Financial Friday (on Tuesday): February Splurges

Image from Ironic Sans

One of my favorite books is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It's a classic coming of age story about a young girl named Francie. I easily fell in love with her and her mother, Katie. And every character mentioned in the book. Ever her drunk father.

My favorite part of the book is when Francie, Katie, and Aunt Evy have just finished a meager dinner. Aunt Evy is appalled when Katie lets young Francie pour left over coffee down the drain. Katie defends herself by saying, "Francie is entitled to one cup each meal like the rest. If it makes her feel better to throw it way rather than to drink it, all right. I think it's good that people like us can waste something once in a while and get the feeling of how it would be have lots of money and not have to worry about scrounging."

Katie is one of the most practical, hard working, and likable mothers in any of the fiction books I've read. She knows how much money a cup of coffee costs and how much is wasted when poured down the drain. It's almost nothing, even for her bleak family finances.

So today, using Katie as my example, I'm showing ways that even though I'm cutting back, I'm still found ways to make me feel luxurious and slightly wasteful last February!

Toothpaste. Last month I splurged on Marvis Toothpaste in Jasmine Mint
. A regular bottle of toothpaste from the store costs around $3.50. So I'm spending $6.50 more on my teeth and I'm loving ever minute of it. Honestly, I have found myself brushing more just because I love the mild minty floral flavor. It's like nothing out there. Perhaps if this continues it will help with dental bills? Who knows!

Cleaning Products: I'm tempted to make my own cleaning products and save a little. But I went ahead and splurged in this area too. I bought Method laundry detergent and all purpose cleaner. Love the idea of not putting on ton of weird chemicals on my body, and I like their reduction of plastic in some of the packaging. Beyond all of that eco nonsense, I think their products smell really good. It's as simple as that.

And lastly, my February wasteful splurges included a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I still can't stop thinking about them. I didn't tell you this, but I emailed both Rob's personal email accounts AND work account telling him specifically which store to buy them from. The pressure was on. Every time I see the vase I think of the moment Rob came home with them. It took my breath away.

So if I continue to buy these things over the course of the year, it would cost me a little less then $20 a month. $240 a year. Kind of makes me wonder if it's worth it.


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  2. Little luxuries are the best! Everyone's situation is different, but $240 a year doesn't seem unreasonable to me, especially when it brightens some of the more mundane moments in life like brushing teeth!

    Oh, and I second the Trader Joe's flower suggestion, my husband is a big fan :)

  3. I think it's such a shame never to "splurge," and how demoralizing! I think that as long as one has the big picture in perspective, it's OK to have a few indulgences. In fact, I think it probably helps one to be productive, cheerful, etc. Good for you!

  4. here it is everyone! i've been blogging for over a year and i've been waiting patiently everyday for my first mean comment. Ren2k1!

  5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is my favorite book too! I always love hearing about people's favorite parts of the book. Good luck with everything, I am rooting for you! PS- have been reading your blog for a while now and love it

  6. That's right, Sharon! How dare you try to be candid and funny on your own blog!!! MUTANY!!! :P Just kidding. :)

    It is important not to feel to deprived, I think. I never read that book, but it sounds lovely. That passage you mentioned reminded me of a phrase I heard that was something like, "Money is like oxygen: when you have it, you don't think about it, but when you're without it, it's all you can think about."

    Thanks for sharing!

    (On a side note, am I the only one who has issues seeing/getting to the comments section sometimes?)

  7. eco nonsense? Your ignorance is terribly unattractive.

  8. have somehow thought I am the only person who ever read that book, I have never ever anybody mentioned it (except my mother who gave me that book). Nice! It's a lovely book!

    About flowers: isn't it funny they feel like wasting money. They are not. They are investments for wellbeing :)

  9. I say YES. It is worth it. I think money spent on flowers is ALWAYS money WELL SPENT. And if you don't wanna spend a fortune on them between your pockets and your hubbies pockets...go to Trader Joe's!! Not sure what the Trader Joes situation is like in NY. Hoping its good since I'm a huge TJ shopper and will be moving to New York later this year. But yeah, TJ's has some really pretty flowers for only 4-5 bucks a bouquet!

    Also, I'm a firm believer in splurging money on anything that pertains to personal hygiene. We gatta take care of our bodies as best as we can, right?? (This is how I convince myself it's ok to spend $16 dollars on a bottle of designer shampoo.)

    In closing, HI. I'm Punky and I love your blog, Sharon! Been reading for awhile now, but finally am leaving a comment!



  10. I don't know if that made any sense. I'm thinking about the $ that I spend every morning at my coffee cart on my way to work. $2.50 every morning doesn't seem like a lot but when I think of it as spending $650 a year on coffee that gives me something to think about. And also change.

  11. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" has been one of my most favorite books since I was in elementary school. I am desperately in need of a new copy as my old paperback copy has been read so many times the front cover came off long ago and a corner of the 4th page was torn off and has been paper clipped to the book so that I won't lose it. Talk about trying to save some money!

    I think it's a really great idea to look at your small purchased as to how much they will cost over the entire year. Something that initially seems like a small increase in price becomes a much larger and more expensive item when calculated over 12 months. I'm going to keep that in mind as Jon and I start planning for our combined budget as a soon to be married couple. I'm a little nervous about it as I've never been good at budgeting. I hardly know where to start! Any tips?

  12. P.S. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was a favorite of mine growing up too (along with Catcher in the Rye). Hope you keep finding little ways to make yourself feel not deprived.

  13. LOVE that you told Rob where to get the flowers. The longer I'm married, the more I realize the direct approach (forget hints) definitely works the best with men. Sometimes when I'm whining to my husband and he responds with a blank look I tell him, "now you are supposed to say...."

  14. Also, we, too, find little ways to splurge, JUST like Katie. We're both in grad school, my husband and I, but we want to feel luxurious, too.

  15. That book is one of my all time favourites. It was with me when I gave birth to my daughter, and I'm eagerly waiting for her to be old enough to read it with me.

  16. it's ok. sorry for upsetting you. I used the word nonsense because I don't really think Method products are that eco friendly. Sure their products are better than most, but they still use tons of plastic and chemicals that could be avoided if I made cleaning products from scratch. For example: All purpose cleaner really only has to include:

    2T vinegar (glass bottle), 1 t Borax (paper box), Hot water, a few drops of a mild dish detergent, (10 drops of essential oil, optional. glass)

    Much less waste doing it that way than with Method!

    I think you bring up some good points, sorry I wasn't clear. Moving forward, I will. :)

  17. hi Sharon,

    I am sorry if my comment came off as mean. However, I find it particularly upsetting that a someone with a blog with so many readers and the power to educate and inspire people has chosen to label helping the environment as "nonsense". Do you honestly think that is it not worth it to help the planet and make environmentally conscious decisions if possible, or is it just "nonsense" ?

  18. Splurges is something my husband talk tons about in regards to our budget so it is good to know we are not the only ones! We have decided for now our splurge is some beers on Friday nights but I do insist on buying whitening toothpaste over the other ones so now maybe after reading this I will need to add it to our splurge category!

  19. Love that book too - on my shelf but will be beside the bed to re-read this weekend!


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