Monday, May 9

No Regrets Spending

I've gotten away from finances the last couple weeks, but trust me I'm still dedicated to them. SSF and I just went through the process of negotiating the contract with the wedding coordinators. We've also found ourselves dedicating more to time to the dark world of couponing. Most importantly though the last two Saturdays I've spent a chunk of my time driving to and from Philly. Once for my best friends bachlorette party and just this past weekend to take my mom and dad out for lunch. With 5 hours up and back in the car I've had plenty of time to think.

What I realized is that this was the first time in my adult life I've taken my parents out to lunch and paid the bill (ok, well half the bill.. my sister paid the other half). My reason has always been that I couldn't afford it because I was paying off debt. Sure, that's viable but really its just an excuse. Could you imagine if my parents had told me they couldn't afford to feed me because they had to pay their bills? No one would do that, yet I was doing it to my parents.

From that I also realized that personal finance is about so much more than ruthlessly cutting expenses or growing your own wealth. It's about knowing the difference between good expenses: dinner with friends, experiences with loved ones, gifts for family and charitable giving bad expenses: three  figure shopping sprees, dinner out because you "don't feel like cooking" everyday, credit card debt.

Based on my new found knowledge of "good expenses" I decided to make a list of no regrets spending occasions. These are the times that it's really ok to spend those extra 5,10, or 15 dollars to get what you really want.

1. Your Wedding-duh. (aka my wedding, aka I'm buying my dream dress (with consent from SSF))
2. Your best friend's wedding-- would you want them to skimp on yours?
3. Anything for your parents-- because they raised you.
4. Dinner with friends-- SSF and I don't need to eat out every weekend, but I will not miss a chance to spend time with friends.
5. Vacations--because experiences are much more rewarding than material objects.

Of course, everything within reason.

What are your "no-regrets" spending occassions?

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