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What Do You Refuse To Give Up, Even If It Is Costly?

June 15, 2010 · 61 comments

in Commentary, Personal Finance

I quite often think about our mortgage, and how wonderful it would be to pay it off.   I apply extra money to our mortgage payment every month, and I have dreams of never having to deduct that monthly payment from my checking account ever again.  Today I was wondering, how far am I willing to go to have more money?  What am I willing to give up?  What is truly a ‘want’ that I view as a ‘need’?

For me, the easy answer is eating lunch out.  In all honesty, when the kids are in school, I am home alone all day.  Sure I run errands and such, but for the most part, it is just me and my house.   Therefore, I love to eat lunch out with friends, my mom, or my husband.  (Lunch dates are sometimes the only chance my husband and I get the chance to talk!  By the way, I do not eat lunch out everyday…)  I have no idea how much I spend on these dining excursions and quite honestly, I am afraid to look.  But, if push came to shove, my lunches out would be an easy thing to eliminate, at least on the surface.   But I also view that money spent as what most people would consider ‘fun money’ or ‘recreational money’.  I don’t shop for anything other than necessities, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t have expensive hobbies.  Therefore, these lunches are my ‘vice’.  Pretty harmless vice, but it does cost money.  If you get down to it, eating lunch out definitely falls under the category of ‘want’ and not ‘need’.

If I want to be honest though, if I was going to truly dedicate myself to being ultra-frugal, I would have to be ready to eliminate my lunch habit.    But I am not ready.  I am not willing to trade the happiness I get from socializing for being able to pay the house off  ‘x amount’ of months earlier.  I hope that financially we are able to remain stable enough that I don’t have to axe lunches from my itinerary.

So, do you have a ‘habit’ that you are reluctant to give up, even if it is costly?  If so, please share!

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Teresa Fiore June 15, 2010 at 9:43 am

I paid my house off 10 years early by making extra payments. I was far far ahead when I got a contract job at GM making good money and decided to take that little bit that was left and knock it out. I am so glad I did because with my situation today if I had a house payment I would not be able to make my bills. Paying my house off was an awesome feeling (and still is). I am so glad I did it.

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Kris June 15, 2010 at 11:53 am

Teresa – I completely agree with you, you never ‘miss’ making a mortgage payment.

I am glad you have that freedom of being mortgage-free!

Thanks for visiting!

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Susan June 15, 2010 at 10:39 am

You bring up a great point and I like you have decided there are some things I can and will give up to make headway towards a goal, but there are somethings that are just needed to help you in your journey in life and I would certainly put lunch with friends as one of those. I have certainly given up my coffee habit out, making it a once or twice a month treat, rather than several times a week. Thanks for sharing and posing the question!

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Kris June 15, 2010 at 11:54 am

Susan – you phrased that well – there are things you need to help in your life’s journey! You need to enjoy the ride and not just the destination!

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff June 15, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I wouldn’t want to give up high-speed internet ($35 a month), cable ($60 a month), our dogs ($100 a month), our biweekly housekeeper ($100 a month), and our biweekly lawn guy ($50 a month 8 months a year).

Internet and cable are my main forms of entertainment Monday-Thursday and some of the weekend too. Our dogs are just awesome. Our housekeeper and lawn guy allow me to hang with friends on the weekends instead of doing chores and mowing. These are the things I’m willing to pay for even though we have car and mortgage debt.

I do wish we’d eat out less. If my husband was happier with eating at home all the time, we’d save a bunch (at least $150 a month…sometimes $200).

Hubby wouldn’t give up Curling or cable.

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Kris June 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm

BFS – I am sure the cable, internet and dogs would be a ‘need’ to most. (At least for me! What would I do without the internet to look up random tidbits all day long?) Plus, I can’t imagine doing the lawn myself in the heat of Texas.

Ya gotta live life too! Thanks for sharing!

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Money Reasons June 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I cheat when eating lunch out! I usually order a soup (if the portions are large enough)! Surprisingly, some soups are very tasty and filling, especially if they served with free bread.

I would have a hard time giving up sushi! It’s a meal that I learned that I really liked a few years ago… And when the cravings come, it really sticks in my mind until I have some! My favorites are eel and spicy crab!

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Kris June 15, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Money Reasons – I have not tried sushi yet. I guess I am kind of glad because it is hard to make yourself, and people seem to absolutely love it that try it.

I also love a good bowl of soup!

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Young Mogul June 15, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I have a handbag fetish–which is obvious, since it’s in my ‘About’ section. But, I never buy the same type of handbag, unless it’s to replace a worn out one. So, I’m not one of those people who have five handbags in similar colors and styles. Also, I REFUSE to pay full price for any one of them. If I had to give my handbags up…I shutter to think!

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Kris June 15, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Young Mogul – Well I know people a lot of people that love shoes, so handbags make sense! Isn’t interesting what people are drawn to?

I like handbags that are big enough to store snacks to sneak into movies! 🙂

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