I'm going to skip over the obvious ones like mortgage, utilities, car, taxes, groceries etc. We all pay for that kinda stuff so no point in going over that. Let's get down to the nitty gritty of what I deem worthy of blowing my cash on.
1. Going out to eat. Our family is big on going out to eat on the weekends. I rarely make any dinners at home on Friday and Saturday night. After working all week and doing the homework, dinner, dishes etc routine Monday through Thursday, I just want to go somewhere and have a person put my dinner down in front of me. Our favorite lately is a Japanese sushi restaurant called Little Tokyo. YUM!
2. Kids sports stuff. Our three kids are pretty active in sports year round so this can be pretty expensive to keep everyone going. It's not a necessity, but it is a priority. Basketball right now is just through the Y so that's pretty reasonable. Field hockey in the fall was free for middle school and again through the Y for the younger one. Manimal and Princess take swimming lessons at the Y and Princess takes dance through a studio, which is probably the most expensive activity of all of them. AAU basketball will begin in February and this will be our first year doing that. I imagine that will be expensive just to get started--the fee, the uniform and all the travel. Softball will be free in the spring--again middle school sports.
Summer sports camps are wicked expensive and I'm thinking I might ask for grandparents to give gifts or money towards the sports camps instead of presents at birthdays and xmas. They are at least $200/week for one kid and this year there will be 2 at field hockey camp, 2 separate weeks of basketball camp, 2 weeks of soccer camp and 2 weeks of dance camp.
3. Race fees. I actually thought this number was much higher last year but it's really a small expense totalling around $500 for the year. Still an expense and one I don't want to give up.
4. Workout/running clothes and accessories. I have spent a bunch of money on running/tri/swim clothes the past year. I do purchase everything on sale and usually on the clearance racks or at the outlet stores. The only thing I have paid full price for was my sneakers and my tri shirt/shorts. Even my Trek bike was bought used off of craigslist. I have no problem with used things and I am always looking for a deal.
5. Hairdresser. I used to spend much more and had my hair done much more frequently. Lately, I just haven't had time to deal with it, but a foil highlight and then a cut is never less than $100. I do this probably 3-4 times a year.
6. Decent shoes. I don't have many pairs of shoes that I wear regularly, I don't care about high heels so the shoes that I buy have to be comfortable, practical and look good. I also have bunions so I will often pay more for a quality shoe that doesn't hurt my foot and will last a few years.
7. Charity. I do make donations during the year to Goodwill, the Y, various cancer societies, the food pantry, humane society, Girl Scouts, the local library and other things that come up. I should do more in this department. We all can do better in this department.
This list got me thinking about stuff I don't spend money on. Things that I find unimportant or will cut back on without a problem.
1. A new car every few years. Nope. My van is almost 7 years old and I will drive that thing right until the wheels fall off. It rattles, it's filthy on the inside, but it runs and gets me from A to B. I don't care about having a BMW. I love my Odyssey.
2. Cleaning service. I don't have a maid or someone to clean my house. I used to, probably 7 or 8 years ago, but I just can't see spending $60 a week to have someone clean my house. I can get it done in 2 ish hours, less if the kids help. It would be nice, but not for $240/month.
3. Nails. I could give a rat's ass about having my nails done. I have had one manicure in my life and it's because my maid of honor insisted that I have it done before my wedding. Waste of money IMO.
4. Staying in a fancy hotel on vacation. I don't mean that I want to stay in the roach motel, but a Comfort Inn is just fine at $88/night instead of the Ritz at $300/night. If it has a pool, wifi, and a clean bed we are all set. In fact, the most comfortable room we had on our vacation was a suite at the Comfort Inn in Page, AZ at $80/night. (Besides the Venetian....That was a pretty sweet suite...)
5. Netflix/movies/DVR. We just got HDtv 6 months ago. Talk about cheap! Like I'm going to pay for a DVR as well? It sounds pretty awesome, but it's $100 for the DVR thing and then you have to pay for the service too! I'm not home enough to watch tv now, why would I want to DVR things and then not have time to watch them later?
What do you deem worthy of your hard earned cash?
What can you live without?