Everyone seems to be talking about what they no longer spend money on, or how they are cutting back. Yet I know that, no matter how tight our finances are, there are certain things we choose to spend money on-- whether for luxury, idealism, or just-can't-live-without-it-ness. I'm really curious what these items are for other people.
So, what do you spend money on?
I'll go first. I buy fancy dish soap. It costs at least twice as much as the regular stuff, but it looks nice, smells nice, is easy on the skin and environment, and therefore improves my quality of life-- we don't have a dishwasher and so we spend a significant amount of time standing there washing dishes, smelling the soap. It's completely worth the extra $5 every 2-3 months.
On the more principled end of things, I buy nicer jewelry and shoes. This doesn't mean that I actually spend more money than most people altogether on these things. I have been known to save for two years, without having a watch to wear, in favor of buying the one I really wanted. Same with a pair of $100 earrings-- I just didn't buy any other jewelry that year (by the way, these would be next on my list.) I don't own many pairs of shoes, but almost all of them cost over $100. There is something very essential to me about having really good shoes that hold up and are comfortable but of course, stylish. And no buyer's remorse.... The other thing is that if I do happen to decide that I don't want to own something anymore, it still has value-- even after being used-- and I sell it on ebay!
In the can't-live-without category, Jeff and I love to eat out. We have a very small budget for this each month, and about 70% of our meals out are happy hour deals. If you are local, the best happy hour I have ever found is here. Whenever extra money comes our way, our first impulse is to go out to eat! We don't do fast food, and I try not to eat at places that serve food I could easily make at home, so we have to be super choosy about where we go to spend our precious dinner money. We could save good amount of money by never going out to eat, but we just enjoy it way too much to stop.
Addendum: For you Angelinos, our favorite happy hour spots there were Cafe Santorini and Ciudad (this one was actually my favorite restaurant, period)-- you should check them out!
There are so many things that we have to spend money on, but I am so curious what other people like to spend their money on, even when we're feeling some financial strain. Please share!