Weekend Question Thread: Spending Edition

Are you cheap or extravagant?

(I’m the worst of both worlds. I tend to go nuts — especially with gifts, and this is like the most dangerous time of the year — and then freak out about it later.)


13 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread: Spending Edition

  1. I’m a little of both — I’m terrified of spending money on big-ticket items, but I’m perfectly capable of spending $50 at the comic shop without blinking.

  2. I’m cheap but generous. I will spend money on the things my family needs, but only if that money is our monthly budget. We got rid of credit cards a year ago, so everything in our household is on a “cash only” basis. When you have no credit, you don’t buy anything you can’t afford! Now if I could just get out from under the thumb of all these health care providers…

  3. I am a bit of both, too. (and a what’s-in-account-too, no credit cards)
    I am getting better about ‘hey, sparkly new gimme!’ – now I’m all “I have that or something similar at home that I need to use first” and “If I buy it, I’ll have to move it” and both are good for setting it down and walking on by. Unless it’s something cool that I can use for cake art…then all bets are kinda off.
    But with gifts I tend towards generosity if I have the funding available. Had I been more restrained w/the thankfully-now-ex-b/f, I’d have plenty of money. I am awful about spoiling my beaus, which wouldn’t be so bad if they spoiled back. Not doing that one-sided mess again, it’s “quid pro quo Clarice” (or ‘clarence’ in my case) from here on out.
    I wish I had the ducats to do more for my family and friends, but it’s definitely not there this holiday season.

  4. I’m extravagant but more toward myself than others. But (perhaps fortunately) have been learning frugality as a lifestyle.

  5. i am a very cheap shopaholic. resale + estate sales. for resale., gifts, me. i spent WHOPPING $15 at an estate sale. TREEN! and it was a mid-century artists sale. i got art. i TRY to resist ebay bargains. i fail. but only cause the estate sale drought. i got about 5 pieces of art. wood block prints. i got a lovely monkey. and i just got an ebay fish carving in the mail. bid 99¢.
    will be blogging the haul later.

  6. My wife and I have lived extremely cheaply all our lives. Now that we’re retired, however, we find ourselves debt-free with sufficient funds (thanks to those socialistic bastards who created Social Security and my wife’s teacher’s pension, not mention access to a retired teacher’s health insurance pool that isn’t cheap but isn’t breaking us, either) to survive and thrive. I do a little writing on the side to earn money for my computer gadgets and she does a little substitute teaching to earn money for her quilting adventures.
    In the past, we always suffered buyer’s remorse after a major purchase, she lots less than I. Now we’re feeling guilty because, despite relatively severe health problems, we are doing well. So we tend to try to spend money with local businesses to help them out, and we’ve increased our charitable giving and in-kind contributions and volunteer work.
    I keep telling myself this is why we only went out to eat at a nice restaurant once a year and went to the show once a year (the annual John Wayne movie) back when we were raising our kids. But spending is still hard.

  7. I’m totally in your camp, A. Add to that a tendency toward manic depressive swings, and I’m dangerous. I’m trying to be better about it, but it’s not easy. This is why I have no credit cards, just debit.

  8. i spent a whole $15 at the estate sale. i couldn’t afford all the art i liked. i splurged on more than 1 woodcut print. not much for ebay. but i resisted the african carving.

  9. …I am extravagant with family and cheap with myself. I will lavish virtually every birthday or Christmas “wish list” item on Mrs. Jack K. and the kids while at the same time slapping iron-on patches onto my worn-out work shirts and pants and agonizing over which cheap jack pair of shoddy WhateverMart work boots would probably be the best to buy, even though the pair I have now must still be good enough because my toes aren’t quite yet sticking out of them…

  10. Totally cheap (frugal). If everyone splurged like I do, there would be a depression that would make the 1930’s look like a cakewalk.
    Just not into the consumer thing.

  11. Thanks RAM. You’ve given this 50ish IT serf with a quilting wife a promising glimpse of the future. We’re both state employees looking forward to pensions and a continuation of our obsessions.
    The thought of a life listening to iTunes while the wife long-arm quilts is a happy thought. Thanks to used book and music shops, our library is full and the savings looks good.

  12. I’m terrible. I spend way too much on gifts and then have to scrape to make car insurance premiums. I spend money casually, and then wonder where it went.
    I’m a master of A’s “freak out about it later”.
    Went to the store to get the college age daughter a TV for her dorm room and felt good about the $400 deal I got. When I got home the wife said “I thought we agreed on $250.”
    We did?!? Huh.

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