Spending More on the Right Things

I swear some people think my life must be like a monk.  They confuse the fact that I don’t spend a lot with not spending anything at all.  So to clear that up: yes I spend money.  When you think about it, everyone does it so that isn’t so odd.  Yet perhaps the major difference between a lot of my spending and other people’s spending is I’m usually thoughtful on what I spend my money on.

Yet this does not mean I never impulse buy.  In fact, yes I splurge on impulse items once in a while.  Just once every few months rather than twice a week.  For example, my latest one was I was at the bank to deposit a cheque and I recalled that the local HMV location near me was shutting down soon.  So I wandered over there saw a sign stating that it was it’s last week and all the DVDs and Blu-rays were 50 or 60% off.  So I walked around the store and found a few items and bought them (Mr Robot Season 2, Contact and I Robot..if you were wondering).  Did I need them? Nope.  Did I plan for them? Nope.  Did I want them like a two year wants a piece of candy? Hell yes!  Yet prior to that I really can’t really recall a similar impulse spending event for the last six months.  At the very least I usually have a 24 hour cooling off period prior to buying something.

Then on the other hand I sometimes think things out too much.  I recently had decided to seek out a faster internet speed package from my telecom provider since after months of trying to deal with the issue I came to the conclusion: our internet is too slow for what our house uses it for.  Prior to that I had done numerous technical troubleshooting sessions to see if I could squeak more speed out of out internet, but didn’t improve things all that much. Yet in the end I decided I wanted a faster connection it comes down to this…my kids grew up and spend a lot more time online and my wife started to watch Netflix more.  So I was increasingly battling my family for times to download some files or watch Netflix myself.  So I called in and confirmed my options and found out that I could increase my internet speed from a max speed of 1.5 MB/s to 5.0MB/s (yes nearly 3 times faster)  for an additional $3/month.  After that I turned to my wife and said, “I’m a bloody idiot. I should have found that out ages ago and just upgraded.”  Now I can download a large file in a fraction of the time prior and while my wife watches her show on Netflix.  I was just in the habit of making do with what I had that it took me a while to realize the solution would be to pay the extra monthly fee and upgrade.

So in the end there are two sides of spending: the not thinking about it all all for impulse buying and over thinking something for months that costs next to nothing.  Either end isn’t particularly useful so try to stay somewhere in the middle to achieve a happy balance. That is usually where I spend the most of my time but even I screw up. So where do you tend to fall on that scale for your spending?

6 thoughts on “Spending More on the Right Things”

  1. I don’t go on spending sprees very often, either. But I know whenever I have to spend some extra money on something, it won’t bust my budget because I have a cushion already built into it so it can absorb those occasional sprees. BTW, Tim, I also upgraded my internet service recently as part of a package upgrade with my phone and cable TV and I ended up paying the same as my a la carte services before.

  2. My family is going through the same internet conversations about upgrading as well. A common issue in most families, I guess.

  3. I like going through the internet options, its mildly interesting.

    Sure it might have been only $3 this time, but what did you learn in the process? Are you wiser as a result?

  4. I am a frugalist. Being one doesn’t mean that I can’t have fun and look good. If we look hard enough, some things are either free or very affordable.

    These things fuel my frugalist lifestyle.
    Netflix, Itunes weekly 99 cents movie rental, Tuesday 1/2 price movies at the cinema, Kindle (Amazon has amazing $1.99/$2.99 book sales weekly), Casio watches (cheap, quirky and lasts forever), H&M (cheap and trendy clothing), free concerts by music university students, biking, going to the parks, going for walks, having coffee with friends instead of a meal, commute by walking/bus/subway rather than owning a car.

    I also cut my own hair (just takes practice). Havent been to the barber since 2013.


  5. Reading your first paragraph was like reading my own words 🙂 I’m in the exact same situation!

    Most of my friends are weirded out by the fact that I almost never impulse buy.

    I swear, sometimes they must think I’m poor or have some serious financial issues. The truth is, I’m quite a frugal person and always think twice before buying something ‘just to spend’.

    I’d rather save money for important things rather than spend it on small stuff I can very well live without.

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