Splurge or Save? Here’s What I Go Cheap On And What I Spend On

We all have different priorities when it comes to spending money, here are mine!

I go “cheap” on:

  • Rent
  • Furniture
  • My car
  • Clothes
  • Travel/holidays

On the other hand, I like to “splurge” on:

  • Food
  • Shoes
  • Handbags
  • Beauty products
  • Kitchen appliances

I am one of those people that believes in “if you take care of the pounds, the pennies will take care of themselves”.

Looking at the big picture

I don’t believe in going out of my way to save an extra $5 or $10, rather I focus on the bigger picture. I prefer going “cheap” on my bigger expenses such as rent and transport. I see having to pay an extra $500 a month in rent a much bigger financial commitment than buying a $10 lipstick vs. a $40 lipstick. While it’s great to be frugal and save every dollar, I find that reducing these largest “overhead”, fixed costs result in a much more significant change. For example, I sold my car (didn’t need one anymore!) which now saves me around $400-500 a month. With the rising petrol prices, this is even more substantial. This change is enabling me to save an extra $6,000 over the year.

Furthermore, I also cheap out on travel and furniture. Most of my furniture is second-hand from thrift/op shops or…off the side of the road during hard rubbish time. I’ve managed to get some incredible pieces through this. Buying second-hand is not only great for your wallet, but you do your bit for our planet. Here are my top tips for buying used clothes.

What can I say, I love food

I spend far too much money on food and I have no intention on changing that.

I am constantly buying fresh produce and premium ingredients which all quickly adds up. If I have to choose between a $12 salad and $1 instant noodles, I will choose the salad. I find I feel a lot better physically and mentally when I eat healthy, even if it costs more – it is so worth it! Cooking is something I really enjoy as well so I often buy more bougie ingredients such as smoked salmon and saffron. I would rather FI/RE a couple of years later if it means I can eat well.

That being said, I do cook most of my meals and make my own coffee at home. This brings the cost down compared to if I bought these things. Plus, I believe your health is more important than an investment portfolio, anyway.

Let’s talk about fashion

For fashion, I mostly shop second-hand which means I can get high-quality pieces while keeping it cheap. I’ve managed to score wool and cashmere coats, well-made blouses and skirts, the list goes on. Basics can be harder to find at the op shop so I usually get these from Uniqlo. If I am after a really specific piece, I go to fast fashion as a last resort. This keeps my clothing costs down while still looking put-together.

However, I do believe in spending on shoes and handbags. These two pieces are more versatile than a shirt for example and can go with many different outfits. This makes it a more “worth” it to me to buy a higher-end piece.

In my experience, cheap handbags and shoes fall apart too quickly. This means you have to replace them more often, spending just as much or even more if you bought an expensive one in the first place. These days, I always try to buy leather and maintain my items every few months or so with leather conditioner and cleaner. I don’t have many shoes or handbags, but rather a smaller collection of higher-end pieces that I use all the time.

Money is really personal and we all have different priorities on how we spend it. I believe it’s important to spend on not only what you need but also what is important to you and what will bring you joy. There is a balance that needs to be met. We can’t take our savings and investments with us to the grave so I believe in enjoying my money while I’m around!

Published by Ruba Khan

Hi, I'm Ruba! The Money Marketer is a financial discussion space to discuss all things money and investment, with a touch of food and lifestyle.

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