You Can Afford It. But Should You Spend It?

flying first class

Once you reach a certain level of financial comfort, you’ll find yourself buying things you might have bypassed in your more financially strapped days. You may find yourself springing for nicer accommodations on vacation, or taking longer vacations. Maybe you buy the more expensive car with a few extras you wouldn’t have considered before. Maybe you upgrade your house, either by buying a newer, bigger one, or sinking a lot of money into improvements. While some lifestyle inflation is fine (after all, you probably work hard for the money and it’s okay to enjoy some of it), you want to keep it in check.

“But,” you’re thinking, “if I can afford it, why

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4 Responses to You Can Afford It. But Should You Spend It?

  1. anon e. mouse says:

    This is a problem we’ve fallen into lately (well, this year, really). After 10 years of living well below our means, a few years back we started to ‘loosen the purse-strings’.

    First we stopped worrying about purchases that cost a few hundred dollars.

    That lead to rationalizing purchases of things that cost a few thousand dollars.

    This year we replaced 3 cars and have taken (or will take) several nice vacations.

    Honestly, at some point it became overwhelmingly stifling to worry about the small stuff when, honestly, the small stuff just didn’t matter. And you find quickly that as your income and savings escalate, what qualifies as ‘small stuff’ changes quickly.

    This is the conundrum that I suspect many affluent but frugal folks find themselves in. If you like your job and plan to continue working, what do you do with all the money? Do you keep saving more and more? To what end? Or do you start to spend a bit more? Of course then you risk ‘life-style creep’. If you take a nice vacation this year, it may feel like a let-down to not take a nicer one next…

  2. jim says:

    Interessting conundrum. Hmm… part of me really wants to upgrade on some furniture, but then I think “why?” What I’d really like to do is travel, so maybe I’ll down grade the furniture I’m thinking of and save some of that $ for fun travel experiences.

    Then again I think I must be really spoiled in the eyes of so many in this world who are just looking to feed their kids, so maybe I’ll down grade those travel plans and donate $ to worthy causes.

  3. Boy, does this article hit the nail right on the head.

    Last month, I caught myself having the same exact thoughts about our expenses. We have been great about living below our means and being very frugal. Saw the savings and investment numbers growing and began feeling like we could breathe a bit.

    That’s how it starts. Things that you once thought, that’s too expensive. I could add that money to our emergency savings, etc. You now start to say we’re doing okay, we can splurge, it won’t hurt us.

    Then we saw the bills began to swell and flags starting going off. So now we are pulling back because we don’t want to lose our financial freedom. Nothing is worth that.

  4. If you can afford something, the next question is opportunity cost. Car or emergency fund? It is all about opportunity cost.

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