A Time I Splurged… and I'm Glad I Did

By in Wealth

Blog Swap: Please enjoy this guest post which is part of a collective effort; a group of bloggers each post an article on the same topic and day. After you’re done reading this one, head over to Wealth Informatics to read my article, about A Time I Splurged and am Glad I Did.

Suba blogs at Wealth Informatics which strives to provide information empowering debt reduction, financial planning, informed consumerism, savvy investing, fun & frugal living leading to financial freedom. Some of her popular posts are 2011 tax changes, homemade gifts and vanguard vs fidelity. Visit Wealth Informatics to find more useful articles.

Ever since the blog swap topic was announced, I have been thinking about the purchases my husband and I have made in the last couple of years. We have splurged in a few areas. We have taken some good but expensive vacations. Eating out is another category we splurge on occasionally as we like to eat out and sample different cuisines. In fact, (this hit me as I was walking home last night from the library), the major expense item in our monthly budget, out rent, is actually a splurge. And I don’t regret it at all.

When we went apartment hunting 1.5 years ago, we checked about 100 apartments online and toured around 30. Our current apartment was in the expensive range. ~$300 more than the cheapest apartment (it might sound like a lot, but we live in Los Angeles). The cheapest apartment though, was in a not so good neighborhood and had a lingering smell of something disgusting. I am home, alone, most of the week, so I wanted something safe and something that I wouldn’t hate. We narrowed down the potential list of apartments to two choices and the difference in the rent between them was $120. Our current apartment complex provides:

  • Safety
  • 2 Car parking
  • Concierge desk for all our packages
  • Very quick maintenance response time
  • Free movies on Fridays
  • Free breakfast on Sundays
  • Free use of conference rooms
  • Dry cleaners onsite
  • Gym
  • Spa
  • Swimming pools
  • Tennis courts
  • Basketball courts

Everything is fine, but do you really need dry cleaners in your apartment? How many times have you used them? – I admit I have not used all these amenities, but I have used enough of them to justify the cost. Plus the safety factor was priceless. What sealed the deal for us, though, was the location. It was close to everything that we ever need. Grocery, library, farmer’s market, bookstore, doctor’s office, car maintenance place, restaurants, malls, movies, everything is within walking distance.

The trick is to find the correct balance. We use a targeted savings account to name every dollar we earn. Every dollar has a purpose, so if we have to take an additional $120 for rent, we knew it has to come from our vacation account or our house down payment account. We had to sit and rework our budget to see the consequences. We could get rid of the gym fees for which we were paying $50, so that brought the difference down to $70. We checked for every bit of savings we could find for this apartment. We asked for specials and they gave us 1 month’s rent for free when we signed a 1 year lease. We also got a gift card for $200 by using a specific website as a reference. Overall in the end, we got the apartment for $25 more per month than what we would have paid for the other finalist on out list.  The drawback with the other place was that we would not have any of the amenities we wanted (The downside of living here of course, is that moving anywhere else is not going to be difficult 🙂 ). We anticipated we would stay in this place for 2 years. So we asked ourselves if we could accept $600 less in our down payment account by the end of the 2 year period. We decided we could and signed the lease – a time we splurged and we are glad we did.

We strive to cut down spending on things that don’t give us any pleasure and channel that money towards something that has value in our life and makes us happy. If we can get the same pleasure for less money, even better! Analyze and prioritize!

Barbs question; What are your splurges? Any big splurges you regret?

 image credit; progressive_letters