If you’ve been reading our blog up to this point, you might be thinking something like this: “Man, these people never have any fun. That’s not the kind of life I want to live”. However, this is far, far, from the truth. Jake and I absolutely enjoy some of the finer things in life.
You see, frugality is not about having the least amount of things or spending the least amount of money – it is about making sure the way you use your resources brings you joy. Not instantaneous joy that is fleeting, but the kind of joy where you can look at that item or think back to a memory many months or years down the road, and it still makes you happy.
Like most people, we have things that we just like to splurge on. Here are four of our favorites:
Arguably our favorite splurge, travel is a huge part of our lives. While we have been able to reduce the costs somewhat through credit card travel hacking and searching for deals, some travel costs just can’t be avoided. However, there is no replacement for seeing the world. The longer we have been married, the more opportunities we have gotten to travel, and you could definitely say we have the bug. Whether it’s a 3 or 4 day weekend with our companion pass or our 15-day trip to Europe this summer, travel gives us true joy. A Broadway show in NYC, pizza in Naples, or a glass of wine in front of the Pantheon simply cannot be replicated. The world is such a vast place with so many different types of people, cultures, and things to see. I’m convinced we could permanently travel for the rest of our lives and not see a fraction of it. But darn it, we are going to try our best.
2. Eating Out
Ever since I can remember, I have always told myself that someday I will learn to be a good cook. Well, let me tell you that the day still isn’t here. Although we do a really good job of always bringing our lunch to work and trying to eat in on the weekdays, our weekends are often filled with going out to eat. There are a few things I love about eating out – delicious food, intimate conversations with loved ones and friends, and who doesn’t occasionally like being served? I just simply can’t make myself delicious Thai food or a perfect Iced Vanilla Latte on a warm summer day or that drink at the bar with a good friend. But somebody else can. That’s what makes it worth it.
We both love to read, and we also both agree that reading can be an excellent tool for learning, daydreaming, or personal development. It’s a whole lot better than sitting in front of the television all night, right? We recently got Kindles for Christmas, hopeful that we can keep up our reading habit without filling up our physical bookshelves in our homes. One of my goals is that when I’m sitting around waiting at the doctor’s office, auto repair shop, or anywhere else, that I can enjoy a book rather than fiddling around on my cell phone. Books aren’t cheap, and when you have a goal of reading a lot, it can be expensive. However, we find this to be an indulgence that makes us smarter, less stressed, and better decision makers (science backs up all of these notions as well).
4. Live Sporting Events
If there’s one thing anybody who has been around me very long knows, it’s that I absolutely LOVE sports. My college cross country coach literally told me every day that I should give up my accounting career to become a sports broadcaster. Jake isn’t too far behind me. We are diehard fans of our favorite teams, and something that brings us an abundance of joy is seeing them live and in person. Since we’ve been together, we have attended a Final Four, an ALCS championship game, and literally hundreds of college basketball, college football, MLB, NFL, and MLS games. Sometimes the tickets are cheap nosebleeds, other times we splurge a little bit more for a trip to see our team out of town and get close seats. For a real sports fan, sometimes major championship games are once in a lifetime, and for the most part, that’s an opportunity we don’t want to pass up.
You see, splurges really are for everyone. When you are wise with your money and live with little debt, it actually makes it a lot easier to spend money on these types of things and not feel guilty about it. Most of our splurges are experiential, as we believe that relationships are part of the core to living a happy life. What are your favorite splurges? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below!