I am possibly the most frugal and the most expensive person I know.
While I cringe every time my grocery bill is over $20 for the week, I also found no problem in spending $1300 for a laptop. I can barely justify spending more than $10 on a tshirt, yet that foundation at Sephora is so worth $50.
Every once in a while I look at my horoscope (because there’s nothing better than laughing over a cup of tea) and I have noticed a pattern: Taurus’s love luxury yet hate spending money. Who knew I’d ever believe in my horoscope?
Now that I make money and pay for most things (and will pay for many more things as I move forward onto adulthood) I have learned what things to save on and what to splurge on in order to keep my lifestyle how I like it. There are plenty of places to cut corners on and lots of places where spending that extra dollar is really going to improve your life. It’s all about knowing where to do it.
Below is my guide to where to save and where to spend on every aspect of your lovely life.
Save v Splurge: A Comprehensive Guide
Save. If you are going to be buying a shirt you’ll likely wear for a year, a pair of shoes just for going out, or something else that won’t be a major fashion statement, don’t spend a lot of money on it. Take advantage of tshirt sales and never spend more than $30 on a pair of shoes only for going out or for a friend’s wedding. If it’s not going to be worn more than once in the next month you shouldn’t be spending a hunk of your paycheck.
Splurge. Jeans. Everyday bags. Coats. Daily shoes. Professional clothes. There is one pair of jeans that fits me perfectly and I do not care what they cost, I will buy them. A bag that I’m going to be using every day and will likely go through a lot of wear? Spend the extra money for quality. A good trench coat or a beautiful wool peacoat is always worth the cash. The shoes you’re going to wear every day to work? You better get some high quality ones that can handle that commute. And for professional clothes, always always ALWAYS spend the extra money to get something that looks amazing and professional, because these clothes count. And never fret the cost of tailoring certain things to look amazing.
Save. You do not need name brand chips or bread or anything of that sort. Just buy generic and you already save yourself a good $15 for each trip. The normal stuff that you buy every week should not be costing you an arm and a leg when you can get the same things (with the same taste) for a much cheaper price. Milk is milk.
Splurge. If you are going to splurge on food, have it be on the things that really matter. I love to treat myself to a bag of fresh local bread. Buy a beautiful bottle of wine. Those gorgeous chocolate orange cookies in the display. A little splurging is okay if it’s on the special stuff you aren’t picking up every week.
Save. 90% of my bedroom is from IKEA or the like. Find cheap end tables, desk, bookcases, etc. and still have beautiful furniture for the fraction of the price. And because this is stuff that can easily be replaced when you’re in a more financially able situation, you can always have a fancy bookcase next to your IKEA one. This also can be applied to finding accessories and paintings for cheap and mixing them with nicer things. No one needs to know that fruit bowl came from the dollar store. Shop around for things and you’ll find that lots of great stuff comes with a low price tag.
Splurge. Know that whatever you spend on your mattress is okay as long as it’s the right mattress. No back problems are worth having a cushier bank account. If you find the perfect furnishing, it’s okay if it costs a little extra. The best thing to splurge on when it comes to furnishing your home, in my opinion, is on bedding. You use it literally every day, so why not get some that’s amazing? You can even use IKEA sheets (which are amazing) and pair them with an amazing expensive duvet that you can’t help but cuddle.
Save. This really comes down to the person, but there are some things that have no need to be expensive. Heat protectant is going to work the same no matter the cost. Same goes for most brushes, lotions, body washes, and makeup remover. Of course, always check reviews before you buy any sort of product, but usually you can save a bit of money by getting something generic and no one will care.
Splurge. There are some things that are always worth the extra cash and they are the following: A moisturizer that makes you skin feel amazing. A foundation that covers all of your skin concerns. A shampoo that gives you perfect hair without heat tools. A face wash that doesn’t irritate your skin. It could cost $100 but as long as it does the job, who cares?
Save. Buy movies on deep discount on Amazon or wait until it’s on Netflix or spend $1 to rent it from Redbox. Go see local shows that are free or have a small fee. Ask your friends what events they’re going to and ask to come along, splitting gas money and tickets. I spend so little on this sort of stuff and it leaves a lot of money for my splurges.
Splurge. Concerts. Oh man, I love a good concert. I see at least one a year (or two in one week, don’t judge me) and that’s where my money goes. A live show is so worth the money and I don’t mind spending $120 for the VIP experience because it is so worth it! Also, go see your favourite movies in theatres. For the stuff you love you should always spend the extra buck. The memories are priceless.
Save. Even on my most expensive trips I never spend too much. Find a cheap hotel (with decent quality, please) and split it with friends. Flight check for a few weeks to find the cheapest time to buy your ticket. Check out different ways to travel to different cities. I just booked a roundtrip ticket from Eugene to Portland for $24. Don’t spend all your money on the getting there. Also, do not spend a whole bunch on tiny souvenirs for friends, you will be poor and they will lose them.
Splurge. If you’re traveling I believe in enjoying your time. Choose one night and go to a special restaurant in the city. Book a tour of the city. In San Francisco I spent $60 and got a three-day pass to use whatever bus I wanted to go wherever. Not only do I have downtown memorized, but had a great time on the Golden Gate Bridge, on the Waterfront, and through other various parts of SF. And no real vacation is complete without a sourvenir, so buy something that you’ll really love. For me it was a sweatshirt that I wear almost every day.
Save. If it’s the kind of place that you just need to feed yourself there is no need to be pulling out the big bucks. Get water. See if a friend wants to split. Eating out is expensive on it’s own, so save when it’s a meal that you’ll forget about by tomorrow.
Splurge. When it’s a restaurant you’ll be dreaming about for the rest of your life, feel free to spend an extra dollar or 40. My ex and I spent $100 on our anniversary dinner and I don’t regret it, because from the crab bruschetta to the apple tart I was in heaven. You’re not just spending money on the food, but on the experience. Same goes for local bakeries, sometimes it is so worth it.
Save. I never buy the approved Apple cords, but the cheap counterparts on Amazon. Same goes for other easily breakable, replaceable electronic items. Just save where you can and always buy on sale.
Splurge. Buy the laptop that does everything you need it to do (my $1300 MacBook Pro is still the best purchase on my life). Buy headphones that don’t irritate your ears. If you’re a big TV watcher, buy that nice HDTV. If you are always on your phone it’s probably best you get the right phone. Spend the money on the electronics that are the most important to you.
Want to stay up to date with all of my crazy shenanigans, what movies I’m watching, and how to live the best life ever? See my story on Snapchat: PotatoesHegarty
Stay classy, Internet,
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