My Biggest Guilty Pleasure I Spend on Is ______?

by J. Money - Published February 2, 2015

guilty pleasure - desserts

If someone were to ask you the one thing you spend a lot of money on that you probably shouldn’t, you’d know the answer right? It would take you approximately 2.3 seconds to come up with?

Well, apparently for me it takes about 23 minutes. I was recently asked this question on an upcoming podcast* that’ll be dropping soon, and I literally had NO answer for it at first! I racked and racked and racked my brain literally for over 20 minutes – no joke – and finally I landed on a suitable answer that didn’t make me look like a complete ass hat. At least on that question ;)

At first I felt pretty lame not being able to answer one of the easiest questions IN THE WORLD, and consequently wondered if I was just leading a pretty boring life, haha., but the more I thought on it the more I realized it was probably a good problem to have. If I’m not pouring my money into something that I shouldn’t, it means it’s going to a more financially prudent cause, right? And I’m awesome for controlling my “wants?”

Well, the truth is yes and no in my case. Yes I’m not spending as freely as I used to, but no it’s not because I’m better at controlling my “wants” (at least initially). It’s because we have a lower income than usual and I’m watching all my little money soldiers better ;) I still very much believe in having padding in your budget for “blow money” not only to enjoy your life more, but to keep your sanity and away from burn out. I find it perfectly fine – and smart! – to let loose a little within reason! No shame in that at all.

The interesting thing I’m noticing, however, is that I’m slowly moving farther and farther away from these things I used to love splurging on. I still want the ability to buy them anytime I should choose, but amazingly enough I don’t really miss them much and life continues to go on. In fact, I haven’t been this free from want in a while! I believe people call this having enough ;)

Back to the original question though. Here it is again:

My biggest guilty pleasure that I spend a lot on is ____.

In the 20 minutes I scoured my brain, here were the usual culprits that have since been shut down:

1. Lottery tickets — For as long as I can remember I’ve been enamored by scratch off lottery tickets. I used to get them from my parents, and then from my grandparents, and even nowadays in my stockings from my not-so-secret Santas. I used to love them so much, in fact, someone once turned me into a comic book! Now I still have love for them even though they’re bad for you and for society, blah blah blah, but now I get free entertainment from my kids. They dream better than I do anyways.

2. Domain names — This is the bane of all online entrepreneurs, haha… We think we’re so clever with ideas and companies and all kinds of random names we just *know* will be a blockbuster so long as we build them out one day. With “one day” being the operative phrase there. As my man Derek Sivers once said, “Ideas are worth nothing unless executed.” And a good one at that is only worth $20, compared to $10,000,000 brilliantly executed. Gone are the days of snatching up 4-5 urls a month and dropping over $1,600 a year.

3. Clothes –– I used to go shopping every time I was bored. Then one day I tried a “no spending month” and realized I was spending over $200/mo by doing this (!!) and it really didn’t make me all that happy one way or the other. So I quit making the mall a destination, and decided to spend time blogging instead :) It’ll be 7 years come February since this challenge, and it was one of the best things I could have ever done for my money. My friend Cait’s doing it for a year right now btw.

4. Vending machine snacks — Similar to the mall situation above, it helps when you just DON’T GO NEAR THESE!!! ;)

5. Starbucks/fancy coffees — I’ll still pick these up when out and about or working from a cafe like I did over the Summer, but by and large I stick to my homemade coffee at home. Mainly out of convenience more than anything. I’ll be the last person to shun you for splurging on caffeinated gold! It’s on the top list of necessities right after a roof over your head ;)

6. Eating out — We’ll pick up take out every few weeks or go out to dinner/dessert on a date, but 99% of our meals are made or cooked at home. And 50% of those involve peanut butter & jelly sandwiches as my work lunch (hah).

7. Uni-Ball EYE Rollerball Pens — I used to be OBSESSED with these and refused to write with anything besides them. It was an expensive habit at $3/pop (and when you had a budget of -$5.00 in college, haha…) but thankfully I outgrew this. I still have a few that I use and love, but now I’ll take any decent ink pen as long as it’s not Bic :)

8. Yard sale splurges — You show me a good deal at a yard sale and I’ll show you someone who will bite – regardless of whether he needs it or not ;) Or, at least I used to be able to show you this person. This recent Craigslist Habit of mine has gotten me all kinds of conscious of what I’m bringing into our house! If there’s a slight chance I’ll just be turning around to sell it in a few weeks/months/years, then it ain’t coming in anymore. Unless I strategically pick something up to sell for a profit – the one main reason to continue hitting up these yard sales outside of looking for hidden coin treasures!

And that leads us to the one thing I’ll still splurge on, and the answer I gave on the podcast:

Old coins from the 1800’s :) I cannot, and shall not, deny adding to my collection regardless of financial revenues, haha… Now I won’t spend $100 like a dummy if I can only afford $10, but it’s the last remaining thing I enjoy that actually costs money. And in a funny way, I’m kinda just re-investing it into money anyways! Unlike with most hobbies that just suck it up… In fact, you could even make the argument it belongs in our net worth since it’s an asset that will most likely appreciate over time. A pretty nice side effect to the hobby! At least with the types of coins I happen to enjoy.

1806 half cent[My 1806 “Draped Bust” half cent – Ow ow!]

(Also important to note – I always try and trade away coins from my stash that I could care less about in order to score those I want to add to my collection. So 75% of the time I don’t actually ever drop any modern currency on them, and if I do, I tap my can of cash that came from selling some of those coins in my trading binder. It takes a while to tap that off so in reality my podcast answer is half-false ;))

Anyways, interesting how your lifestyle changes over the years, isn’t it? And fortunately for us money lovers, they change for the better :) Of which I attribute to the following:

  • Taking on a “no spend” month
  • Sticking with the Craigslist Habit
  • Having kids (harder to spend money you don’t have! ;))
  • Tracking my net worth (you questions your spending more when you know it’ll affect the numbers!)
  • And most importantly, realizing what money truly gives you

Again, no shame in splurging on the things you love, but definitely something to consider if you happen to be a Spendy McSpenderton… The nice thing about saving your money is that you can always dream of the possibilities of what to do with it later! Which is often more gratifying than the actual items you want!

What are some of the guilty pleasures you have since crushed? Which do you still hold onto?

—-
*That podcast I went on? Farnoosh Torabi’s new “So Money” podcast. Def. one to check out whether you listen to my show or not. In fact, tons of more awesomer, bigger, folks on there than me! I was honored to be asked. And glad I looked at some of the questions before the show which I typically don’t. Imagine listening to a podcast where the guest stammers on for 20 solid minutes like a donkey??

Photo by Sonny Abesamis

Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emma Healey | Money Can Buy Me Happiness February 2, 2015 at 5:35 am

Coffee is my guilty pleasure. My instagram feed is full of all the amazing coffee I have had over the world. That said I purchased a second hand espresso machine for $15 and I made my money back within three days. We’re travelling now so the machine is in storage but I can’t wait to get back to it.
That said Spain does a pretty awesome cafe con leche for around 1euro. It’s a splurge but I can justify it to myself since I have no other vices and quit smoking five years ago. Plus I always write while I’m drinking coffee – so it’s basically a business expense. Haha!

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2 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:24 am

You know, I’ve never really thought about coffee being a business expense but you’re so right!! I only write when I’m drinking coffee too! I’m so boring w/out it! haha…

And that’s BAD ASS about your instagram coffee pics btw, I’m all for stuff that makes you super happy like that. Hell, I’m happy just THINKING about your instagram feed! Coffee warms the soul!

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3 Fig @ Figuring Money Out February 2, 2015 at 11:57 am

OMG this is mine too! I spend way too much on coffee… but it’s so nice and makes me happy…. and awake. :)

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4 MyMoneyDesign February 2, 2015 at 6:09 am

#5 right on the nose! My wife and I are suckers for good coffee or specialty coffee drinks. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing. We always seem to end up buying one.

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5 Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way February 2, 2015 at 7:17 am

For me, going to a parlor and massage spa. I’m a big fan of pampering myself even if it was really expensive! And also, buying clothes, I think I should stop that bad traits. :)

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6 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:26 am

I don’t think you’re alone there ;)

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7 Reece February 2, 2015 at 7:32 am

Good question…..
I’d have to say coffee would be near the top of the list. Also, food in general. I could easily cut that bill down if I had to.
Then there’s my car…big engine, big insurance, and lots of petrol. But I do love it.
Hmmm……maybe I’m wasting more money than I realised!!

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8 [email protected] February 2, 2015 at 7:42 am

That’s easy – pizza. Love my pizza! Hilarious about the lottery tickets!

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9 Young Millennial February 2, 2015 at 8:11 am

Lego. The big, expert, hard to find sets that hold their value. I have lots of boxes in mint condition with instructions with no creases and all the pieces. I love building them, displaying them, taking them apart and organizing them.

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10 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:27 am

oh wow, that’s an interesting hobby! I would have never guessed they held some value like that!

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11 Kemkem February 2, 2015 at 8:33 am

Mine is a weekly manicure and pedicure ($35 plus $7 tip). I should say was. I couldn’t find many shops once we moved out of the U.S. and l eventually just stopped, and do a kind of decent job myself. Insane how much it saves. I don’t miss it much either.

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12 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:27 am

Way to go! $150+ savings right there *every month*. Now the real question is – what are you doing with those savings? :)

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13 Kemkem February 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Flying the low cost airlines to holidays around Europe, and enjoying my early retirement and FI :-)

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14 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 9:23 am

BAM

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15 Jon @ Money Smart Guides February 2, 2015 at 8:33 am

For us it had been eating out a lot. But now that I work from home, we don’t have the excuse as much because I can run downstairs and thaw out some chicken or whip something up in a short amount of time.

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16 Dee @ Color Me Frugal February 2, 2015 at 8:35 am

I also crushed the clothing habit long ago! For my hubby and I, the remaining guilty pleasure is getting massages. That’s our favorite kind of date, and we usually do that together a few times a year. It’s one of those things that we really enjoy and really does add quality to our life, so we don’t feel very bad about getting them once in a while.

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17 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:28 am

I like it :) Especially that it double counts for a date too!

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18 John @ Frugal Rules February 2, 2015 at 8:36 am

Working from home now I was sort of forced to kill some of my guilty pleasures like eating out as much as I did and a good coffee. My remaining guilty pleasure is season tickets for K-State football (where I got my undergrad). I use my own money for it so it doesn’t come out of our budget. So, it can’t be too bad…right? ;)

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19 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:29 am

I think that’s brilliant :) We each have our “do whatever you want” funds too, even though our $$ is combined.

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20 Jenni February 3, 2015 at 10:29 am

Fellow KSU grad here… My folks have 4 season tickets and split the 2 extra between us 3 kids, so we get to go to 2 or 3 home games a year. We enjoy it but wouldn’t pay for full-on season tickets ourselves.

My biggest guilty pleasures are books on my Kindle (mostly daily deals but they still add up) and stopping by the quick shop for a pop when I get gas or on my way home from school. I’m implementing a $10/week allowance so it’s more under control and accounted for.

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21 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 9:25 am

$10/week ain’t bad at all! Sounds like a great budget to give yourself :)

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22 Mrs. Frugalwoods February 2, 2015 at 8:52 am

We gave up eating out and getting take out entirely, which used to be our go-to splurge/celebration. The first month or so was tough, but we honestly just got used to our new norm of eating at home after that.

Two things that we won’t give up: good coffee beans (yum) and seltzer (fortunately we use our hacked sodastream w/a 20lb C02 tank, but still… tap water would be cheaper).

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23 Aimee February 2, 2015 at 11:02 am

What’s this hack?? I was thinking of getting Soda Mod for mine.

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24 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:30 am

What’s the difference between seltzer and sparkling? We’ve started enjoying sparking water w/ hits of lemon and lime and that kind of stuff recently and are loving it. Feels like drinking a soda but much better for you!

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25 Aimee February 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm

They are the same. So refreshing huh?

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26 Mrs. Frugalwoods February 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm

I think they’re the same thing, but don’t quote me :). We just do plain water with our sodastream and it’s how we were able to quit soda. I used to be a Diet Coke-a-day gal. Whew! Those were the bad old days ;).

Aimee, to answer your question, our hacked sodastream how-to is here: http://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/08/11/how-to-cheap-homemade-seltzer-with-a-modified-sodastream/

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27 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 9:27 am

I had a diet coke for the first time in like 6 months the other day – my brain was on fire but man was that sweet! Glad I kicked it too… I did it by giving it up for Lent one year and not touching for 40 days :) 40 days seems to be my trick as it’s how I gave up shopping for fun too (doing a “no spend” month’ish).

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28 Stephanie February 2, 2015 at 8:54 am

I take a circus acrobatics class. I’ve been at it for a couple of years and I’ve become good at it :) It’s fairly expensive in comparison to a regular gym membership (which I also need in order to keep my strength up) or zumba class.

I have no plans to ever perform outside of maybe a student showcase, but I still love going. It is totally a guilty pleasure.

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29 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:30 am

And a unique one at that, haha… Wouldn’t have ever guessed :)

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30 Amy February 2, 2015 at 8:59 am

Wow – this is tough for me, too! Since my husband and I are working to pay down a lot of debt, I try not to spend much on non-necessities, but I do like buying cute clothes for my daughter. And little off-list purchases at the grocery store – they truly are my weakness! “Look at these roasted cashews! They’re healthy, so it’s worth spending the extra money!”

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31 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:31 am

This is my one and only fear with having a daughter one day – I’d love dressing her!!! (I mean, I love dressing my two boys too, but the options are pretty limited for them – shirts and pants, done. Haha… girls have so many cooler options to dress up in!)

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32 Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life February 2, 2015 at 9:15 am

I used to have a hot chocolate “addiction”. I would buy it every day, some times twice a day. What motivated me to stop was more my waistline than my wallet, but it blows my mind how rarely I’m tempted by hot chocolate any more. Sure, I’ll enjoy an indulgent cup a few times a year, but not as a part of my daily routine.

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33 Kathy February 2, 2015 at 9:19 am

Most of my clothes were received as gifts from hubby although I do occasionally buy something on my own. I have purchased a few designer handbags, but I continue to carry them ….some 10-15 years after purchase. I guess my answer would have to be books and Keurig coffee pods. I know I could make a whole pot of coffee cheaper, but then I’d end up throwing most of it away because hubby doesn’t drink it too often. Being able to make one cup at a time prevents waste but I realize I am paying more for that cup.

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34 Sarah February 2, 2015 at 9:23 am

Coffee for me and my husband! We have two little ones and one of our favorite things to do is grab a coffee and drive around looking at neighborhoods and exploring the area! The girls usually stay quiet in the car and read books, so it gives us time to chat and enjoy some peace and quiet! Worth every penny :)

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35 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:33 am

YES!!! What a great idea too!! I loooove driving around just exploring. And the same with walking too. Unfortunately my wife prefers “having a point” to it all haha… She usually wants to know where we’re going :)

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36 Done by Forty February 2, 2015 at 9:34 am

Coins seem like a pretty good thing to splurge on. I mean, hey, you’re still spending money ON money! Seems like the perfect crime.

DirecTV is probably my guilty pleasure, both for the money and the time I spend on it. But I don’t care: I love watching my stories.

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37 Brian @ Debt Discipline February 2, 2015 at 9:47 am

That’s a tough one for me too. I’m not sure if I have something I regularly purchase or have to have. Maybe tech gadgets? But even that’s a stretch. I’ve never waited in line / overnight for a new phone. :)

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38 Even Steven February 2, 2015 at 9:50 am

Mine is pretty easy I would have to say eating out. I think Chicago has some of the best restaurants in the world from Hot Dogs to Steak joints, when we go out that’s where our money is going.

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39 Chris @ Flipping A Dollar February 2, 2015 at 10:01 am

Hmmm. I really don’t spend a lot of money on weird things. I did just buy a tablet, but it’ll be an office expense in my eBay business, so it only sort of counts. see: http://flippingadollar.com/january-2015-profits-need-listings/

Maybe volleyball? I buy a new pair of shoes at least once a year because I just wear through the inserts.

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40 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:35 am

I’m so glad you’re still blogging about this hustle of yours. I always find it so intriguing the things you flip on there :) It still takes wayyy too much effort for me to switch from my weekly Craigslist selling, but I do realize I’m leaving money on the table in most cases.

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41 Chris @ Flipping A Dollar February 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Yep. It’s definitely a big time hobby. I see people who ride their bicycles every weekend in a similar boat. Except for I feel like a sponsored athlete instead of a guy shelling out thousands every month!

Thanks for the encouragement! And remember, CL is all cash baby!

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42 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 9:28 am

Haha… sponsored flipper!

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43 Alyssa Windell February 2, 2015 at 10:07 am

Ahhh…a delicious, ice cold pint of craft beer. Living in the Northwest where we have such an incredible selection of craft breweries has definitely developed this. I also absolutely love the concept of public houses these breweries create because they facilitate conversation, and a place to go when you want to get out of the house but don’t feel like spending money on an entire meal at a restaurant. That is definitely my guilty pleasure!

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44 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:36 am

Agreed! We’ll typically do one or two beer tours a year while out on vacation and absolutely love the ambiance of sitting at the bar after them just hanging out and testing them out :) And the tours are always free so it’s added entertainment!

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45 Fervent Finance February 2, 2015 at 10:20 am

My spending has 100% changed for the better since I’ve decided to take on this financial independence goal head on! I start thinking “why would I pay for this when I can put it in my Roth IRA!?!?” Some people may think that logic is a little over the top, but it works for me right now.

I also got scratch-off lotteries as a kid for birthdays and holidays (and still do). Although I don’t buy them often, I still get joy in giving them and receiving them. Hey, somebody has to win!

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46 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

I think that question is brilliant :) After you hit the max for the year you can always reward yourself with little splurges afterwards! Until the new year hits and you start all over again!

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47 [email protected] February 2, 2015 at 10:20 am

I love to have a glass of wine while I make dinner. I have a few favorites that are less than $10 but it has to come out of my very small personal spending allocation and I like to hoard this small amount as much as I like the wine when I cook.

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48 Aimee February 2, 2015 at 10:57 am

I used to drink a lot of Diet Coke. It was very hard, but I kicked the DC and switched to tea which is very cheap. I do love me some seltzer so I asked Santa for a Soda Stream for Christmas so now I make my seltzer for free (plus the cost of CO2). I really only have 2 major discretionary spending pits: dining and take-out AND outdoor gear. I pack my lunch for work 97% of the time and eat breakfast at home, but my boyfriend is a take-out kind of guy and he doesn’t really like my cooking so we order or go out a fair amount. That is one of few reasons I’m glad we don’t live together!! Outdoor gear is a big one…. that stuff is expensive!!! I just bought new hiking boots for a deeply discounted $97, I really need new climbing shoes that will run me about $100, and I need a bigger backpack which will be $200+. I have an REI credit card to get their store cash-back each year which will help cover the pack. Not a lot you can do to save in that category!!

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49 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:39 am

He doesn’t like your cooking??? I think I’d eat pretty much anything someone cooks for me so I didn’t have to, haha… unless this is one of those Vegan vs Meat type situations, in which case I can totally understand :)

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50 Aimee February 2, 2015 at 12:51 pm

He’s picky and has boring taste. I like to use herbs and spices and try new things. I know how to make things he likes and I do sometimes, I just don’t want to eat like that most of the time. It used to bug me because I’ll eat just about anything myself, but I don’t care anymore. It’s easier to just cook what I want.

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51 Mrs. Maroon February 2, 2015 at 11:33 am

We have cut back on so much of the stuff we used to buy because we find that we just simply do not need it. The common things come to mind… eating out, clothes, stuff around the house, etc. Then again, we look back at our lack of saving from before and have to ask ourselves where it all went. We don’t know!

As far as a remaining guilty pleasure goes, like you I have a hard time thinking of one. I’d have to go with our vehicles… a mid-sized SUV for me and a full-size pickup for Mr. Maroon. Both are over six years old now with 100,000+ miles. We don’t intend to replace either anywhere in the near future, but when that time comes, we will likely still choose ‘less-than-economic’ options based on our preferences. Oh, and we have a third vehicle (and no, not for a child – Mini #1 is only three). Mr. Maroon splurged on a 1995 Jeep Wrangler as a fun, putter around town option. It brings him great joy. So we keep it!

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52 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 11:40 am

I have a feeling that will be our next guilty pleasure as well once time… I’m getting really tired of packing up our little toyota with all the kids’ seats and gear everytime we go on a trip :) So it’ll be a nice SUV or Minivan depending on how good I am at convincing my wife! Haha…

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53 Jen @ Jen Spends Less February 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Eating out is the big one for me. I budget $100 per month, and I don’t feel guilty about it anymore. It’s so nice to go out and enjoy a meal as a family, having someone else doing all the work. Or, sometimes, I’m just super frazzled at home and I’ll order a pizza for dinner. It just feels good knowing that I have the money each month to bail on making dinner once or twice.

I guess our dog would be another one (though sometimes I wonder if he’s a pleasure…). To keep him healthy, we buy premium dog food, and keep up with preventative meds. Recently I’ve started grooming him myself to save money, but in the past we’ve paid for professional grooming at $46 every 8 weeks or so.

These are both things that many frugal experts would give me the side-eye about, but it works for us, and hey, we’re helping the local economy. We did go without these things when we were first starting out on one income and had a lot of debt.

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54 J. Money February 2, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Exactly! It’s totally cool WHAT you’re spending on your guilty pleasures as long as it’s all budgeted in and *on purpose*. Helps wipe away some/all of the guilt too :)

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55 Hannah February 2, 2015 at 1:02 pm

I’m not sure if this is a guilty pleasure or just a bad habit, but one of our tires keeps getting a slow leak, and we can’t seem to get to the root of the problem, so every time I drive (which is rare due to working from home). I stop at a gas station that has free air, and $.79 sodas. So I buy a huge soda to go with my air.

The first time I justified it as, “I better buy something and not just use the air.” Ever since then, it’s been like a Pavlovian response: “Free Air, I better drink Soda”

This reminds me to put find tire repair company on my to do list.

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56 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 9:31 am

“I buy a huge soda to go with my air.” – haha.. didn’t see that one coming today!

And yes, probably something worth getting checked out :)

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57 Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom February 2, 2015 at 2:01 pm

I used to go out for work everyday when I worked in an office. Then hit up the vending machine at 4. Then pick up some drive through and head to the mall. Maybe not everyday, but that’s how I remember it!

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58 Crystal February 2, 2015 at 2:29 pm

We’ve given up cable and biweekly house keeping in the last 6 months. Our most expensive splurge now is still eating out several times a week with friends. Our most consistent luxury expense other than food is our lawn care guy, but we both have allergies, so that $600 a year is just medical expenses in my book, LOL.

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59 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 9:32 am

I like it that you’re always hanging with friends while out! That’s something that I’ve been slacking on severely ever since moving and having kids (it doesn’t help when you move away from your friends, haha…). So I’d totally be fine with spending more but being w/ friends than saving money and being away… Dang, now I’m sad! :)

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60 Pengepugeren February 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm

My one real wasteful habit is buying lunch at work. I really should bring my own food and not buy it in the cafeteria, but it’s easier, there’s more variation and I like not knowing what’s on the menu.

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61 Tyler February 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Beer, beer, and more beer. Especially of the craft variety. I can not eat out or shop for a month or two and not bat an eye, but that damn beer…

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62 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 9:33 am

I think it’s time to befriend a brewery :)

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63 Deasy Noel February 2, 2015 at 3:57 pm

My downfall is Rose Green Milk Tea, and they would cost about $4 a cup. Where I used to live, there would be a tea shop in every corner, and the temptation was so strong, I got a cup nearly every day. Now, living 20 minutes away, I rarely have tea as there are none here. Yay for saving!

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64 Steve Kobrin February 2, 2015 at 4:59 pm

I need to get a handle on eating out. The food is too expensive and I know it’s not always the best for you. I trade those in for the convenience. It is hard to find the time to cook in a busy day.

Do you have any good tips for fitting cooking and food prep into a packed schedule?

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65 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 9:35 am

Yeah, make PB&J’s like this guy, haha….

http://www.cleverdude.com/content/an-illustrated-frugal-lunch/

(I’m the worst to ask about cooking/food prep – I suck at it)

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66 Kim @ Money Under the Cushions February 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm

My splurges in the winter are all comfort foddy like. REAL parmigiano reggiano cheese. Not parmesean, not Parmigiana, or any of these other names that fakers try to pass off like the real thing. It’s expensive, but a little goes a long way. I need my pasta to grate this on so my next splurge is fiber gourmet pasta. This stuff tastes exactly like regular pasta but is half the calories and full of fiber. I can’t find it in the store so I buy it online. It’s not cheap so I wait until they have a bulk sale and buy like 10-20 lbs at a time. It costs about $40,and I have this embarrassingly large plastic bag full of rotelle. LOL.But hubby and I enjoy that pasta with a little fresh cheese while keeping our waistlines in tact.

I used to be a suit clothes horse. Probably purchased two a month. But since I’ve changed careers and don’t need all of the suits anymore that was an easy peasy splurge to give up. Now I’m selling the majority of the suits too. :)

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67 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 9:37 am

One day you better invite me over for dinner :)

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68 Kim February 2, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Skiing in the winter, soda, and taking a trip every school break. None of them really help our bottom line, and the soda has no redeeming value, but the other two help keep us sane living out in the boonies.

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69 Chelsea @ Broke Girl Gets Rich February 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Wine.

My spending has become a lot more efficient since I started traveling the world & have to fit my life in a suitcase. If I don’t need it, I don’t buy it simply because I don’t want to deal with it when the time comes to change locations.

But, oohh, sometimes, you just need a glass of wine with a few good friends to relax at the end of a week, you know? So, it’s not “necessary” (and of course I buy the cheaper stuff :p ), but I still buy it from time to time. It’s good for the soul.

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70 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 11:08 am

You had me at “traveling the world!”

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71 [email protected] February 2, 2015 at 6:07 pm

The gym.

We have a small, free one in the apartment complex I live in, but I always want more. More facilities, more weight, more machines, more amenities. I mean, the small gym here gets the job done, but the University I work at gets the job done better. If it came down to it, though, I could do without it.

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72 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 11:09 am

I think as long as you’re *using it* it’s more than justifiable. I’ve been sucking at working out lately and would gladly shell out $$ for the health benefits!

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73 Barry @ Moneywehave February 2, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Haircuts are my biggest spend. My cuts cost me $40 Canadian but I think it’s worth every penny. I know some people will think I’m crazy but maybe I was traumatized with bad haircuts as a kid.

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74 Shannon @ Financially Blonde February 2, 2015 at 6:56 pm

I used to indulge in expensive dinners, expensive alcohol and expensive hotels. I was an investment banker so that’s kind of the model. I have found great replacements for all of these for a lot less money and no less happiness. My guilty pleasure I refuse to give up, though, is my mani/pedis. I got every 2-3 weeks and I refuse to give them up. I rationalize, though, that it’s part of my job since I am frequently pointing out numbers to clients and don’t want to offend my clients with cruddy looking fingernails.

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75 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 11:18 am

I think I know a new topic for your podcast :)

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76 Slackerjo February 2, 2015 at 7:36 pm

I thought about this question all day! I guess my website. It doesn’t generate income and I have like, nine fans, but it’s my own little soapbox to stand on and shout.

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77 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 11:19 am

And it’s a great way to meet people and learn! I mean, imagine your life without knowing me? ;)

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78 Dividend Mantra February 3, 2015 at 2:22 am

J$,

Nice list up there. Even nicer that you conquered all of your demons. :)

We splurge on going out to eat more than we should. We budget in a couple of restaurant visits per month. It’s totally wasteful, unnecessary, luxurious, and indulgent. But we enjoy the occasional meal out. And now that I work from home, getting out and about here and there is even nicer.

Best regards!

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79 Jeremy February 3, 2015 at 7:36 am

I’ve been noodling on this for the last couple of hours… and I still can’t think of anything

Maybe it’s just because I don’t feel guilty haha

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80 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm

that, or you’re a pimp :)

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81 [email protected] and the Beach February 3, 2015 at 11:22 am

My biggest guilty pleasure is healthy food. It’s odd because that doesn’t sound like a bad thing, and I still can’t quite reconcile how people are spending $200/month on a family of four and claim to be eating “clean” and “organic,” but hey who am I to say? :) But I just bought a big thing of protein powder…I love my wild blueberries on my oatmeal, PB2 in my oatmeal, and E-boost in the morning before workouts instead of coffee. Could I cut those? yes. Do I want to? ehhhhhh, not really (hangs head in PF shame). :)

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82 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 3:00 pm

wild blueberries!!!! sounds so yummy!!

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83 connie kolita February 3, 2015 at 11:45 am

OK, my biggest monthly splurge is… premium parking for my job. I work downtown Cincinnati, and the options for our building are pretty much 1) park at the Cincinnati Reds ball park for $75/month and walk 2+ blocks to and from the office, which does not seem like much but try it 2x day, in rain/snow/god knows what else and carrying a bunch of crap…OR… 2) what I call RockStar Parking, which is $200/month … which, yeah, is SUCH a bite out of the paycheck, BUT! it’s literally across the street plus it saves about 15 minutes a DAY, x 5 days = more free time! I have tried both parking locations over the years, and the RockStar Parking just makes me a MUCH happier person in general (just ask my husband when I’m complaining about the hour+ roundtrip commute per day – and he works from the house!). I try and cut back in other ways in my budget to justify this monthly expense, and that usually works… so yeah, for sure, the RockStar Parking! Love ya J$ :)

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84 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Haha…. fascinating one actually :) I’d like to say I’d be okay w the 2 blocks, but DAMN is it cold over there so I might only last a few days! Or maybe I’d switch from Summer/Spring to winter/fall or something… I’m glad you’re cutting out in other areas to help make up for it – that’s really smart.

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85 Kayla @ Everything Finance February 3, 2015 at 12:56 pm

I am working to control my clothing/shoes/accessories spending right now, but I still spend way too much on going out to eat.

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86 Joe @StackingBenjamins February 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Awesome. I’ll have to check out your appearance. First Tony Robbins, then you. She used Tony to lead up to you….

My big stupid expense is board games. We play them around here, but I still have too many…..

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87 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Yeah, I was quite surprised to be asked on – I was like “did you mean to send this email to someone else?” Haha…. guess we all have our own stories to tell, eh?

(And now you’ve made me miss Monopoly – best game ever but no one ever wants to FINISH IT which drives me crazy!)

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88 Connie @ Savvy With Saving February 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm

My biggest guilty pleasure is definitely eating out. I don’t eat out as much anymore and cook at home more but there’s so much temptation in NYC. I also feel like I’m missing out on discovering all this great food so my food budget is probably higher than most but I’m OK with that. I’ve given up on manis/pedis and expensive haircuts so it kind of balances out? :)

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89 Louise February 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Theatre is one of mine – need to go at least 4 times a month, but at least it’s always in the cheap seats.

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90 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 3:04 pm

and you get your culture on :)

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91 Alyssa February 3, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Ugh. It didn’t take me 2.3 seconds, more like 2.3 minutes. But. Yeah.

1) Dining Out – this one is bad. If I/we don’t meal prep the Sunday before the week stars, our week is shot. My husband and I have an obsession with tacos, and there are just too many delicious taco places around.

2) Shopping – this one is not *nearly* as bad as it used to be. I still like to shop, but not as much. What has changed is that I’m more focused on quality, so even though I don’t shop often, I’m still spending the same amount because I’m buying higher quality items.

Old coins?! My dad has a bunch from his dad; lots of 1800s coins! I see a potential hustle deal! ;)

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92 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 3:05 pm

I WANT TO TALK TO YOUR DAD!!!! That’s like a jackpot for people like me! Coins passed down through generations – so sad it’s pretty much a dying hobby :( I gotta keep on spreading the word to the youngins! :)

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93 Old School February 3, 2015 at 8:43 pm

Oh man…so I guess my small wastes would be…Gas Stations (mainly the local Casey’s).

I can’t help it. Every time I go in there I always get a doughnut, or candy bar, or bag of chips and coke, etc… (maybe even a scratch off:)

Big splurges would be guns for me or any thing that goes bang like fireworks…maybe I can tell myself the guns are appreciating because the fireworks do not.

Thanks for the great article J. Keep up the great work!

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94 J. Money February 7, 2015 at 3:06 pm

If you have antique guns they can :) I actually want a set of old school dueling pistols! Such cool history behind those!

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95 Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life February 3, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Snacks! Anything that keeps my hungry stomach from grumbling for a few more hours is game. The worst part is that the upfront cost is so low, but at the end of the month, they add up to $50 to $100. It’s something I definitely have to work on on a daily basis!

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96 Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank February 4, 2015 at 4:47 am

Whenever I see lottery booth, I can’t help myself buy even just one ticket. I’ve been a lottery spender for years. Though I haven’t won that much, there’s something like hope that one day I’ll get the most awaited prize. My GUILTY pleasure.

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97 How to Save Money February 4, 2015 at 5:07 am

Vending machines. Agree! Though I’m not hungry, I take a double-take when I see one.

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98 Zambian Lady February 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm

I don’t know if I can call this a splurge, but I like buying expensive cuts of beef when I visit my family, which is not often. Somehow those cuts taste better when one of my family members who is a very good cook prepares them. Apart from that, I hardly ever splurge.

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99 J. Money February 9, 2015 at 12:07 pm

If that’s all you splurge on I’d say you’re doing a helluva good job :)

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100 Kesh February 17, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Food. Hands down. I probably spent more money on food last year than I did on my car payments. And I have a pretty expensive car payment. And I only feed myself. This is sad.

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101 Kesh February 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Oh and I guess the thing I spend the second most amount of money on would be my car… my friend keeps telling me to sell it for one with a cheaper note, insurance, and maintenance ($300 for an regular maintenance… deep sigh) but I am NOT giving up my baby.

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102 J. Money February 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Yikes – high car payments are no joke. I won’t try to convince you to nix ’em, but make sure you’re at least saving in other areas to be able to afford the sexy car more :) no shame in prioritizing when you’re cutting back in other areas you care less about!

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103 Dividend Growth Investor February 20, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Cheesecake

Luckily, it takes me a week to eat a whole cheesecake..

The other guilty pleasure is reading books.. I am boring ;-(

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104 J. Money February 23, 2015 at 7:47 am

I can think of 1,001 worse ways to spend your time and money than reading ;) I bet you’re interesting as hell to have a conversation with having all that knowledge in your head!

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