Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Midmonth Money Manifesto

Greetings and happy Wednesday!  July was such a busy month, I ended up skipping my monthly money post, but now I am back on track!

This month I thought I'd talk about the concept of saving versus splurging.  I really try to strike a balance between these two approaches to spending, but of course try to lean towards saving instead of splurging.  I think it's important to make a delineation between what you will approach with an air of frugality versus what you are willing and able to splurge on.  Here is how it breaks out for me for some items...

I splurge on...

- a latte each Friday
- daily contact (my eyes say thank you!)
- staple items for work, such as business suits, dress pants, and classic dresses
- produce - it seems like produce from the nicer grocery stores is more expensive, but does not spoil as quickly!
- eating out for lunch once a week
- my Erin Condren planner.  $50 is a lot to spend on a planner, but I use it every day, so it's worth the money spent
- Udi's gluten free bread.  It pains me to spend $6 on a loaf that is 1/2 the size of a normal loaf of bread, but it's the only thing my stomach tolerates before long runs!

I save by...

- making coffee at home 6 days of the week
- buying my summer dresses at Target
- purchasing store-brand canned goods (they seem to taste the same as the name brand ones do!)
- packing my lunch 4 of the 5 days of my work week
- buying my running shirts and sports bras at Target where they are fairly inexpensive
- using the basic gym in my condo building instead of having a membership to a club (I miss having access to classes, though!)
- using the library!  I have not bought a single book this year!!

What items fall under your splurge/save categories?


Lisa-Marie said...

-A Starbucks and lunch out every couple of weeks with a friend.
-Books (I have a book budget per month)
-Magazine subscription (Mollie Makes)
My phone - It was upgrade day for me recently, and a jumped up two call plans (and extra £15 a month) to get a decent smartphone. Entirely worth it!
-Food - Organic dairy and veg,

- Clothes - most of my clothes are second hand/hand me downs from friends.
- Food - We almost always buy organic meat, but we buy it when it has been marked down and freeze it. Spices, rice and dried pulses are bought in bulk.

Lisa-Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Great post and definitely something I find important. I splurge on trips, quality food, eating out dinners with Eric and friends. I save on clothes by shopping at TJ Maxx almost exclusively haha, bringing lunch to work every day, not drinking coffee and... probably some other things :)

Donna said...

Good topic! This reminds me I should sit down and be conscientious about such things. I splurge by buying high quality clothes that will hopefully last longer, and save by buying fewer items overall. I also make coffee at home every day and only go to Caribou once or twice a week.

abbi said...

High quality, local food is one of the few things I splurge on, otherwise, I'm a saver!

missris said...

You haven't bought a book all year?! I'm so impressed! I've been better than I used to be, but I still buy books from time to time. I can't help it! :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

This is a great post. As a fellow saver (mostly), I find it very interesting to see what other people use their extra cash for!

I splurge on:
Occasional dinners out (no holds barred)
Occasional brunch (maybe 2x/month)
Race Fees
Running Gear

I save on:
Books (I haven't bought one either!)
Clothes (thrift store / Ross / TJmaxx)
Food (I make lunch 4/5 times a week and eat at home for most dinners)

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

You have been doing so good this year! I cannot believe you have not bought a single book!

I splurge on: weekend trips (shoot for once a month), gas money (as I drive everywhere! Which is kind of hard not to in DSM) and a weekly latte (or two!)

I save by: making most of my coffee at home, taking lunches and other meals with me while on the go and I tend to get all of my apparel from Target, Kohl's, Old Navy and occasionally Gap (and then it's usually the outlet).

I love these posts! They make me think about my spending as well and analyze where I can do better. I know I can do better with grocery shopping. Sometimes I get really mindless and don't shop with a list or mealplan.

Stephany said...

The biggest way I save is by living with my mom! I'd much rather live with her than with someone I don't know. I also don't drink coffee and pack my lunch 4 days out of the week. I shop almost exclusively at Target or Marshall's but I do splurge on trips, expensive hair color/cuts, and a monthly pedicure!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I save on some grocery times that I prefer in the "no name" or "store name". I buy things in bulk at Costco which definitely saves me money in the long run. I make coffee at home every morning (except occasionally on the weekends). When booking vacations I watch prices for a loooong time before booking to get the cheapest rate. I drive to the US and fly out of there to get better deals and save money (did that when I went to Vegas recently) and saved at least 800 between the two of us. I also save money by having an old LG Rumour phone. I can't get on the Internet with it, can't do anything other than phone and text. I like it.

I splurge on clothes, organic produce/bread/eggs. I also splurge on going out to eat.

Nora said...

* All things wedding right now, though I'm doing more online as it's more cost effective
* DVR on UVerse. It sounds totally silly but between the girls and Knight we need more than just basic channels. (Again, totally silly, I know)
* Quarterly shopping trip to Ann Taylor Loft for work/personal clothes

* Doing all of our shopping for groceries and house needs at Target with the 5% debit card. (This includes buying store brand items)
* Paying attention to coupons and using them when it makes sense (not extreme or anything!)
* Bringing my lunch to work each day, breakfast too
* Carpooling with Knight to work when we can
* Eating out only once a week if that, and under $30 (thank goodness for delicious Mexican restaurants!)
* Right there with you on no book buying: library or free nook books/review books for me!

Amber said...

I am so proud of you for not buying a single book yet this year. That's awesome! Using an exclusively cash budget for a lot of things has really helped us with saving money. This is a fun post and I might just copy it on my blog even though I don't do a monthly money post :)

I definitely save by packing my lunch 3-5 times a week and rarely ever going out to eat, and when we do it's usually subway or sushi or something that costs under $30 for both of us!

Abby said...

I had to read the sentence about you not buying any books a few times! That is amazing for you, as I know that was a weakness in the past.

I guess there isn't a set thing I splurge on. It varies by month or by our needs. We have a set budget and must stay within that.

The areas we save is DIY projects -- like our back yard that we did this spring. If we had hired someone, it would have cost 1/3 more. I splurge on good workout & work shoes. I only eat out about once every 2 weeks, but when I do -- it's sushi or really good food & drinks!

Becky said...

Ohhh LOVE this post!

I save by:
Packing our lunches 5 days a week (I tend to be more lax when Ben works weekends), not having cable, and meal planning and budgeting for groceries (I don't go to the store without a list), & using the gym at our apartment complex instead of having a membership.

I splurge on:
My Erin Condren planner (although last year I found a half off code and I'm hoping to fine one again this year), health things like my yoga membership, and my holistic health consultant - a little pricey but definitely an investment in my health.

San said...

I loved this list, Lisa. I thinking when we talk about splurging/saving it really comes down to personal preferences... things someone else could easily do without, might make me extremely happy. I think I might have to write my own list! :)
Thanks for the inspiration!

Caroline said...

Awesome post : ) I save on making my own lunch/not eating (or drinking) out much, transportation, and clothes. I splurge on a gym membership and trips home/etc. .. and rent, apparently haha

pinkflipflops said...

I rarely splurge on anything that isn't on clearance/store brand and I finally decided I need to start dressing a bit nicer so I am going to have to spend abit more on clothes! However, I got yoga pants, 2 work shirts, a dress for isla, 2 packs of flash cards for my classroom,and 2 pairs of shoes today for under 100 between Target, Younkers and SHoe Depot. ;)

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

I really enjoyed yours and Amber's posts about money splurging and saving. It's always fun to hear what others do.

Right now, my splurges are: trips, food (we go out to eat once a week, but pretty cheap - 7-$10 per person usually), clothes if I really love the item, exercise clothes (almost always), shoes, etc.

Save: groceries (I've tried to be more of a cheapskate in this realm while still buying a lot of organic produce.), I make my lunch almost every day, skip drinks if we're having dinner out most of the time, staying away from the LOFT the last few months and have unsubscribed from some clothing store emails or automatically delete them. I've also been avoiding yoga because of the cost, but I think I'm going to give myself a few classes when I'm done with this 50K. Plus, as it gets colder, it will be nice to be stretching and strengthening in a warm room.

J said...

I always make coffee at home and only have it at work/from a coffee shop once in a while. I try to get to the farm market for produce cause its cheaper than the grocery store too. I always bring lunch too - but my husband doesn't so I guess we could work on that. But usually I end up packing his lunch- he wont pack his own cause he is slightly lazy :)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I think your list is very fair and balanced. Allows you to enjoy living life without going overboard.

We also buy more expensive produce ... and have started buying more expensive eggs and milk (I don't want Gavin growing boobs, thank you milk hormones!!). However, we bring lunch to work and have cut back on ordering out at dinner.