When I shared my latest Stitch Fix last week, I mentioned that Stitch Fix prices are higher than what I usually spend on clothes, which got me thinking about where I will and won’t spend money in general.
Where we spend money indicates what we value, so looking at spending habits can be enlightening. Money is an uncomfortable subject, but I hope sharing my spending habits will help demystify it, at least on this little corner of the Internet.
One reason I’m publishing this thought process is that I think it’s way too easy and common for us to judge how other people spend money.
Our judgments, based on partial information, lead to bitterness, envy, and even damaged or broken relationships.
I’m not saying my spending patterns are the right ones. They’re just mine, and they reflect what I value, not necessarily what others do. Money is personal and it’s each family’s privilege to choose how they spend.
Enough caveats for ya? Anyway, here’s my list of stuff I’m willing to spend more on:
Makeup: I buy almost all of my makeup from Bare Escentuals. It lasts a long time, and the cost per use is worth it to me.
Meat: I am a very picky meat eater. Since I think the protein is important for my health and my husband likes meat, I buy it, but only high quality meat.
Groceries, if it means I only have to make one stop: I used to shop around at several stores to get the best prices. I’ve learned that grocery shopping zaps my energy more than any other chore or errand.
I think it’s because there are so many decisions to make and balancing budget with meal plans is a challenge. Making the trip longer by going to multiple stores just isn’t worth it. I’d rather spend more for the convenience of one store and have energy left for more important tasks.
Clothes, within reason: I’d rather buy fewer items that will last, but I usually do this by buying quality brands at consignment stores or on sale.
Shoes: Other than my around-the-house Old Navy flip flops, I usually buy higher quality shoes so they’ll last longer. I’m not opposed to cheaper shoes, but I’ve been disappointed with the quality often enough that I tend toward better pairs and wear them for several seasons.
Haircuts: Charleston has a Paul Mitchell school where you can get a haircut for $10. I tried it once, but I wasn’t happy. My hair is extremely fine so it shows every detail of the cut. Haircuts from professional salons are expensive, but worth it to me.
Gas: I pretty much go to the same gas station every time without comparing prices with less convenient gas stations.
Bras: I wear one every day, so…
Stuff I spend as little as possible on:
Skin care products: My skin is pretty low maintenance and I never noticed a significant difference when I used more expensive products. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I use Target’s Up and Up brand face wash. I use coconut oil as moisturizer.
Wine: My parents have spoiled my unsophisticated taste with their nicer wine, but I still buy the cheaper bottles. I hate to admit it, but I guess I’m choosing quantity over quality in this case.
Prescriptions: I use BidrX.com to get bids on my prescriptions. It would be more convenient to get them from the local drug store than some tiny pharmacy in Wisconsin, but since I take prescriptions every day, the cost adds up. For over the counter medicines, I buy the Target Up and Up brand.
Dog food: I would love to use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save service to have dog food shipped to me instead of hauling that heavy bag home, but it’s a lot more expensive. The cost difference is worth the schlepping to me.
Shipping: Websites that offer free shipping are way more likely to get my business. I am never willing to pay more for rush shipping.
Paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex): Target Up and Up brand again, for the win.
I’d love to hear where you’re willing (or not) to spend more.