Growing up, I never had much. Although neither of my parents have college degrees, they did/do pretty well. They were always very frugal though. I rarely had birthday parties. They don’t do Christmas since my mom is Buddhist. I bought my own car, paid for my own insurance. I didn’t get a cell phone until I was 18 because my parents refused to co-sign anything. I had to get a job in middle school and 2 in high school to make my ends meet. If I wanted clothes or to go out with friends, I was paying for it myself. My mom cut my hair and everyone could tell.
These days, I go to the salon every 2 weeks, sometimes more. I like massages, manicures, pedicures, etcetera. I pamper myself. I can’t have shitty peeling nails in my office or during my home visits. The twice a month massages also chill me the fuck out when I’m having a stressful month such as this one. These items are necessary parts of my monthly routine. It makes me feel prettier without the daily effort.
I also tend to shop more when I’m a bit crazy. Looking around and having new stuff relaxes me too. I’m cheap about it though; I almost only shop sales so everything is a good percentage off. I just dropped over $200 at Urban Outfitters and I got 11 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of pants, 6 sweaters, 4 tee-shirts, 2 dresses, a pair of shoes, 2 pairs of shorts, several pairs of socks and stockings, a bracelet, plus a cool shirt for dude. I also bought a leather Madewell bag I’ve been drooling over for a year, 30% off!
I also like going out for drinks and dinner. I probably get 50% of my meals from restaurants these days… Mostly because I don’t have the time to cook! And who doesn’t love it when someone else cooks for you?!
Another passion (instilled by my parents) is travel. But again, I do it inexpensively. I find cheap flights. I stay with friends, find hotel deals, or stay in hostels. I check out the free sights. I find the markets and I haggle down that $50 lambs leather purse to $30. I eat street food, and only do on “fancy” dinner splurge.
With that being said, I still save a lot of money. I put a few hundred dollars into my savings account every week, because you never know what might happen down the road. You might lose your job. Even if you find a new one quickly, usually it takes a few weeks to get everything started and then actually get a paycheck. Your car might die. Not mine… Mine is less than a year old. But yours might. Dude’s car needed about $2,000 worth of work soon after he moved to Haverhill. It was easy to spot him the cash. I didn’t notice I had any less. You might have an unexpected bill. Even with health insurance, a trip to the emergency is a $500 deductible. Without health insurance, you are looking at a minimum of $1,000 for just walking through those hospital doors. For me, it’s paying for a lawyer to petition for my brother’s guardianship. In addition, I’m saving up for a down payment on a house. Where will that house be? Who knows! But someday I’m going to want my own little condo or house somewhere and I’ll be ready to put that money down when I want it.
I’m not spouting that you should spend more money than you have to feel good about yourself… But I think it’s really important to do the things that make you feel good, within reason. And also keep a little (or large) emergency fund for the future, just in case.
Just a little something to get by.
I do need a TV though. I mean, want.