Frugality without sacrifice is my spending motto*. But does the "without sacrifice" part sometimes push me over the edge into unfrugality? I took a close look at where my money goes and found quite a few items I could spend less on. So here is the rundown on what those items are, how much extra they are costing me, and what (if anything) I am going to do about it.
Baseline Spending**: An Extra $1430 a Year for Unfrugality
Groceries. Because it helps me control my weight and maintain good blood numbers, I pay an extra $20 a week to eat a meat-and-veggies diet without rice, pasta or potatoes. That is an extra $1000 a year.
Medical Checkups. Because I want to stay on top of my health, I get quarterly checkups instead of the standard annual one. That is an extra $60 a year in co-pays. (Thank goodness for insurance.)
Dental Cleanings. Because I hate having dental work done, I get quarterly cleanings instead of the standard semi-annual ones. That is an extra $170 a year.
Vehicle Maintenance. Because of their servicing system and convenience, I pay more to take my truck to Jiffy Lube instead of a local service station. That is an extra $200 a year.
What will I do about that extra $1430 a year in baseline spending? Nothing. All of it keeps either me or my truck in top running condition. And that, as they say, is priceless.
Discretionary Spending***: An Extra $1020 a Year for Unfrugality
Coffee. Because I like the taste so much, I pay an extra $10 a pound (!) to drink Tully's French Roast Keurig K-cups instead of drip coffee. That is an extra $180 a year.
Books. Because I love collecting them, I pay an average $5 a book instead of borrowing at the library. That is an extra $120 a year.
Motel Stays. Because I want the amenities it offers, I pay an extra $20 per night to stay at Best Western instead of Knight's Inn or Motel Six. That is an extra $480 a year.
Scotch Whiskey. Because I want the smoothness and the taste, I pay an extra $15 a bottle for Chivas Regal over a common brand. That is an extra $150 a year.
Beer. For the same reasons as for Scotch, I pay an extra $5 a six-pack to drink Beck's instead of Bud (or Old Milwaukee!). That is an extra $90 a year.
What will I do about that extra $1020 a year in discretionary spending? Nothing. All of that money comes out of my discretionary fund*** which is there precisely for guiltless spending on whatever I want.
All told, my unfrugal side is costing me $2450 a year. But that is less than 10% of the annual surplus cash I have after covering my $18,000 annual baseline budget**. So I think I will give myself a break and let it be.
*My Financial Independence Key:
**My $18K Annual Baseline Budget:
***A Discretionary Fund, Not a Discretionary Budget: