Career & Finance Life

Scrimp or Spend? The things I will drop the dosh on, and the things I won’t.

Who has never suffered from buyer’s remorse?

Anyone?

Exactly.

Everyone at some point has regretted a purchase, or perhaps regretted how much they spent on a purchase. See, every single person has in their minds an intangible limit on how much they will or won’t spend on any particular expense, whether it’s groceries, utilities, fashion, or adventure. Some of those limits can be quite high, and others can be very low – it all depends on the individual.

And when it comes to these limits, or indeed how we choose to spend our money at all, there are so many different factors involved that it’s not really an easy conversation to have without having an open mind. From diet, to lifestyle, to culture, to gender, to many many many other factors, these things help us determine what is or isn’t worth our hard earned moolah.

For example, if you’re a coeliac, then spending more money on gluten free food doesn’t bother you because your health is worth it. If you’re a fashion girl, then those Louboutin heels are more than worth the price tag.

And on the inverse, for some people spending the extra money to buy organic is absurd, whereas others will think that upgraded to premium economy isn’t worth it.

As I said, there are so many factors that influence these decisions that it may not be easy to discuss but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be. If there’s a common sense reason, or cultural, demographic, financial, logical or even illogical reason for your limit, I want to hear it!

I want to know what you feel is a justified expense, and what you think isn’t worth the money. Having these conversations can help us learn about new practices or processes, better ways to save money, or feel better about the things we shouldn’t feel guilty about spending money on.

So, with this in mind I figured I’d share with you what I spend and scrimp on – whether it creates conversation or gives you an idea or two, one thing is for sure – it’ll explain why I can afford so many shoes.

Spend

Toilet Paper

There’s no single-ply in my house – it’s all triple ply and quilted, baby! My logic is, the thicker the paper the less you use, so even though it may cost twice the price, you’re only using half the amount, essentially, evening it out cost wise. Also, your toosh gets a little touch of luxury and who doesn’t like that?

Eggs

If you know me, you know that eggs and I are in a serious relationship, and I eat them pretty much every single day. So, considering this it’s completely understandable that I will always spend a bit more on eggs to ensure I get fresh, organic, cage free eggs. When you poach eggs, you need the freshest eggs possible as eggs lose their structural integrity as they age – and structural integrity is integral for the perfect poached eggs. Also, fresh, organic, cage free just tastes better (to me).

Cat Food

When I first adopted Maia she was all about the Whiskas. After she’d been living with me for a month or so, during one trip to Tesco, the brand Gourmet was on sale so I decided to buy it for her as something a little different, to mix things up a bit.  It’s now the only food my middle class kitty will eat (except chicken and sausages), and so cat food is one of those things I really have no choice now but to spend a little bit of extra money on!

Hotels / Accommodation

I don’t stay in ludicrously expensive hotels when I travel (ok, maybe once or twice), but at the same time I will not stay in a hostel. To me, having a nice space to myself when travelling, to unwind at the end of the day, is a luxury I won’t sacrifice. I have stayed in hostels before, but checked out after only a night or two, upgrading to a hotel instead. Although it cost me extra money and that money had to come out of my shopping fund, it was worth it. Depending on where you are travelling to, a hotel or alternatively an AirBnb is only marginally more expensive than a hostel, so worth the extra few £ for the safety, security and privacy they afford you.

Scrimp

Shoes

That’s right, I scrimp on shoes. Now, that doesn’t mean I am buying shoes second-hand from Gumtree, but it does mean that I keep an eye on the sales and only buy shoes when they’re discounted. Heavily discounted – I once bought a pair of £120 Nine West heels for £20 from Shoeaholics. Patience in the shoe world pays off, and I won’t spend more than £40 for a pair. If a pair I love never gets discounted, remains full price, and is close to selling out? That is just tough luck for me.

Cleaning Supplies

You know those people that use White Vinegar to clean pretty much everything in their house? That’s me. Vinegar is cheap, antibacterial, antifungal, a deodoriser, and it cuts through grease easily. It leaves mirrors and glass shiny and streak free, and my benchtops clean enough to eat from (which, you know, you want when you’re cleaning kitchen benchtops). Couple it with bicarbonate soda and you have a very powerful cleaning solution on your hands for very little money. The only cleaning products I actually purchase is thick bleach for the bathroom, and I typically buy that from the pound store.

Hair Cuts

Once upon a time I got a haircut where they literally shaved an inch into my neck-hairline, meaning I had to wear funky bandanas for a month to hide my scalp. Another time, I asked for a Audrey Hepburn pixie cut and after the hairdresser stabbed their own hand with their scissors, I walked out with hair that was an inch long all over. I have had so many bad haircuts that I am slightly traumatised by the whole experience, and so would rather cut my own hair now. After all, if I fuck it up, at least I’ve got no one to blame but myself!

Technology

I hate the fact I don’t like spending a lot of money on technology. I want the newest, shiniest things that could power a small village in the highlands, but every time I see the price tag of the things I want, I start crying into my newest pair of heels. My laptop is tiny, slow, and constantly freezing because it doesn’t have enough juice to do what I want it to, and my phone is so basic it’s on first-name basis with the barista at Starbucks. This scrimp of mine is one that is actually quite irrational, but something I am struggling to change. Maybe one day I’ll buy that shiny new phone… Maybe…

But probably not.


 So, those are my Scrimps and Spends – what are yours? Let me know in the comments!

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