7 things we splurge on as a family

7 things we splurge on as a family

What we splurge on: Eating out

Crystal of Money Saving Mom recently shared a list of things her family splurges on (as well as the things they don’t). Although there are a few similarities on our lists, I had to laugh that a few of Crystal’s “don’t splurge” items are on our splurge list (and vice versa). It just goes to show that each of our families is unique and we need to do what’s right for us, not what someone else does!

Splurging doesn’t mean that we spend money without thought; we still look for deals and ways to save money, but these are clearly non-necessities that we choose to spend money on.

1. Eating out.

I know that eating out costs so much more money than eating at home, and if I was looking at it purely from a grocery budget perspective, it wouldn’t make any sense. But eating out is something we really enjoy doing as a family. Maybe it’s because I don’t really like to cook; maybe it’s because someone else does the cooking, serving and cleaning up; maybe it’s because there are no distractions and we do better at lingering over our meal and enjoying the conversation. Whatever the reason, it’s something that we all look forward to, whether it’s Ledo Pizza after church on Sunday, ice cream cones at the local ice cream shop, or dinner out to celebrate a birthday.

What we splurge on: Family movie dates

2. Family movie dates.

Similarly, we love to go to the movies together. Our theater does unlimited popcorn for $8 and occasionally has $3 movies too, so it’s not always a huge expense for us, but we go to the movies as a family once every month or so, even when that means paying full price for tickets to see a new release. Some of our best inside jokes come from movies we’ve seen together in the theater and, like eating out, we tend to enjoy them more than movies at home because there are fewer distractions.

What we splurge on: Quality clothing

3. Quality clothing.

This is a new one for me. I’ve always been a “how little can I spend on my clothes?” kind of girl, and much of my wardrobe has come from hand-me-downs from my mom and sister. However, with my discovery of StitchFix earlier this year, I’m learning the benefits of paying more for my clothes upfront. I send a lot of the clothes they send me back, but so far I have gotten an amazing pair of jeans (just in time to get pregnant and grow out of them) as well as the skirt above, which I practically live in these days because it’s so soft and comfortable, never wrinkles and hangs just right!

What we splurge on: Skiing

4. Skiing.

Last year our girls fell in love with skiing. Because of their enthusiasm, we made it a point to go multiple times rather than just once like we had in previous years, and it was amazing to watch their skills blossom (including two of our girls tackling their first double black diamond). For the upcoming year, our plan is to make skiing a priority from both a time and money perspective. We’ll probably ask for ski equipment as a family for Christmas to help offset some of the cost, and we’ve decided that instead of going to Snowshoe Resort for a few days, we’ll use that money to go weekly at our local resort (which offers a great locals discount), but there’s no denying that this is still a fairly expensive sport, especially with 5-6 skiers in the upcoming season!

Things we splurge on: Books

5. Books

Oh, books. Books also show up on my list of “things I don’t declutter,” and my ultimate goal is to have a children’s library not only for my own kids but also to eventually share with my nieces, nephews and grandkids. We do buy a lot of our children’s books used, but only so I can buy even more of them! I personally prefer reading on the Kindle, so splurging on books also includes buying ebooks for myself. Although I search my wishlist for deals to support my reading habit, I do buy one or two full-priced books each month as well.

Things we splurge on: Traveling as a family

6. Traveling

You won’t find us staying in 4-star hotels or flying first class, and thus far we’ve stayed in the United States, but our family loves to travel—whether it’s a weekend away, a week at the beach or a few weeks visiting family—and we hope to do even more of that, including a trip out west that we’ve been talking about for years, in the coming years. I have friends who do this so much better than us—exploring every nook and cranny of each city they visit—and I’d love to start a fun tradition like visiting the library in every city we visit or taking photos of a family mascot at each landmark, but even without those things, there’s nothing we love more than a good road trip!

Things we splurge on: Giving

7. Giving

I don’t talk a lot about giving or even give publicly very often, preferring anonymous donations over ones associated with my name, but one thing Sean and I have always agreed on is giving generously and without reservation when we feel led. Sometimes that means committing to regular sponsorship, sometimes it means giving in emergent situations, and sometimes it means investing our time instead of just money. Although we give generously now, I have a (not so) secret goal of one day giving away 50% of our income. I don’t know how realistic that really is with 6 kids and on a single income (um, and a list of splurges), but it’s worth working toward!

How about you? What are your family’s splurges?

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. “Splurging doesn’t mean that we spend money without thought; we still
    look for deals and ways to save money, but these are clearly
    non-necessities that we choose to spend money on.” I agree!

    If food was a love language…yes, we splurge on food! I hear about people who bring crockpots with them on trips so they don’t have to buy food at the amusement park, etc, but we love to eat local and try new foods wherever we go!! That’s part of the adventures for us. And we definitely splurge on books (curriculum), traveling, and giving. One of our little CC friends asked us multiple times this year if we were rich because we were going to Australia. No, there is such a thing as budgeting and saving so we can do things like that…it also means we are doing day trips in the Bay Area for the next year or so. I’m actually putting together yet another bag of stuff to pass on to a friend for their church’s garage sale…I would be a thousand-aire by now if I just had my own garage sales.

    And because this should just probably be it’s own post now… :p I know people who splurge on coffee and the spa, but we are a musical family, so we buy instruments. haha! I also struggle with birthday parties. We have friends who invite all the people to a place where you can rent some party room. Those parties are always fun, but wow, $$$$!! When I ask my girls, they always say they want their friends over at our house…granted we can’t invite every person they know from every group we are a part of, but I don’t think we need to… They plan the whole thing, and everyone still has fun.

  2. Fun topic! Splurges for us include: (1) vacation – we rent a house at the beach for a week every summer. We all look forward to it the whole year. I want my kids to have those memories of fun times as a family. (2) schooling, books, curriculum – my kids do a two day a week homeschool tutorial. It’s not the cheapest option but we love it for our family. Also when picking out new curriculum if it seems a good fit I’ll get it even if there are cheaper options that might work but don’t seem as well suited. (3) Sonic treats – in the spring/summer especially. It’s 2 miles from our house and during happy hour (or after 8 for shakes) I can get everyone a treat for 5-6 dollars. Not a necessity but very fun. (4) shoes – even for our 5 kids. I would rather spend more money and get one good pair of shoes that fit, last, and look nice than have lots of cheap target/Walmart shoes. I’m sure there are more but these come to mind right away.

    1. Where do you buy shoes that last?? I’m tired of shoes wearing out in 3 months or less, but tried a more expensive pair and they didn’t last any longer. I’d love to know what brand you buy!

  3. I loooooooooooooooooooooooove that you included Giving. Love it. <3

  4. I think you made such an important distinction that rather than comparing ourselves to one another, it is so important to make these decisions personal. I, too, love splurging on meals out and movie theaters because I so enjoy the break and the uninterrupted family time.

    #7 is my favorite! What an incredible goal to have. I read once that someone’s goal was to flip the tithing model upside down by trying to live on 10% and give 90. I can’t imagine ever being there, but I think it is a wonderful idea.

    Blessings to you and yours, Mandi!

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