Sunday, January 31, 2010

What Is Your Extravagance?

Doc is in no way a wastrel when it comes to spending money. His head is not turned by flashy cars or fancy new clothes. He can tell me to the penny what the cost is of every household expense (though I try not to ask). You would think that a man who has never bought a cup of coffee at Starbucks (more in a minute about what he does buy at Starbucks) would want to keep his money in his pocket when it comes to parking a car, but car parking is exactly where he starts flashing the Gold Card. Specifically, airport parking. More specifically, valet parking at the airport. Valet parking, that over the top expensive spot right across from the airport door is the only place he will leave his not so new truck. I'm pretty sure that he has paid more for valet parking at times than for the actual airplane ticket. He says it is worth it not to have to deal with bags, and shuttles and snow when he comes home tired from a trip. It's just his thing.

If I was paying, I would be dragging my bags through the snow onto the shuttle. My thing is a bad Starbucks habit. I'm sure I spend as much, or more, in a year at Starbucks as Doc does on valet parking. I rationalize it by being a Starbucks stockholder and telling myself that since I'm still working I deserve that little extravagance. Not a good excuse, but it is what I tell myself. The good news for me is that any gift giving occasion includes a healthy Starbucks gift card from Doc to me. The bad news is that it is still a pricey addiction. It's just my thing.

I have a friend who buys all her clothes and shoes at discount stores and consignment shops, but all of her purses are very expensive designer bags. It's just her thing.

I know people who will drive far and wide to find the cheapest gas, won't pay for a meal in a nice restaurant, or make sure they have coupons for all their groceries, but wouldn't think of foregoing their weekly massage or pedicure. It's just their thing.

Do you have an extravagance? What is your thing?


  1. My biggest problem is spending money full stop! No matter what I want I always seem to find the most expensive thing, fall in love with it and then HAVE to have it... I have no willpower ;0)

  2. No matter what the checking account looks like, no matter how bad the weather, no matter how lousy I feel, I will not, cannot, do not ever miss my monthly hair appointment.

    Now, Hubby has a thing for items with VIN numbers.

    I think the Valet parking thing is very funny!

    You have a terrific day and God bless......

  3. What I love about this post is that you not only share your little indulgences, but ask about ours. And to truly answer that we have to first decide what our definition of extravagance is. See, a pedicure? That's mandatory. And although it would a tough expense to justify if I were on welfare, I'd probably find a way.

    And then there's cable tv. Who can live without that?

    And cell phones.

    And dinner out - because every Friday is date night.

    But getting back to your question... I would have to say that my biggest extravagance is good kitchen stuff. Good cookware. Good appliances. Good knives. Somehow it makes me feel a wee bit more accomplished in the kitchen to cook with good stuff. During my first marriage, it was all about going cheap. Cheap on everything. Now, I have the luxury of buying quality and I'm hooked. I don't go overboard, but when we need something or are replacing something that has outlived its usefulness, we get the best quality we can. To me, that is extravagance... to not only be able to buy what you want, when you want - but to get the best you can afford within your means.

    Great post, chica.

  4. Oh yes! We do.
    Ours is vacations. We rarely make larger/longer vacations, usually just the "long weekend" type. But WHEN we do, we go all out. The hotel has to be at least 4 star and we don´t "save" on our vacations. It´s a time for letting go, and boy does it cost us some! :) But that´s just our thing. Then we save for years on end, till the next trip. :)

  5. I have to agree with your husband's view on valet parking. Since we rarely go out anymore, valet parking hasn't been an option, but the rare times we do valet park. When we moved here to the mid west and neither of us go to a job any longer, I stopped the pedicures. I just do my own. My life has been simplified and I am happy with it. My daughter sends me Starbucks cards a couple times a year so I do indulge there but not on my own dime. I think the only extravagance in my life is books. Nice post, got us thinking.

  6. I'm big on coupons and won't ever buy any type of clothing that's not on sale. My one extravegance is my 6 week hair appointment. But as you know, I even get a break on that!

  7. It's funny what people consider important. My extravagance is books.

    Poor Tuesday

  8. Some say my hair every 6 weeks is an extravagance and the man and ped I get in the summer!! I don't think so....I work so why not!

  9. My bad--Books and shoes and clothes for my first baby granddaughter and pedicures every three weeks.

    (When it comes to coffee I grind my beans at home and I used to own a coffee shop so I know my coffee is better than Starbucks, but I do stop in during summer for a passion iced tea every now and then:)

  10. :) I heard my parents benefited from Doc's thing. I have to admit, it does sound pretty awesome to park like that at the airport.

    My weakness? I shop bargains like my mom, love shoes (not quite as much as her though), like to eat out (without the kids which cuts down on costs). I love to buy cute clothes for Pedro because he's the only one who let's me dress him and we never had any extra money with the other kids.