How to Offset the Cost of Luxury

Al Gore offsets his carbon footprint. Volunteering for your community is offset for minor crimes. If you can offset those, you can definitely offset luxurious spending. The opportunity or the cost of that opportunity is a perceived value. Sometimes you even have to make a case to yourself for something you know isn’t the most cost-effective. Six cases that work well:

Deposits to your savings account are made at a similar rate to your luxurious spending totals

If you can afford to pick up the latest in video games, you can afford to match that total in a deposit to your savings. In this manner, every luxurious purchase costs twice as much in your budget, but half of it is stored for emergencies, the future, or to bear interest. Not a bad plan, in fact, one that helped a friend quit a smoking habit.

It provides recreation

Bounding across the countryside on an ATV is a much-needed release from the daily grind. A kayak, the gear, and the insurance is going to strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles, inspire you to travel to other rivers and rapids, and keep utilities down at a now-empty house. Having a piano to practice puts your creative mind to work.

Overtime hours or a side job compensate for you luxury

Absolutely no reason not to work on Thanksgiving? Have a highly productive hobby? The extra income from something you could, would, or do do anyway is a system that allows for something above and beyond sustenance living.

Someone who needs the money is getting it

Get your book for an extra dollar at the local bookstore, keep the money and the store in town. Buy a pizza card from the baseball fundraiser, eat out a few times and send a potential future major-leaguer to camp. When auto sales go down, it’s not just the sales lots or the big-name manufacturer that sees the cut, but the people working in small plants across the country that only do mundane things like gauge fuel injector parts.

There’s more hours to spend with friends and family

It is possible to pinch pennies across the board by doing everything yourself, but if you’re under the sink fixing the leak, your family is off in the other room playing a board game without you. If you’re spending hours altering a hand-me-down that you could take in to a seamstress, you’re not taking a hike with your best friends.

It’s something the grandkids will happily argue over

Heirloom quality: beauty, history, the stuff memories are made of. If it’s going to last long enough for your descendants to own proudly, it’s a worthy investment. It spreads the cost of what would be one household’s dining table into several households, saving money for future generations, for a small expense now.

One luxury a day, maybe the famed coffee-house mocha latte. Or maybe that upgrade, or the decision to buy local. If there is a choice to further your dollar and you didn’t make it, it doesn’t mean it’s out of line. It just means it belongs on a different line. Really, it’s okay. Offset.

This entry was posted in Personal Finance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How to Offset the Cost of Luxury

  1. anony mouse says:

    Algore is a snake, and carbon offsets are th ebiggest scam to come down the pike in living memory.

    Otherwise, nice post 😉

  2. Jason H says:

    And just why should I offset my luxury spending? This sounds like trying to justify getting what you want. If you want it and can afford it, then buy it. If people call it luxury spending then fine, don’t live your life trying to make others happy.

    I went on a trip recently and stayed at a Small Luxury Hotel of the World property. Did I offset it? No, I didn’t care. I could afford it and I enjoyed it. That’s all that matters.

  3. Texas Girl says:

    I don’t think Al Gore can possibly offset the energy-guzzling 10,000 square foot HOUSE he lives in.

  4. Jay Gatsby says:

    I agree with Jason H on this one. Why should one offset the cost of luxury? If you can afford it, and you’re saving appropriately, then what you do with your remaining money is your business. Offsetting implies that you are engaging in something that is WRONG.

    Extending the logic of this post to the extreme, anything beyond basic food and shelter should be considered a luxury, and therefore wrong. This includes buying a car where public transportation is available; buying branded items when comparable generics are available; etc… Ultimately, having children is a luxury, since their existence isn’t necessary for your survival.

  5. Gail says:

    I’m afraid I didn’t really understand the point of this article. I’ve worked plenty of Thanksgivings as a nurse and in the meantime missed lots of family time. Working wasn’t a luxury–I was a nurse and that means working almost every holiday and holiday pay doesn’t make up for working on them. Yet this post made it sound like it was a luxury?? I think it needed a lot more explanation.

    Just like fixing the sink–the money for fixing the sink needs to come from somewhere if you hire it out, which usually means punching the time clock and paying taxes on the earned money. Much less time is taken if you can fix it yourself, or mend things yourself. I’ve mended plenty of clothes for my boys who are now men. I get them wrapped up in a towel and chit chat with them while mending the rip in their pants. It is a fun time, why hire it out? What does mending have to do with luxury?

    As I said this is a confusing post. I couldn’t follow the line of reasoning at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *