I’m busy. You are too, I’m sure. With the busyness comes the feeling of going, going, going. Sometimes it’s difficult to stop- I always feel like there’s one more thing I have to get done, and it can’t wait until tomorrow or even after lunch.
Then there’s the perpetual issue of the budget. And I’m sure that you’ll agree with me that whether you have kids or not, you work outside the home or not, your budget is stretched taught or rather supple, it’s sometimes difficult to let yourself spend money on something just for you. Judging from the overwhelming number of entries to my GiftyBox giveaway who asked for something for themselves, you feel the same way.
I have a few guilty pleasures. Small things that maybe I could cut out of the budget, so as to squeak a few more euros in. But is it worth it? Would the advantage of doing without outweigh the pleasure of indulging? I don’t always know. Yet I indulge anyway!
1. Coffee with Cream I use cream in my coffee. It’s probably just as bad for my waistline as my budget, but I love that touch of richness in that first morning cup. I can buy a box of cream for â‚¬.50, I go through about two a week. â‚¬52 a year does add up, but my cream is worth it.
2. Grandir Autrement I subscribe to Grandir Autrement, a French magazine on natural living and attachment parenting. It’s a close equivilent to Mothering magazine in the US, although nowhere near as established. I pay â‚¬35 a year for my subscription, which I justify by saying that it’s the only French magazine of its kind, so I should support it, not to mention the only French magazine I actually read.
3. Grocery Shopping I have to admit that I don’t pay as much attention to the total when grocery shopping as I should. I do do certain things right- I shop on days when I get the maximum number of store credit, I stock up on things we use when there’s a sale on etc etc. But I could be much more stringent about what we buy. We could eat less meat, I could only buy for the period for which I’m shopping, instead of trying to stock-up. We could plan more frugal meals. But eating good food, and a variety of good food is important to our family. So I’m willing to live with the â‚¬25 extra per month that I spend on little extras at the grocery store.
4. Occasional trips to Ikea Yes, there’s an Ikea right down the street from me. And yes, I am one of its biggest fans. But I’ve been pretty good so far about limiting my trips to the big blue and yellow box. For the past three to four months I’ve gone there a maximum of once a month, and spent an average of â‚¬20 each time. The stuff I buy is useful, and it doesn’t go to waste. I might be able to get by without it, or maybe find it elsewhere used or for less. Going by the time versus money principle however, means that buying what I need, right down the street for a good price is worth it to me to spend that money.
You know, when I set out to write this post, it’s working title was Ten Guilty Pleasures. But I had a hard time of thinking even of four! I think that’s pretty good. On the other hand, when I add up what I spend on guilty pleasures every year, â‚¬625, I think that I could have a pretty satisfactory emergency fund.
I feel like I have to ask myself if it’s really worth it. Am I indulging myself too much? Do these expenses make the difference between being frugal and being a spendthrift? Or does allowing myself my guilty pleasures keep me from breaking the bank on something big?
What are your guilty pleasures?