I hate to spend money, unless I want to. Can I get an amen?
I read a blog last week about scrimping and splurging. Like, scrimp by picking up $10 pillows at outlet stores; splurge by buying luxe tassels and sewing them on your discount pillows. Hmmmm. If you can sew $30 tassels on pillows, why not just sew your own pillows?
Anyway, this post got me thinking: Aren’t we all on a budget? If you’re not, good for you! Also, can I borrow some money?
Most of us make scrimp/splurge decisions just about every day. What’s worth it and what’s not? When do we seek a bargain and when do we splash out? (The following are just my observations. I don’t like anybody telling me how to spend my money, and you probably don’t either.)
Scrimp on: Sunscreen (it all works); magazines (read online/ find deep subscription discounts); moisturizer (same as sunscreen).
Don’t scrimp on can openers or health care. A cheap can opener will kill your fingers and break after three uses. Cheap health care can literally kill you. Same with restaurants: Fifty-cent sushi from a broke-down food truck is probably not your best bet.
Splurge: Hair color/care/cuts. You have to look at it every day, and so do other people.
Scrimp on shoes, if you’re careful. Thirty-five dollar running shoes aren’t doing your feet any favors, but for sandals, boots, heels or any other kind of shoe, it’s a buyer’s market. Shop around.
Splurge on underwear. Life is too short to wear cheap, scratchy undies. (Ladies—this does not mean spend $60 on a thong. It does mean don’t grab the six-for-$10 bag. Vanity Fair BodyShine is amazing—11 bucks, soft, silky and seamless. I don’t own stock but I should.)
Scrimp: Office supplies. An 18-cent manila envelope will hold the same documents (and costs the same to mail) as a 27-cent manila envelope.
Another worthy splurge: Stationery. Buy the best quality you can afford. A box of 100 engraved, personalized notecards and matching envelopes will set you back about $70. We use ours for birthdays, thank yous, weddings, sympathy, congratulations, get well and “thinking of you.” They pay for themselves after six months.
For some reason, guys like to splurge on grills. Seriously, people? THEY ALL COOK MEAT. Borrow one, buy a used one, rub two sticks together, whatever. Nobody needs a $10,000 grill. (A behemoth called “The Gold-Plated Beef Eater” retails for $165,000, and people actually buy this thing. All we can do for those folks is pray and let them go.)
Splurge: Name-brand batteries. The cheap ones last about two minutes.
Splurge: Toilet paper. It took me way too long to learn this. When I married Widdle, I was shocked that he bought the gold standard: Charmin double rolls, extra soft. He was shocked that I bought anything else.
Groceries: To save or splurge? I’m so conflicted about this. I LOVE Aldi’s, but some of their products (looking at you, blueberry muffin mix), are a tad underwhelming. Their produce, chocolate, eggs, salad dressings and granola bars are fabulous; soups and cold cuts, not so much. One thing is certain: A can of cut-price mixed nuts is guaranteed to be 80 percent peanuts. If you like cashews and pecans, buy the Planters.
I’m a huge fan of makeup, but I scrimp like crazy. After decades of trying it all, these days I buy everything from the drugstore. I’ve paid $40 for designer mascara and $7 for off-brand mascara. Absolutely no difference.
Dental floss: Splurge. Budget floss is nasty.