I write a lot about being frugal, but sometimes I spent a lot of money. Therefore, I give an expensive purchase lots of thought before I pull the trigger so it is not often I regret it. I have never had a wild weekend in Vegas where I blew a bunch of money because it is unappealing to me. However, I have had some pretty luxurious vacations and spent more hours in school than you can imagine.
I used to think going to UC Berkeley was a waste of money and I could have gone to a local state school. However, looking back I think it was a really good challenge and experience. Also, when I travel around the world most people recognize the brand. I can’t compare it to what I would have done if I went to Cal State Fullerton, but looking back it was worth it. You will not necessarily be able to apply the skills you learn in college at your job, but it is an experience and shows you accomplished something. I think this will change in the future, so if I have kids I may not recommend it, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Now I’m doing an MBA. What is different is that I am paying the entire sum this time rather than just part of it as I did in college. Thank you parents. I compared schools and chose one that fits my budget and my desire to live abroad where I can learn the language. I chose one that is only a year long so it has even less opportunity cost. Looks like it is all going to work out!
My wife just completed a coding bootcamp. It was $12,700, but of course we got a $1,500 discount, so it cost $11,200 and we paid with a credit card. My wife found out she really enjoys programming and now has some skills and is able to do her own projects and will continue improving. We’ll have to wait in see how the job search goes as we are still in Portugal so she hasn’t starting looking yet.
Donations are a good way for me to share my abundance with others. I do not regret the money I have given as I believe it has been used well. One organization I give through is Compassion which allows me to write to the child I sponsor in Peru.
I think it is kind of hard to go wrong with exercise. I suppose you could take up horse riding which would get crazy expensive, but if you are sticking with most things that are human-powered (biking, running, swimming, etc.) then you are probably good to go.
Now that you know the good ways to spend I will give you an example of me breaking the rules without regret. In college I purchased a college ski pass to Squaw Valley for the killer deal of $299. I was able to go at least ten days which made it totally worth it. Now that I’m an adult that pass would cost $950 and even their college pass is $470! Skiing is crazy expensive, so I’m glad that I was able to do it with a bunch of other frugal college students who could stuff dozens of people in a nice lodge.
Right now I am in the process of taking kite surf lessons. I am excited by the prospect of not needing a boat to go out an have fun on the water. The price is €30/hour, but totally worth it.
Wedding and Honeymoon
My wedding was not cheap. However, I found it totally worth doing. I didn’t feel like we went overboard on anything in particular and it turned out extremely well. I remember walking into the reception and being amazed how nice everything looked.
Our honeymoon was to Spain which I paid $700 per ticket because I didn’t stumble upon credit card points yet. It was fun to go abroad and I think being away from everyone you know and spending time with your spouse is a great way to start a marriage.
I’ll do some cost of vacation posts as we are going on a ton in the next five months. I planned a trip after I graduate to go around the world. It’s going to be expensive. So far I spent over $3,500 on flights which was much cheaper than the actual price because I used a ton of points. I booked it before my internship and decided I could cancel it if I didn’t get a job offer. Throughout the summer I worked hard knowing that I wanted to get the job, but also had the carrot of a sweet vacation hanging out in front of me.
I’m not a fancy dude. But sometimes my wife can be a fancy dudet. If she can get a nice meal every once in awhile I’m happy because I know she appreciates it.
Yes, there are expensive things in the world, but not all are the forbidden fruit. Saving money is great, but if you never spend it then I don’t see the point. If living in a tiny house eating rice and beans works for you, totally cool, you can retire extremely early. Looking at the list, all the things I listed are experiences, so I guess that is my luxury. Good luck saving for some of the things you really want to do.