I’m trying to live with less stuff I’m also living with less luxury in my life.
If you think of luxury items as being expensive jeans and designer handbags and shoes… then yes, I don’t have those luxuries in my life.
But we do have extras. Since we paid off all of our non-mortgage debt we’ve made room for some little and big things that we really enjoy.
Sara made a comment on yesterday’s post about our grooming spend and that she was happy to see we had little luxuries mixed into our budget. My husband gets a goatee trim and I get my eyebrows waxed and tinted every 4-6 weeks.
This is a luxury but I really hope we always have the funds for these little things. As you can see from these photos, an eyebrow shape and tint really helps me look awake. It gives my face more expression. I don’t wear a lot of make-up so having defined eyebrows let’s me wear even less.
I spend £15/$22 every six weeks on this luxury.
Cherries. Strawberries. Organic Milk. Organic celery.
We’ve actually been spending more on food in the last few months. I’ve been buying organic when I can and splurging on sausages made from pasture raised pork. I’m trying to eat wild salmon once a week.
Some of these groceries are noticeably better in taste. Some aren’t. We don’t have as many organic or locally produced options here on the Isle so I just do my best with what is available.
It’s a luxury to buy the best quality food I can for my family but I think it’s worth it.
We spend a lot on groceries. A lot. But we make it work in our household budget and, most importantly, we try to have almost zero food waste. Now that we have a freezer we almost never throw anything out. Vegetables or fruit that are about to go bad are chopped up and frozen for soups, stews or smoothies.
Two months ago we hired a personal trainer to come to our home two mornings a week and train my husband. This is a big expense. But we know it works and I can’t think of anything better to invest money in than health.
After a few weeks I decided to join in and now we’re both lunging and lifting together while Henry eats breakfast and laughs at us.
I’ve had a lot of guilt and bad feelings around my fitness in the last year. Despite many attempts – a gym membership, buying a kettle bell – I haven’t found a strength training program I can stick to. It’s always been easier for me to go for a run than to push myself to do 100 burpees. This post from One Fit mom made me feel a bit better. If she can’t do these workouts alone I shouldn’t feel too bad about having the same struggle.
As I get older I need the strength training more and more. My lower back is shredded from my years as an athlete and I need that core strength and leg strength to keep it all together. I’m already feeling less back pain after just a few weeks of training.
In the future we’d like to cut down to one training session a week and then do another 1-2 workouts one our own.
Cost: very high. But, surprisingly, for the service we are getting we would probably pay twice as much in Vancouver. Gotta look at the upside, right?
I mentioned that we are considering cutting way back on travel in 2013. We’d like to not only save a bit more but also see if we can enjoy life without an off island trip every three months. Of course we can! It’s just so tempting being so close to so many interesting places.
But this year we have taken full advantage of direct flights off the island. As a family or on solo trips we have been to Dublin a few times, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and have a few more trips planned for this summer. We also went to the Dominican Republic in April for a sun vacation.
This is by far our biggest luxury. While it’s easy to convince ourselves that we need to see everything now, while we’re in such close proximity to Western Europe, I think it’s too easy to justify these trips. We have financial goals and responsibilities. Do we want to see it all or knock a few years off our mortgage?
The old wants vs. needs question.
The great thing about all of our luxuries is that we know they’re just that. They’re not needs. We’ll be able to easily cut them if our circumstances change or we decide we want to buckle down for bigger savings.
What are your luxuries? Do you think you could easily cut them if you had to?