I’m more thrifty than the average Joe and will compare my squeezing-the-last-bit-of-toothpaste-out-of-the-tube skills with anyone out there. But compared to some of the FIRE bloggers I read, I am a spendthrift! Just a few examples:
We pay someone to clean our house. This started when my now-husband moved in with me. I saw the state of his bachelor apartment (GASP!) and did not want to spend time arguing with my new roomie about standards of cleanliness. Hiring it out was a easy way to reduce that friction. Now that a little one has entered into the family dynamic, paying someone to clean frees up precious free time in our evenings and on weekends. FRUGAL TIP: We did reduce the frequency of the housecleaning to accommodate the budget post-baby.
Salon styling. I like to have my hair cut and colored professionally. FRUGAL TIP: adopt a low-maintenance hairstyle and coloring strategy to reduce the frequency of visits. (Related: anyone have a recommendation for a good product to cover up gray roots?!?)
Fancy daycare. When asking for recommendations for daycares last year, only once place was consistently mentioned to us. That is where our daughter goes and we’ve been quite happy. It’s not cheap, but is any good daycare cheap? (Unless it’s Grandma. Grandma daycare can be amazing. AND cheap.) I’d rather spend just a little more and not worry about my child’s safety or quality of care. FRUGAL TIP: I contribute the annual limit ($5,000) to a dependent care FSA at work to maximize tax savings.
Expensive groceries. I don’t usually shop at Aldi and Wal-Mart. I’m certainly not opposed to shopping there, but at this stage of life, convenience sometimes trumps money. It is a struggle to get to one grocery store per week, much less two or more. So the streamlined choice is a regional grocery chain that is not the cheapest, but has the full variety of items we buy for our weekly meals. FRUGAL TIPS: We buy lots of store-branded groceries (canned goods, frozen veggies, etc.); I plan meals around the store’s weekly ad; and as members of the chain’s shopper program we max out the various coupons that we receive.
Hamilton tickets! My husband has been obsessed with Hamilton for a couple of years now. He knows most of the songs by heart. And he recently bought tickets for the touring show. They were ridiculously expensive but he is over-the-top excited. We have months to look forward to it and will always remember it afterwards. We don’t do these types of experiences very frequently either, so when we do, it feels more special. FRUGAL TIP: Is there any way to frugalize this?
How do you spend money like a champ?