Discretionary spending. Fun money. Call it whatever you want, it’s an important part of any budget. Last week, I highlighted all the luxuries that masquerade as needs on grocery lists. This week, I thought it would be fun to talk guilty pleasures. There’s no way any of these are needs, but that doesn’t seem to stop some of us from indulging in them.
Four Guilty Pleasures I Pass On
I may have shelled out $700 on a pair of wedding shoes, but when it comes to guilty pleasures, these are four that just make me shake my head.
Vanity Plates – Don’t get me wrong. Puzzling over a vanity plate is a fine way to while away the time at red light during my morning commute. More so, one of my favorite episodes of Starlee Kyne’s Mystery Show podcast is dedicated to one particularly cryptic ILUV911 vanity plate. But with personalized passenger plates clocking in at $76 and vanity plates ringing in at $123 before fees in my great state, I think I’ll pass.
Bottled Water – Why is bottled water even still a thing? I can still remember where I was the first time I saw bottled water for sale in a vending machine. It was 1999. I was in 7th grade playing on a club volleyball team, and the gym was selling Dasani in its Coke machine. It seemed ridiculous to me at the time. Why would anyone spend their dollars on water in a bottle when there was free water coming out of drinking fountains that I could put in a bottle I already owned? Didn’t they know about the Funyuns for sale at the concession stand? Now that I’m more environmentally conscious and less fixated on junk food, I think bottled water is ridiculous for a whole new slew of reasons.
Gum – Here’s the thing: I like chewing gum for about one minute. Then, the flavor goes, and I’m done. I could chew on eraser and end up with the same amount of flavor. Aside from the occasional eardrum saving usefulness while flying, I can’t remember the last time I bought a pack of gum.
Expensive Candles – I do burn a candle occasionally in the winter months. I’d say we go through one a year. If I can scoop up a great soy candle at Target for well under $10, it hurts my heart a little bit when I see a half dozen Diptyque candles strewn about in a lifestyle blogger’s Instagram photo. At $60 a candle, that’s like literally lighting hundreds of dollars on fire.
Guilty As Charged
So it’s confession time. Mr. P and I have diligently chopped away at our spending over the course of our marriage in an attempt to maximize our savings and slay our mortgage. Still, we both have one guilty pleasure each that would make most personal finance bloggers shudder.
Cable – We still have a basic cable package. It pains me to admit this, but in the grand scheme of the great give-and-take that is marriage, I’m still giving in to Mr. P on this one. For now.
Highlights – I get my hair highlighted 2-3 times per year, and I shell out $70 on each session. Logic suggests that I just go au natural, but brightening up my dirty blonde hair makes me happy. And there was this one time with a box of drugstore hair dye that still sends shivers up my spine.
So Tell Me…What is your guilty pleasure? Have you given up gum? Highlights?