First off, y’all are actually reading these posts, which is really quite excellent. When I decided I wanted to write about what we do with our money, I wasn’t sure if people would be into it or if they would be like OMG SNOOZEFEST NEXT PLEASE. But, based on the messages and comments I have been receiving across the internets, this is something that is apparently at least moderately interesting. I don’t have a ton left to say in the short term about our money, but I do have a few more posts in various stages of development, that way I can finish sharing what I think is important. For now.
With that in mind, if you have tricks and tactics you use to budget/spend/save/invest, please share them! We are always looking for ways to improve our habits, and I know that other readers are too. Also, if you have specific questions, feel free to ask. I am happy to answer what I am able to or to get an answer out of Marcus!
At the risk of becoming insufferable, I thought that this week, it would be fun for us to talk about what Marcus and I do spend money on. For all that we budget and save and do all of these (snooze) boring things, we do actually like to spend money too. Marcus made an argument that at the risk of sounding like we’re too carefree with our spending, this week I should discuss what we don’t spend money on, and next week I should share this post. I decided that we should talk about spending first, because it’s more fun. He declared this to be “compromise.” I guess you could call it that.
What are we spending money on?
We travel. I don’t even know that I really need to explain this one. When Marcus and I started dating, I had no idea that traveling would be such a big part of our relationship. I don’t think he knew that either. We seemed pretty much set-up to go on a European honeymoon, and I guess I sort of thought that we would probably go on one non-cabin vacation per year. Preferably someplace warm in the winter.
As you all know, we have yet to go on that tropical getaway in the middle of winter. But we have literally gone everywhere else we have thought of and we have most certainly traveled more than once per year.
We go out to eat. Most of the time our “eating out” budget comes straight out of our allowances. Outings with friends, date nights, a quick round of cocktails, those are usually the things that we’re up to, socially speaking.
Allowance aside, we have also been known to budget for once-in-a-lifetime eating experiences that you just can’t account for. Like the meal we had last January at the now-closed La Belle Vie in Minneapolis. We spent what I would absolutely describe as an inappropriate amount of money on that meal, but it was possibly the best restaurant meal I have ever eaten in my life. Another amazing splurge meal was our dinner at Bouchon while we were in Las Vegas. Now I can check Eat At A Thomas Keller Restaurant off of my culinary life list.
We fix our house. On some level, this is a practical endeavor, because if you update your house properly, then you should also realize some sort of increase in the selling value of the property. But our house is the place we spend the most time outside of work, so it makes sense that it should be a place that we want to be. We also bought a glider last year for Critter’s nursery where again, I cannot even dare to speak the amount of money spent aloud. But it is glorious, and covered in brown leather, and we will use it until the end of time.
We give to charity. Probably the coolest thing we’ve been able to do over the past few years is add some serious $$$ to our charitable giving budget. This is money that we never even get to think about until the point at which we give it away. It exists in our budget and our bank account, but otherwise, we never really consider it to be “ours.” When I pray, I often thank God for the financial blessings he has provided us with. I ask Him to help us to steward those resources in the best way that we can while we are here on earth, and I ask Him to help us to discern where our money can do the most work for other people. When we are able to give that money to institutions and causes that are making a real difference in the community we live in, that’s a really amazing feeling. When we’re able to support friends who are making a difference in the lives of other people, that’s a really amazing feeling.
What do you like to spend money on?