It has recently come to my attention, through me wife, that people think we are some kind of weird cheap family. They think we never spend any money, live in a third world scenario, and they are even afraid that we will judge them if we find out that they spend money. Some of you who think this are readers here, and that is a great thing, but today I will explain that we do spend money for all to see that there is a balance. Sometimes, I even spend a stupid amount of money on certain things. I save money for financial freedom, but I also save money so I can experience life and sometimes spend it on something stupid too. So here are a few items that I don’t mind spending money on.
- Travel– I love to travel!! If I could, I would spend more on travel. I would live in a van and just travel. Did I mention that I love to travel? I travel too much, but I just love it. I like road trips, plane trips, hotels, hostels, international trips, and even staycations. I like going and seeing things. It’s one thing to read about the Holocaust, and another to go to the camps and see the horror, feel the sickness in your stomach, and become a new person from the experience. We can talk about BBQ, or we can travel the South in search of BBQ and taste all it has to offer. My kids know about Chinese food from San Francisco’s Chinatown, and they know about glaciers because we walked on glaciers in Jasper National Park. Travel money creates family bonds, education, experiences, and a better global perspective that is worth every penny I have ever spent on travel. I do travel hack, and never pay full price for any of it, but my travel budget in a year is easily over $5,000 and some years closer to $10,000 a year. Travel is money well spent, and I might just love it!
- Food– I love to eat!! I love to taste new things. I like to taste lobster, state fair
fried foods, and fancy restaurants that serve unique items. I don’t like to spend a lot of money at fast food places or just on average food. I coupon or go for deals on average stuff. But, if you got a 3-pound cinnamon roll, you are the inventor of the muffuletta, or some truffle encrusted fried chicken, then I’m going to try that and spend more for that experience. I see doing something I enjoy, such as sample flavors everywhere I go, as money well spent. I eat healthy and exercise, so I can splurge on high fat heart attack burgers in Las Vegas, or not feel guilty after some expensive gourmet cheesecake. Good and interesting food is money I don’t mind spending. I spent $1,000 in New Orleans in 3 days on food and budgeted for this trip in advance. I was eating 8-10 meals a day and never regretted spending a dime on any of the food I had there. It’s called soul food for a reason, and my soul was at peace.
- My Wife and Kids– I do act cheap in this department, but my actions, and my
budget, show that I don’t mind spending money on my wife and kids. I spend outrageous amounts of money for my kid’s activities. Choir fees, soccer, basketball, volleyball, swim team, gymnastics, piano lessons, gym memberships, amusement park passes, plane tickets to see relatives, nice new clothes or shoes, college funds, and any other thing they ever wanted to try to do. My wife and kids are good investments and I believe that they are talented enough to be successful. So, some money put into some training for my wife or my kid’s volleyball fees is money well spent. I believe that paying $3,000 for some teacher training is a good investment for me if it pays off in some extra salary or opportunities later, and my kids will have extreme height, so spending some money on basketball teams and leagues will pay off in the long run. Also, my kids got an opportunity to learn first hand that they do not like swim team. Learning to dislike swim team cost us about $1,000, and now we know that swim team was not for the kids. They are really taking to beach volleyball and basketball right now, and I have paid about $5,000 for just these two sports over that last few seasons. It could easily end up being $5,000- $8,000 a year in our home for just these two activities. It makes the kids happy to play, I enjoy watching, and in the end, they will have a huge height advantage and it could pay off in enough time. Either way, I don’t mind spending money here.
- Education– I am a strong believer in education. Heck! I’m a teacher!! I have put money into education for a long time now. I have paid for continuing education for myself, my master’s degree, and I paid for education such as at Fincon 17. I have paid to keep my wife’s Crossfit certification up, and for her to get her teaching
certificate. My kids have had college funds going since they were born. I know they may not go to college, but they will have to get some sort of education to be successful in this world. It can be a trade school, work experience, internships, or whatever, they just need an education. I don’t mind spending money on educational events for my children either. We have had zoo passes, museum passes, gone to festivals, sporting events, clinics, and have learned through volunteering. Books are something I won’t pay full price on, but I don’t mind spending some money to learn from a book. Buying some finance books can be a wonderful investment in your education. Education is the one items you can’t lose. You can lose everything you have in life, but can take your education with you anywhere, and have the opportunity to start over. Education is preached in many religions too, because it is the one thing you can take to the next life. So spending money to learn seems like a great use of money, and a solid investment for your family.
- Maintenance– This category has gone up in recent years. Our cars cost us about $1,000 a year in repairs and another $1,000 a year in general maintenance. Our home has maintenance such as paint, yard work, tools
purchased to fix things, and other basic homeowner things can creep up. Kids put holes in walls accidentally, the dog can kill some bushes with its bad habit of digging or peeing, and a storm can roll through and rip up some shingles and cause a leak. Insurance only covers so much, and I get to pay the rest. I don’t mind paying this most of the time. I know my house will go up in value and keeping it in good shape will pay off. I know the cars are old, but as long as they are running and being maintained they will save us money by not buying a newer car. I also don’t mind maintaining our bodies. If we are sick then see a doctor, if you are really sore and hurting then get a massage, and if you need to get your hair done then just take care of it. I get my hair cut by my wife at home, but the ladies needs are different. I just ask that we shop around and see what the best deal is that meets our needs for maintenance. I don’t mind spending the money, just getting ripped off bothers me.
So, I do spend money, but I consciously spend my money on things that are important to me. Things don’t mean that much to me. I don’t like expensive clothes, furniture, fancy cars, shoes, or anything like that. I do like expensive trips, exotic foods, and educational seminars that I have an interest in. We save a lot, but we spend a lot also. It’s just that we don’t spend on items that don’t bring us happiness or better our lives. A family seeing the world together will bring us together more and create happiness, and that is better than new clothes for the family or spending money senselessly. It’s just conscious spending on things that we value. So, if you are reading this, and you know us, maybe you’ll see that we are not super crazy money hoarders, but we do spend in a different way, and that has made all the difference.