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Hey there,

I'm a first time poster!

I thought I'd start off by offering a question. Typically, all us frugal savers and investors are interested in.....well saving and investing!

But what are some of your top reasons to SPEND money?
 

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Welcome!

Great question. I'll bite.

One area of life where I do not try to economize is with food. I buy fantastic ingredients, cook 'em myself, and enjoy them. Now, I don't buy everything organic...and I don't shop at high-end grocery stores (unless you count Loblaw's as a high-end store) - but I do buy stuff like grass-fed meat and eggs from free-range chickens and I do not balk at the price. :)
 

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For me, it is when the pleasure value derived from spending that money is likely to be worth more than the invested value of that money in the future.
For example, for me, taking my family on a nice vacation (within affordability)and sharing those memories while we are still together as a family is worth more than having that compounded money after my children are on their own. However, spending money at a casino, too many dinners out, or purchasing frivolous items would not be worth it.

Of course, this is a very individual decision.
 

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I'm with MoneyGal on food. Apart from the fact that I love to cook and enjoy eating good food, it's also an investment in my health -- and that's far more important than any of my monetary investments.

I'm a big fan of simple recipes that rely on good ingredients to make them shine. I cook almost all our meals (we eat out once or twice a month) and even make most of our bread. None of it takes long; most of the recipes I use take 30 minutes or so, and the bread recipe I use requires about 5 minutes of actual work (and no, I don't use a bread machine!). I probably spend more time each week shopping for food and thinking about what to make for supper than I do actually cooking it.

I also believe in spending money on maintenance: on my car, my house, myself, since this tends to avoid bigger costs down the road.

And I think it's important to splurge on a few creature comforts and indulgences a few times per year -- a nice vacation, some furniture or clothes you've been hankering after, etc.
 

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spend on something that makes you happy :)

For me, it's travelling - it's an expensive hobby - but I love to see the world. Of course, I do it in a frugal way.
 

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Brad! we are very aligned. This year is the year of north African food for me (for no reason except that's what I declared I was doing this year) - so I am reading and cooking a lot of Moroccan and Tunisian things. That said, I have no idea what is for dinner tonight...
 

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Spending time with family, doing stuff with family.
Travel has been a big one so far, but that'll be quieting down now for a bit.
Maintaining health (gym, running shoes, squash racquet, etc).
 

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I have a FEW hobbies and I'm always spending money quite liberally on them. For instance, have to buy the books and magazines, do the travelling (gas, lunch, occasional airfare/hotel etc) to partake in the hobbies. Is this money that should be saved? NO! Reason being is that when I make the decision to spend money on these hobbies, I have already "set aside" savings in case of a rainy day. The money I spend/"waste" on hobbies does NOT (nor has ever) come out of my rainy day fund. They are not mutually exclusive. That's the key. :)
 

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for certain things, it's worth it to take the time to figure out EXACTLY what you want, save for it and just get it. For me, it's guitars. Over the years I have bought many different guitars, and sold many guitars.

But when I actually stumble on what I want, save for it, and get it, I keep them forever. Do they hold their value? the good ones do fairly well. Do I get enjoyment out of them?

YES!
 

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For us it's also food - I don't mind spending more for quality ingredients.

Another thing I won't balk at spending money on is books for my daughter - I figure it's a fantastic investment in her education/learning. I still buy second hand books, but if we're at a store and she wants a book or two (I will set my limit... once she had 8 books in the cart so I made her choose two and she cried and criieeed about that!) I will buy them for her.
 

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I find I always get hammered on the resale value of any hobby items I purchase. I am lucky to get 20 cents on the dollar. Other vendors seem to do much better. Middlemen and their fees these days take way too much. So I guess the 80 cents is money lost and the item(s) enjoyed at the time and that's that. Some people try to make money on or at least recoup the money they spend on the hobby, by reselling. Not me. That is turning the hobby into a job. Fortunately I already have a very good job so the need to recoup money spent on the enjoyment of life is not necessary. :)
 

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Another thing I won't balk at spending money on is books for my daughter - I figure it's a fantastic investment in her education/learning. I still buy second hand books, but if we're at a store and she wants a book or two (I will set my limit... once she had 8 books in the cart so I made her choose two and she cried and criieeed about that!) I will buy them for her.
Very interesting! Although painful, she will likely remember that for the rest of her life. The lesson here is obviously that you can definitely spend money on things you like but that there are limitations. It is a painful but valuable lesson that I think many people these days have thrown out the window, if they ever even learned it to begin with. People want it all, even if it bankrupts them. Your daughter could be our future MoneyGal lol.
 

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I love travelling, especially flying in first/business class. But there's no way I'd pay 5-10X the fare that airlines are asking for, so I do it by accumulating/redeeming frequent flyer miles, and with upgrade certs earned through airline status.

Food and dining experiences are the next big expenditure.
 

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I'm extremely frugal when it comes to myself but whenever I'm shopping kids toys keep falling into my cart and sometimes my husbands takes off and buys all kinds of techie gadgets.

Ironically the stuff my hubby buys usually ends up being for my use. Our last purchase was a state of the art hands free iphone compatible stereo system for our 10 year old van. Yep it's worth more than the van.

My husband is also the guy who looks up clothes deals and coupons for me. Whenever he starts mentioning it and showing his 50% off deals it means I am well overdue for some clothing. I hate shopping for myself.

Also I can be very generous with gifts as long as they are something the person really needs and would like but would not usually buy for themselves. I put an awful lot of thought into gifts.
 

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The recipe for your stew sounds wonderful. care to post it for others?:)
Sure -- a liittle off-topic which is why I sent it by PM, but here it is.

This is a simple Tunisian-style vegetable stew from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, which has nothing to do with the original granola-crunchy Moosewood Cookbook. It's full of easy, delicious recipes, almost all of which take 30 minutes or less to prepare. Most of them are vegetarian although there's a chapter of fish recipes.

I wouldn't say this stew is authentically Tunisian, just Tunisian-inspired, but it is delicious and healthy. We have it several times a year and it's been a big hit with guests. The book also has an excellent recipe for a North African couscous paella.

Tunisian Vegetable Stew

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
dash of salt
1 large bell pepper cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons ground coriander (I use whole coriander seeds and grind them in a mortar and pestle as needed)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
3 cups undrained canned tomatoes, chopped (28-ounce can)
1 1/2 cups drained cooked chick peas (if using canned, this is a 16-ounce can)
1/3 cup currants or raisins
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt to taste

grated feta cheese
toasted slivered almonds

In a large skillet, sauté the onions in the olive oil for five minutes. Add the cabbage, sprinkle with salt, and continue to sauté at least five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper and spices and sauté another minute. Stir in the tomatoes, chick peas, and currants or raisins, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until the veggies are just tender. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Top with feta and toasted almonds.

This is good over couscous (which takes 5 minutes to make) and makes enough food for four good-sized servings.

In general, good sources for simple-but-sophisticated recipes are Mark Bittman (any of his cookbooks, and his column in the New York Times) and Martha Rose Shulman (her "recipes for health" column in the New York Times is brilliant).
 
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