Our Splurging and Saving Personality

Splurge Worthy

On Saturday night, Johnny and I ate out at a sit-down restaurant. Better yet, it was just the two of us… we do occasionally need Sally-free time. When we arrived, the restaurant informed us that it would be a 35- to 45-minute wait. We reluctantly said, “Okay,” and had a seat outside. “Huh, it probably would have been smart to call ahead. Why didn’t we think of that?” Johnny said. “Because we never eat out,” I replied.

But the conversation got me thinking. We seriously never eat out at sit-down restaurants. Our last sit-down-restaurant experience was on our anniversary in June. It’s just not one of our go-to splurges. I have no idea how often other people eat at sit-down restaurants. Once a month, once every 10 days, once or twice a week? Really, no idea. But it’s probably more often than us.

That’s the nifty thing about personal finance. Everyone’s different. And where some people splurge, others save. It’s neither right nor wrong… it’s just your very own splurging and saving personality. So we thought we’d share where we splurge and save in our day-to-day, and we’d love to hear how you compare.


Cable: When we talk to other friends who budget, many of them don’t do cable. But even when Johnny and I were in the trenches of paying off our student loan debt, we considered cable to be splurge worthy. Because sports. No really, Johnny loves his sports. But we also have a DVR, and I love that for recording shows for Sally and recording all of Johnny’s and my guilty pleasures (The Walking Dead, New Girl, Brooklyn 99… the list goes on). We just can’t quit it.

Haircuts and Clothes: We don’t shop for clothing very often, but when we do, we usually buy new. We look for deals, and we almost always shop the sales, but it’s a small splurge we enjoy. And when it comes to getting our hair did, Johnny goes to a local barber, and I get a cut and highlights from a lovely local hair stylist. We didn’t always splurge on this stuff. I tried hair schools and box colors when we were newlyweds, and I used to cut Johnny’s hair myself (not one of my talents!). We also used to thrift shop for clothes a lot. But now that we have a kiddo, it’s become more important to take time for ourselves since we’ve given up a lot of ourselves for her, if that makes any sense at all.


Restaurants: As mentioned above, we eat out at a nice restaurant probably 5 times a year. That sounds extreme, but we’ve been this way for so long that we don’t really miss it. Maybe someday we’ll eat out more often, but for now, we like saving some money by eating at home and doing cheap takeout on our date nights.

Movies: Like restaurants, movie theaters are a rarity for Johnny and me. I’ve seen one movie in theaters this year, and Johnny’s seen zero. At some point in the early days of our marriage, we somehow discovered that neither of us like the movie theater very much so it’s been an easy way to save money on entertainment. Don’t worry, though… we make exceptions for must-see movies like Mockingjay: Part I.

Those are a few of our main splurges and savings, but the list is endless.

  • I don’t do manis and pedis, but I do buy books.
  • Johnny doesn’t eat out for lunch, but he does go to the rock climbing gym regularly.
  • I don’t have a gym membership, but I do buy stuff to decorate my house.
  • Johnny doesn’t buy (or play) video games, but he does buy concert and sporting event tickets.
  • We don’t do much couponing, but we do mostly stick to Walmart and Costco.

It’s always give and take, and as long as it fits within the bounds of our budget, we’re good to go.

Now, the best part. How does your splurging and saving personality relate or differ to ours? How do you choose whether you’ll save or splurge? Is it totally crazy that we don’t go out to eat more often?

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  • Reply TT October 27, 2014 at 8:18 am

    We are pretty similar; the main difference being cable. Also, one more savings item for us are our cell phones. As much as I’d love to get the wife and I new iPhones the monthly costs are just too much when our combined monthly bill comes to about ~$37 right now (thanks Republic!).

    • Reply Joanna October 29, 2014 at 2:11 am

      Cell phones! Yes, that’s definitely one of our splurges. If and when we don’t get any subsidies from Johnny’s work for our cellphones, that will be a definite saving consideration of ours.

  • Reply Andy Tindall October 27, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I think cable helps us save in the long run because it gives us something to do at home anytime we feel the itch to go spend

    • Reply Joanna October 29, 2014 at 2:12 am

      Totally. I agree. Especially when you have a kid, you don’t have to pay for a babysitter. You can just sit at home with some takeout and catch up on your DVR.

  • Reply Tarynkay October 27, 2014 at 11:47 am

    We don’t buy fast food or takeout, but we do go to sit down restaurants a couple of times a month. This doesn’t really work out in our favor financially, but we would rather have a couple of really good meals out rather than several trips through the drive-thru.

    I cut my own hair and my husband’s hair, but we take our squirmy three year old to the barbershop. He is mesmerized by the football on the giant TV there. He kept asking for haircuts recently, and we finally figured out that he didn’t know football could be watched in other settings. So we don’t have a TV or cable, but we have started taking him to the sports bar. That probably doesn’t work out in our favor financially, either.

    • Reply Joanna October 29, 2014 at 2:14 am

      Oh, I totally get it. When we were at the nice restaurant last weekend, I kept thinking, “This is so much better than takout!!”

      And HA! That cracks me up about your three-year-old. Hey, if it keeps him happy, it’s worth it. Parental sanity is priceless!

  • Reply Sarah October 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    This is kind of funny….my husband and I are almost exact opposites from you two. We <3 going out to eat and going to the movies, but we rarely go clothes shopping and I cut his hair to save some cash. And oh yea, we cut our satellite off about three months ago so no more TV either! {We're still kind of sad about that one……or maybe it's just me.}

  • Reply Anne October 27, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I’m glad you have your movie priorities straight ;), the last film I saw in theatres was Catching Fire and I’m pretty sure the one before that was Hunger Games. The last movie both H and I went to was a 25th anniversary rerelease of Top Gun… in 2011.

    We eat out WAY too much and do have cable, and are in between on the rest. Clothes are usually new but clearanced, haircuts are Great Clips type places, and I was just at Costco yesterday.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 12:05 am

      So I assume you’ll be seeing Mockingjay?! 🙂 Johnny and I have that on our must-watch list over Thanksgiving break!

  • Reply Miranda October 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I feel like, at one time or another, every item you mentioned above has either been a splurge or a save for us, depending on our moods/current budget/age. We go through phases were we splurge on something for a month, and then don’t buy it again for 6-12 months (ex. going on a book or video game binge). The only things we’ve consistently splurged on are cable and more expensive groceries. It’s what has allowed us to stay home and not go crazy when we were super serious and paying off all our consumer debt. Knowing we had all access TV and could make a nice meal at home once in a while made the other sacrifices (like cutting our own hair and not buying any clothes) much easier to bear.

  • Reply Courtney October 27, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I feel like our lists are pretty similar. I actually don’t feel a need for cable, but when we looked into cutting it, it didn’t actually save us much money- like $10 a month is all since it was bundled with our internet, our internet price would just go up and mostly absorb the “saved” money. So I gave in so my husband can watch ESPN once a week 🙂 We don’t eat out much either- probably 5 times a year or less- mostly because it’s just so dang expensive and right now as we are saving for a house it just doesn’t make sense to drop $50 on one meal when I can make one at home for $7. I love reading this blog, it has totally motivated me and educated me to get a better grasp on our finances. Thank you for writing it!

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 12:12 am

      Thank you, Courtney! And glad to hear it! Oh, ESPN… how did that become a splurge-worthy necessity in our home?!

  • Reply Melanie October 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    My eyes bugged out when I read this! I had no idea some people go out to eat so infrequently. It’s kind of fascinating to me~ But going out to eat is absolutely my biggest budget downfall, and I’m sure diet-wise it isn’t a big help either. It seems almost all social events in my life revolve around going out to eat–trying new restaurants, going out to brunch, dates, girls nights….yup! And I spend normally over $300/month on doing this…which doesn’t really make me smile–the cost, I mean.
    I don’t have cable, so I pay $17/month on Netflix, $40/month on internet…and once my Dad gifted me a cable antenna… so that’s one area I spend barely anything.
    Another budget downfall for me is traveling. I definitely drop a few thousand dollars a year on that in a typical year.
    I use the library weekly–I basically never buy books..can’t think of the last book I actually purchased.
    Shopping happens more so when I need to replace something like my trusted black pair of heels that I’ve worn so much the metal is poking through the bottom (yes, it’s time for a new pair).
    haircuts I do like 2x per year–wash, cut, blowdry so my haircut budget is probably like $100/year. Ive never dyed my hair, so that is a help!
    And finally, I do love the movie theater, and the buttered movie popcorn is a fattening guilty pleasure. 🙂

  • Reply Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change October 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I love this! I definitely think my splurges are my CrossFit membership and getting my hair done, even though the hair changes only happen about 3-5 times (depending on the year…). CrossFit has impacted and improved my life more than just physically. =)
    Saves? I think that would be just having internet + Neflix. I am trying right now to be a super saver getting work clothes, so thrift stores near my cousin’s have been awesome (ritzy suburbs = good deals!).

  • Reply Brittany @ Fun on a Budget Blog October 28, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I’m definitely with on the hair splurge. I. Can’t. Stop.

  • Reply Sarah October 29, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Great post!! I just did a post on what I refuse to give up to save money, too! Holiday decorating (and decorating my home) definitely made that list! We also don’t go to the movies (even if we liked it, having two little ones makes it impossible lol) nor do sit-down restaurants often. But we do go out to eat a lot, just not “sit down.” I also don’t get manicures or pedicures, nor do I get my hair done professionally (cut once a year at Great Clips and I use a box color when I dye it), but I DO love shopping at specialty food stores, I have a major sweet tooth and splurge on desserts, and I love buying clothes for myself and my girls (within reason, of course).

    Thanks for the great read!! I love seeing what other people splurge and save on!

  • Reply Kristin November 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I love this post and all the comments! It’s funny, we do look at other people’s budgets and think “they spend how much on WHAT?!” but I’m sure everyone else thinks some of our budget decisions are just as crazy,

    We don’t eat out often, either. Just our anniversary, birthdays, and a couple times a year when the grandparents visit and babysit for free. Getting a babysitter double the cost of date night. Bringing kids adds to the food bill (and makes it not a date). We do sometimes have lunch out as a family at Moe’s on Sundays because kids eat free and you can get a relatively healthy meal (except those chips!).

    We also hardly ever go to movies– maybe once a year? (We too make exceptions for the Hunger Games! lol) We still have cable. We have decided in the past to cancel it but when we called they offered it cheaper so we decided it was worth it for the sports games. We don’t have DVR but do subscribe to Hulu.

    Our biggest splurge is sending my 2 year old to a preschool program. I would not be able to do this (or justify it) if I didn’t run a home daycare income as our second income- it gives me 5 hours a week to mealplan/grocery shop/go to the doctor/get car maintenance done/clean/enjoy the peace while all but one child is at school.

    My grocery budget amount is somewhat of a splurge, too. I could probably cut it almost in half if we were on an austerity budget.

    We splurge on Amazon Prime. It’s where I shop most. Love not waiting long for packages and the included kindle book library, tv shows and stuff.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 12:19 am

      We are one and the same, Kristin! I don’t even think of Amazon Prime as a splurge anymore because I simply cannot live without it! And kids are the best deterrent for eating at a restaurant — for both the reasons you mentioned. Eating dinner at home once Sally’s asleep is just as good if not better for us!

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