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May 19, 2007

My biggest luxury is living alone. Perhaps if I wasn’t planning on moving in 6 months, I’d rethink this. At first, I didn’t consider it a luxury, but almost a necessity! If I was wiser, I would have lived with a friend–this would have allowed me to NOT buy furniture that I’m only going to have to store (my next apartment will be TINY–moving to a much more expensive area). But I do value this luxury–I love living alone. My monthly rent for a smallish 1 bdrm is $575. This is a lot, but living alone wouldn’t even be an option in more expensive areas.

Another luxury is cable internet and TV. I’m working on finding a cheaper solution. I could ditch the highest speed internet, and drop down to the cheapest cable. I think that would be about 40 dollars.

I also spend a fair amount of money on my hair. Every 3-4 months (I try to stretch it to 4!) I go to the salon, get my highlights touched up, a cut, and my eyebrows waxed. With tip, it usually comes to about $150–a lot! If I didn’t adore my stylist, I might be motivated to go cheap, but she is REALLY good.

This is a luxury that I haven’t indulged in much this year (quite an expensive luxury!), but it is something that I value highly and am willing to spend money on (if I have it), always. The next several years we probably will just be doing small trips, but I hope to save up for something awesome–South America, perhaps? Also we are considering skydiving this summer, which would be about 150-200!

Eating Out
I try to limit this–I rarely eat out for lunch, but I really enjoy a good sushi dinner with the boyfriend. We are addicted! Occasionally, I also buy some less cheap groceries and cook. I’m a bit of a mess in the kitchen, but I like to try.

I could most certainly cut some (all?) of these luxuries out. It would allow me to pay off my student loans more quickly. Perhaps add a bit extra to my 401k. But I allow myself them because each month, I’m still gaining more assets and reducing debt. I’m making good progress, and I have good earning potential. I allow myself these luxuries because I won’t mind paying my student loans a little bit longer in order to improve my quality of life now.

I don’t allow myself every luxury. I would love a new car, I wouldn’t mind eating out more, I don’t buy too much for clothes. I have really crappy bedroom furniture. I’ve been desiring a coach purse from the outlet store for well over a year, new work shoes for months, a new swimsuit since they came out for the year, and a “water pik” for a week.

Still, I could probably have less splurges on things I don’t really value highly.

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