This week, our burning question takes a not-so-unexpected journey for inspiration. It’s The Hobbit.
For many, taking a trip back to Middle-earth will be celebrated; however, others surely aren’t looking forward to the return of inescapable Gollum impersonations. Still most people have something in common with Mr. Sméagol: a “precious.”
So that’s what we asked this week: When it comes to spending money, what’s your “precious”?
We know Bridget’s an un-frugal foodie, but what else makes our team adjust their budgets? (Remember, that’s “adjust,” not “bust.” Expensive tastes are only bad if you don’t know how much you’re spending on them.)
Here’s what they came up with.
I cook at home, and I’m a huge foodie. I’ll actually get grass-fed beef and raw milk from a farm (which makes my mom happy because she grew up on a farm in Jamaica). So, I have to second Bridget’s notion on being un-frugal when it comes to food!
I already regret what I’m about to say. It is sad, and it says a lot about my life.
I spent a good deal of money this year to watch the Philadelphia Eagles play football. As a native Philadelphian, I bleed midnight green (although I am partial to the kelly green throwback uniforms). Living in Boston, most of the Birds’ games weren’t televised, so I’d head to a bar or restaurant to see them play. After 3 hours of food and drink, I’d be staring at $30 day. And I kept going back.
Dropping $100 on groceries to make dinner for my friends, or going out to dinner—those are what we do in my house. Oh, and owning a car. Given the cost of insurance and maintenance, how little we actually drive, and how good public transit is around [where we live], there’s no real need for it. At least we don’t spend much on gas!
Pharmacy shopping. I can’t go in there and just “browse,” or I’ll come out with at least $25 worth of goods… daily. “Oh, we’re out of tissues, we need those… Wait, are we out of light bulbs? Maybe I should buy some—oh look, buy three get one 50% off!… I could really use a new nail polish—ooo! Mascara is on sale!” And on and on… I’ve learned to only go in with a strict shopping list and then get out as fast as possible… before the “precious” consumes me and all of my money…
Nerdy as this is, it’s definitely books. I can resist lots of good things: iced teas, burritos, and music albums to name a few. But the second I walk into a Barnes and Noble, it’s all over. If they had a cave somewhere in the store, I’d probably move into it with my precious(es).
Hair products. I made the decision a couple years ago to stop chemically straightening my hair and let my natural hair run wild! Products made for afros or really curly hair can be really expensive, especially if you want things with wholesome ingredients. I would eat canned food for a week if it meant being able to drop $40 on my favorite deep conditioner. No shame!
This will come as no surprise to our regular reader(s), but I can’t help myself when it comes to TV. I’ve tried to cut costs before, but conversations with my cable provider never end the way I think they will—or rather, they end exactly how I think they will. (“Wait, you’ll give me Showtime for the price I’m already paying? I have wanted to watch Homeland…”).
I’m always willing to spend a little extra on fall boots. I’m not talking about hundreds of dollars, but at least $100 for a nice pair that will last the season sounds pretty reasonable. Also, a quality pair of boots is less likely to get ruined, so even when the heels are getting worn a bit, a trip to the cobbler for an inexpensive fix will keep them intact.
All right, readers, your turn. Share your “precious” in the comments.