I have a couple of little luxuries in my life that I love. And I manage to justify the seemingly unjustifiable spending of money on these things. I guess a lot of us do it, I just want to know what your luxuries are, and how you justify the expense of them.
Here are mine:
Really, really good sheets. My favoritest sheets are 1,000 thread count, Egyptian cotton. I paid $100.00 for 'em. But I figure, I spend more time with my sheets against my skin than any other single thing (I sleep in God’s pajamas); also, they’re so densely woven, that they’ll probably last through at least ten years of normal wear. That makes them $10.00 a year. Less than a dollar a month, for the pleasure of sleeping on something that feels like heaven. A bargain, I’d say.
Kona coffee. This being a pissant little city, you can’t buy pure Kona around here. You have to mail order it. When I do, I pay about $20.00 a lb. for it. But a pound makes about ten pots of coffee. A ten-cup pot fills my gigantic coffee mug two and a half times. That’s less than a dollar for a gigantic coffee mug full of superior coffee. That’s way less than I pay for crappy coffee in a restaurant.
Bath and Body Works shower gel. I wait until they have the buy three, get one free sale. That way, I get four bottles of great smelling shower gel (imho) for about $24.00. I use a shower puff, so a little squeeze of gel washes all of super-sized me. Four bottles lasts me about four months. A buck and a half a week, and I get to enjoy the fragrance not only in the shower, but for hours afterwards.
I could probably be a morally superior person by sleeping on cheap sheets, buying cheap coffee (to be honest, I only buy about two pounds of Kona a year), and using generic body wash, and donating my extra money to charity. But I’m something of a hedonist, and while I do donate to charities, I loves me some luxuries!
Just this week I finally became disgusted enough by my own filth to hire someone to clean it for me. I can keep up with daily chores like dishes and laundry but floor-cleaning and dusting and such bore me to tears so I find a million other things to do instead.
I’m a single parent, with a full-time job, going to college part-time and recently began the first serious romantic relationship I’ve had in nearly a decade, hence rationalization numero uno: I don’t have the time!
My best friend is going thru a difficult financial period, won’t take charity, and asked for the job. She’s trustworthy, in fact she already had her own key to my place, I don’t feel as weirded out as I would by a stranger seeing my dirt, and she can set her own hours and still make some extra cash: It’s altruistic!
The thrill I get walking into a lemony-fresh smelling, vacuumed, mopped and dust-free home is so just icing on the cake.
At this point in my life, I am making decent money and not supporting anybody else. As a result, most of my justifications are “why the heck not?” I contribute to my IRA, I pay my taxes, I pay my rent and bills, I keep a nice pot for emergencies. What’s left is fair game.
My biggest luxury is my house. Yes, I could live in an apartment for less. Yes, I could live in the graduate house for even less. But it isn’t really… living, you know? I am super-sensitive to other people’s stupid noises, and I did my time inside shared walls. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that I can go to bed at night feeling relaxed, instead of uptight about George-downstairs’ guitar. I can’t tell you how nice it to to have a yard and a garden. A kitchen big enough to work in. My own washer and dryer. Etc.
Yarn is another luxury, for me. I am a Knitter (capital K) and a yarn snob, so like to knit with Rowan and Debbie Bliss and hand-painted yarn. And I do buy a lot more than I can knit up… I guess it is a hoarding thing. “Some day I will be poor, and then I will have this treasure-trove of yarn just waiting for me…”
Other luxuries are, I think, all housewares sort of stuff. I really love dishes and silverware, and I can tell myself that it will last me a lifetime. I just bought a beautiful set of Burleighware mixing bowls last week… two orders of magnitude more expensive than a set of Anchor glass bowls, but so lovely. Sooooooo lovely.
Quality food is my main luxury. I don’t mind generic on things like milk or ketchup and mustard, but pretty much everything from my cereal to bread to frozen dinners to yogurt is quality. I’ll try a generic brand once and if I like it, I’ll keep buying it, but most of my food is name-brand.
My reasoning for spending the extra money? If it doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it and it will just be wasted.
The problem I have with all of my horse splurges is, most of the items that I consider a “luxury” are really still a bargain, comparatively. I bought my bridle for $200, but it was on SALE from $250! Plus, there are bridles that sell for $400 so I actually was being frugal. (I just ignore the fact that there are also plenty of bridles that sell for $30.) In this manner, I can justify just about every piece of tack or horse apparel.
That’s pretty much my justification too. One of my major goals in getting my degree was to have a decent job so I could afford nice things (primarily shoes and books). And, now, if I want to drop $300 on a pair of really great shoes or place a large order at Amazon, I can and it makes me happy.
My other luxury is good food, mostly prepared ahead of time. It’s expensive but I don’t cook. I could learn but I don’t have the interest. So I either eat healthy prepared foods or I’d eat crap and eating healthy food will be better for me both now and in the long run. And I tell myself that I’m actually saving money because of the better health I’ll enjoy in the future.
Because I’m worth it!
Why the heck not?
Money burning a hole in pocket!
It’s only money!
Because I feel lousy!
Just one, because the rest goes to rent!
Might as well, I’m already in the poorhouse!
Chocolate! Fine, aged spirits, artisinal/exotic/natural foods and beverages, boutique/spa/natural body and hair products, spa treatments/massages and spoiling my dog. Everything else, feh. I’m still a t-shirt, jeans, hoody and chucks kinda guy.
I try to buy the best damn tools I can. My kitchen knives are worth more than the entire rest of our kitchen stuff put together (I live with three roomies, who brought most of the pots and pans before I moved in… nobody else uses my knives). They’re some of the best knives on the consumer market (Kershaw Shuns), so it’ll be a good long time before I’m sick of them and get new ones. Much cheaper than buying $15 Safeway Specials every six months.
I buy music on CD, not iTunes, even if it costs a little more, and I buy a new CD at least once a week even when I shouldn’t. It’s part of my quest to move a little from a science-and-tech nerd to an arts-and-culture-nerd-with-tech-roots. Besides, I get a $2 discount at Rasputin’s for being a student (the “Studying Too Hard Discount”) twice a week. Once I graduate, I don’t get it anymore.
My alcohol is expensive (in general, I’m told, and truly extravagant by college standards), but that’s because it’s worth drinking. I don’t go through much (I probably buy a bottle of wine once a month, maybe twice, a bottle of hard liquor every six, beer on the rare occasion that I feel like it). Life is too short to drink crap.
Buying books, I suppose. There’s the library, and there are used book stores, but life is so busy that if I take books from the library, I’ll pile up late fees or return them unread. I like to buy books, have, hold, and keep for (almost) ever.
Jewellery. I’m a grown-up woman, and I like “real” jewellery, the expensive (to me) kind.
Shoes. I don’t, strictly speaking, need more shoes, but… I can always wear them to work.
A laptop computer that I didn’t need (yet). However, since the desktop seems to be suffering some maladies, it’s likely going to become my ‘main’ computer shortly.
Costco membership, even though our household is only two people, and…
Pretty much, even having my horse is something I consider a luxury. Plus, I show on the rated circuit, so that’s another “luxury” expense.
I don’t feel much guilt about it however. I suppose I justify it by looking at where else the money would go. It’s unlikely I’d give all my horse money to charity. I already give quite a bit. It’s more likely that I’d live in a bigger house, drive a better (or at least newer) car, have better furniture (almost all my stuff is second hand), etc. I probably wouldn’t go hog wild with my spending, but, outside of the horse expenditures, I’m pretty darned frugal.
I don’t feel the need to justify my few luxuries. I have no dependents except a dog, I have no debt except a mortgage, I make enough to live on and save some at the end of the day toward retirement (not much, but some). If I buy premium dog food and treats for the dog, it’s because it makes him happy and a dog’s life is short – why shouldn’t I spring for a Happy Meal or DQ baby cone for him sometimes?
As for my luxuries, a trip to Trader Joe’s for good cheese and bread, some cookies, things that make me happy (and fat) – so what? A trip to the bookstore for some books – hey, I’m supporting a fellow writer.
And I worked for this money, so I can spend it anyway I want. So there!
There are five people in this house and two computers. One belongs to my nine-year-old sister and one belongs to the rest of us. Two of us have homework and one has a mahjong addiction ( :rolleyes: ) and the fourth actually bought the computer and reserves the right to play video games whenever he wants to. We could use another computer.
I spend most of my time not at home. It would be good to have a portable word processor for the times I’m not doing anything but not at home.
I’ll be the first to go to college. I’ll need a computer. I might as well get one now when I’m not drowning in bills and tuition and such.
Every Thursday morning (which is like Saturday morning for the rest of the world), I spend SR40 (US$10) for a breakfast steak platter at Fudruckers. I drink too much coffee and read until the barber shop opens at 9:30. I tip the waiter too much and drive over.
At the barber, I get my weekly haircut and shave. Warm towel, brush for the soap, straight razor, cool towel, massage. I tip him too much also (total, about another US$10).
For one morning a week, I revel in sensual pleasure. I am a Big Shot.
I started this when I realized I made more money per year from investments than I do from work. I like the feeling.