When I Would Rather Spend Than Save

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When I would rather spend than saveMy wife, son, and I got to spend a nice long weekend in our old college town.  We met in a small college town in the mountains of North Carolina and we have always been drawn to that location.  We try to go back every year to enjoy the sites and get some hiking in.  Since our son’s birth 4 months ago, we haven’t been able to do much traveling.  It was a little different this time because we went with my wife’s side of the family.  We rented a cabin in the mountains and spent three days there just relaxing and shopping around town.

Time to Relax

One thing that I haven’t been able to enjoy is a little time off.  Since I started this blog over 7  months ago and my son’s birth, I have been going full throttle.  While I have really enjoyed running this site and watching it build, there are times that I just need some time off.  Some of you might have noticed that I was a little quiet this weekend, but I did it on purpose.  This weekend was my chance to relax and I took it. 😉

Spend or Save?

Every since I started paying off my credit cards 4 years ago, I have leaned on the side of saving my money.  I had wasted it away on credit card payments and I wanted to build my net worth.  There were times that I didn’t go out with friends because I couldn’t afford it or didn’t want to spend the money.  There were other times that I would go out and just get a water, but still enjoy the company of friends.  Each and every night, I would ask myself the simple question of “should I spend or should I save?

There has been a lot of talk lately about how you don’t need to spend in order to create good memories.  While I inherently believe this is true, I found that this weekend was a little different.

Did I just splurge?

I am going to admit that I splurged this weekend.  I am not afraid to admit this to you because I try to be truthful here on Debt Roundup.  I had the opportunity to save my money by picking different things to do, but I wanted to enjoy this trip.  I can honestly said that I really did enjoy this trip.

My wife and I were able to enjoy a date night on Friday because my son’s grandmother wanted to watch him.  We could have had a simple dinner and then just done whatever we wanted, but I wanted to treat my wife to something special.  We decided to enjoy an intimate dinner at the restaurant we went after we got engaged.  We try to go to this restaurant every time we go to the mountains, but it is not always possible.  This restaurant is very high end and very expensive, but the food is nothing short of phenomenal.

I would not usually spend as much as I did, but this was a very rare occasion.  Not only did we get to enjoy a little piece of history, but we got a date night with just us.  I would have spent much more for the time I got to spend with my wife, so I am completely happy.

When I would rather spend than save

As I indicated, I think about each thing and wonder if I am going to spend or save.  I am good at creating cheap entertainment for myself and my family.  Though I love some cheap entertainment, there are times that I just want to splurge.  I work hard to make good money and support my family, but I don’t want to just save it for a rainy day.  Who knows what is going to happen and if you can’t enjoy your money, then what is the point?  I won’t splurge all of the time, but when I do, I choose the right moments.  This weekend was that type of moment.  I am glad that I got to splurge this weekend because I was able to create some great memories and wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

So, when are the times that you would rather spend than save?  Do you splurge on memory creation or just to have some fun and get away from the debt grind?

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Grayson Bell

Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog. It is Empowered Shopper, which helps people get information about products they want to buy. You can also check out Eyes on the Dollar, which is a great blog that I co-own.


  1. May 6, 2013 at 6:08 am — Reply

    I would almost always spend on experiences, and special occasions. And I have been spending on convenience more and more, since I can afford it, it is often not worth the trouble to save a few dollars but spend hours to achieve the same result.

    • May 6, 2013 at 9:38 am — Reply

      Convenience has been getting more of my money these days. I try to make sure it is justified though.

  2. May 6, 2013 at 6:58 am — Reply

    I have also had a bit of a quiet weekend, I think you need one every so often otherwise you will get burnt out.

    I have no problems with spending money, provided it is on something that I really want. What I hate is people spending money on random things just because they have spare money.

    • May 6, 2013 at 9:39 am — Reply

      You are so right Glen. Don’t need the burnout. Yeah, I used to spend my money just because, but now I make sure I do it for the right reasons.

  3. May 6, 2013 at 7:10 am — Reply

    If you can pay for the dinner and not make credit card payments on it for months then enjoy. Living in a financially responsible manner means you can afford to enjoy life. The more you save and avoid debt the more you can afford to enjoy.

    Can’t wait until I get to the point where I can enjoy my money instead of worrying and fussing about every penny.

    • May 6, 2013 at 9:40 am — Reply

      You are right Jane. I paid in cash for this dinner, so it wouldn’t be on a credit card. The point will come, but it just takes time.

  4. May 6, 2013 at 7:20 am — Reply

    The biggest thing I splurge on is memory creation and getting away from the grind. While I don’t have a kid, since starting my blog ~8 to 9 months ago it has been very crazy. We did buy a house in that time and working on it has taken up a ton of my time as well. I definitely am willing to spend some money if it means I can relax a bit!

    • May 6, 2013 at 9:40 am — Reply

      You and I are very alike DC. I will spend money for some relaxation any day.

  5. May 6, 2013 at 7:35 am — Reply

    Glad you had a good weekend Grayson & we all need time away from time to time. It’s hard for me to spend because the saving had become so ingrained in me when I was paying off debt, but I’ve learned to balance that with splurging from time to time. If I am going to splurge then it’s usually going to be in order to create memories or to buy something for my wife or kids.

    • May 6, 2013 at 9:41 am — Reply

      Thanks John. Saving has been very ingrained in my head as well, but I am slowly working my way out of it. I still save, but I also enjoy myself from time to time.

  6. May 6, 2013 at 7:38 am — Reply

    Grayson, good for you. This is what it’s all about: spending the money on what matters most. So glad you guys had such a great time, and got a wonderful date night too – that’s just awesome. 🙂

    • May 6, 2013 at 9:42 am — Reply

      Thanks Laurie. I have been in debt destruction mode for so long, that now I am out, I want to enjoy myself, yet not incur more debt. The date night was awesome.

  7. May 6, 2013 at 8:16 am — Reply

    Great reminder of what our money is really for. Glad you guys had a fun weekend. One thing I’ve always tried to do with my/our budget is give ourselves enough of a buffer that splurges like that don’t take away from our bigger goals. It’s really nice to be able to just say “ok” to spending sometimes, and understanding how to fit that within the bigger framework of responsibility is really important.

    • May 6, 2013 at 9:42 am — Reply

      Thanks Matt. I now buffer for the splurges because they are usually for a good cause.

  8. May 6, 2013 at 10:24 am — Reply

    I agree splurge on the moments that count, not on every little thing. One thing I am splurging on this year is a surprise getaway for me an the wife for our 10 year anniversary, and even at that I’m still looking at ways to keep it on the less expensive side of things.

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:30 am — Reply

      That is the type of splurge that is well worth it. You can save while on the trip, but it would be hard to have a great one while not spending much money.

  9. May 6, 2013 at 10:33 am — Reply

    We save to spend and don’t feel guilty about it! We want to splurge every so often so we just make sure we’re meeting all our other goals and go for it!

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:30 am — Reply

      Bam! I like your style Emily.

  10. May 6, 2013 at 10:56 am — Reply

    I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with splurging. I have to admit that I do it from time to time as well 🙂

    I think what’s important is to know how it affects my budget, whether or not this “splurge” will turn into a recurring expense, and whether I can live with how much it affects my timeline. And it’s important to prioritize what we think is important. Otherwise, what’s the point of all the saving? 🙂

    Great post!

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:29 am — Reply

      Thanks for the feedback. I make sure that my splurges to not destroy my budget. Most of them are one time, so I don’t worry about it recurring.

  11. May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am — Reply

    We try to plan for the “splurge” opportunities. We have a “Travel” fund that is pretty healthy for when we go on vacation. We like to make sure that we have plenty of cash to enjoy the times that we travel so we put a fixed amount in the account each month. So far it has helped us stay on track AND enjoy life!

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:32 am — Reply

      I knew this one was coming, so I had been saving for it for some time. We don’t get to do much for our anniversary this year due to family coming in, so I made this time count.

  12. May 6, 2013 at 11:00 am — Reply

    Spend on special occasions and treating and pampering yourself once in a while. And saving if you want to achieve your goal.

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:33 am — Reply

      I always save and sometimes you just have to save in order to splurge.

  13. May 6, 2013 at 11:01 am — Reply

    Haha…I wrote a similar post for today about how I’ll never regret a penny I’ve spent on vacations. And date nights are a must…good for you two!

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:33 am — Reply

      I am off to read it. Date nights are a must. It helps keep your sanity.

  14. May 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm — Reply

    Nothing wrong with having a little fun – especially when it sparks sentimental emotions like that! I always say that money is for making what you want, and if its special memories that you want to create, then go for it!

    • May 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm — Reply

      I completely agree with you there. Thanks for stopping by MMD.

  15. Girl Meets Debt
    May 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm — Reply

    Happy to hear you had a nice weekend with the family. You didn’t fully take time away from the blog though because you commented on my site on a Sunday 😛 I think that’s very sweet and romantic of you to take your wife out for a nice romantic dinner to a place that has special meaning for both of you! 🙂

    • May 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm — Reply

      Thanks GMD. I know, you caught me. I did jump on the tablet and surf around a little bit this weekend, but only to the places that I frequent the most.

  16. May 6, 2013 at 12:36 pm — Reply

    I tend to spend when I am on vacation. I will spend a little extra for a particular experience. A great meal in Paris or a tour of something to add to the experience.

    • May 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm — Reply

      I certainly agree with you. You usually can take back great experiences and they are worth the extra.

  17. Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide
    May 6, 2013 at 11:50 am — Reply

    I’m not really a shopper, but I do splurge on experiences.

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:57 am — Reply

      That is the way to go Jenny.

  18. May 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm — Reply

    I tend to spend when traveling. I think that this is prime time for memory creation and I don’t want it to be spoiled by getting something of poor quality. One experience that comes to mind is getting an inside room on a Carnival Cruise. We would have much more enjoyed a balcony and gone when the water was less choppy (all cost more, but would have created better memories).

    • May 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm — Reply

      I know about cruises. We didn’t get a balcony room, but we had an outside room with a good view from our window. It was more enjoyable, but didn’t cost much more. We haven’t had the luxury of getting a state room with a balcony.

  19. May 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm — Reply

    Good for you, Grayson! Your financial situation is different and so is your mindset. A planned splurge in my opinion is something we should all do (assuming you’re not hip-deep in debt) do. Money is a gift and what better way to use it than spending quality time with someone you love? Your son is amazing, but being able to have a nice romantic dinner while your son was being watched by his grandparents who were probably more than happy to do it – is priceless too.

    • May 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm — Reply

      Thank you Shannon. Yes, the time I got to spend with my wife was extremely priceless and I would have done anything I could have in order to enjoy that time.

  20. Tricia
    May 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm — Reply

    I think if you are able to spend once in a while then you should, especially to make memories. I recently went to England in February and had a wonderful time, it was worth the extra money (on great flights/times) and we also went over for a wedding too. In 2011 I went to Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels. My flight situation was horrible and I was trying to save money but ended up putting myself in a rough position.By the end of the trip I would have gladly given up the the extra money as it put a dampener on my entire trip.

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm — Reply

      Thank you for the comment Tricia. There are times when saving money are just not worth it. Glad you had a good trip.

  21. May 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm — Reply

    Splurging can be important. For me it’s usually on travel and occasionally entertainment (ie: Broadway shows). I think it’s great you treated your wife (and yourself) to a great meal, especially at a place with such fond memories.

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:25 pm — Reply

      Thanks and good to hear that you splurge on occasion. It is important.

  22. Justin
    May 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm — Reply

    It’s important to splurge a little bit. Even if you’re in debt, there are times when you just need to let your hair down and spend money on yourself. It doesn’t have to be much, but if done correctly it can help to recharge your batteries.
    I hope that you had fun this weekend.

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:26 pm — Reply

      Those little splurges are what kept me sane when I was paying down my debt.

  23. May 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm — Reply

    What’s the point of all this saving if your le never able to splurge. Sounds like an awesome weekend. I’ve recently discovered that ill splurge on taking trips to go hiking. Sure there’s a cost. But that’s what money’s for.

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm — Reply

      I love some hiking. Though the trips are not as expensive as some, we tend to travel further.

  24. May 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm — Reply

    Hey, as a parent, I can totally relate to the need for a date night. 🙂 Glad you were able to spend some quality time with your wife!

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:29 pm — Reply

      I never understood the true importance of it, but I do now.

  25. May 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm — Reply

    I’m glad you were able to go out and have a good time. You have to do that once in a while, if it means spending money rather than saving than so be it! One thing we tend to lose sight of when we are on a frugality trip, us that you have to relax and have some down time. That’s part of keeping the machine well oiled!

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm — Reply

      Thanks Jose and I completely agree with you.

  26. May 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm — Reply

    I would definitely spend my money on an experience every once in a while. There’s no use saving money, if you can’t enjoy it a little. I imagine it would eventually lead to some serious fatigue.

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm — Reply

      You are so right Semone. We need to be able to enjoy the money we make.

  27. May 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm — Reply

    We are 100% debt free, but we find that when we budget for a splurge night out, or a great vacation, we enjoy it so much more than when we were treating ourselves all the time. Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm — Reply

      So true. Absence does make the heart grow fonder and I have certainly experienced that.

  28. May 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm — Reply

    Nice post Grayson! I spend (and splurge) on things that create great memories (with the family), help create time or relieve pressure (like hiring a lawn service) or for something I may never have the chance to experience again (like the helicopter ride my wife and I took over the lava flows when we were in Hawaii.) I believe these types of things add value to my life and are worth the expense.

    • May 6, 2013 at 11:36 pm — Reply

      Thanks Brian. Glad to hear about the helicopter ride. You only live once, so enjoy it.

  29. May 7, 2013 at 1:22 am — Reply

    Sounds like you both had a lovely time and well deserved. Blogging shouldn’t take over our lives to the point where we don’t do the things that are important like spending time with loved ones. No amount of money can be placed on them. Where I wouldn’t have a problem spending money is going home to see my family. I’d splurge and enjoy my time because I don’t know when I’ll ever make it back there again. Cheers!!

    • May 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm — Reply

      You are so right Mr. CBB. There is no amount of money that should replace the time with your family. It can be hard to get a good balance, but I am working hard on that. Blogging can wait, but you can only watch your son grow up once.

  30. May 7, 2013 at 8:33 am — Reply

    If you don’t enjoy your money there’s no sense to have it. I always try to spend on experiences, especially ones I can share with friends and family. Sounds cliche but those memories are priceless.

    • May 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm — Reply

      There is nothing cliche about that KK. You are absolutely right.

  31. May 7, 2013 at 11:27 am — Reply

    I think you have to splurge once in a while. That’s why you save. When you do it all the time, that’s when it becomes mundane and you have to keep finding bigger and better things to splurge on. It’s much better to be mindful of your money, and decide when to treat yourself. It’s much more rewarding that way.

    • May 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm — Reply

      You are so correct Kim. Back in the day, I would have to splurge on bigger and bigger things in order to keep myself interested. Glad I got over that.

  32. Jane @ PPLIC
    May 8, 2013 at 9:32 am — Reply

    Nice post there. I think spending is much easier because we can see easily reap hard earned rewards for a while.

    • May 8, 2013 at 9:37 am — Reply

      Of course spending is easier. I thing is that I only spend in certain occasions.

  33. May 10, 2013 at 1:43 am — Reply

    Nothing wrong with spending a little on a nice experience. I take lots of nice vacations myself. Now if you told me you were splurging on Coach stuff or expensive cars, I’d take issue.

    I think the most important thing is that saving is the priority though. For example, if you weren’t meeting your saving goals, Houston we have a problem.

    • May 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm — Reply

      Well, if I were buying Coach stuff, then we would have a much bigger problem. I don’t know why I would even have a purse, but either way. You have to enjoy life when you can and if that means spending a little bit, then go on ahead.

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