I was raised stingy. My parents were farmers, farming is an insecure way to earn a living. The good years were good, the bad years could be really bad. I learned early in life, that a key to financial security was deciding what was important, what your priorities are and ignoring the rest.
Things that are not important to me:
- Clothes - I am not a fashion icon. I look for comfort and durability.
- Furniture - again I look for comfort and durability. I have learned that spending a little more for better quality, is worth it in the long run. I have never replaced furniture for a change of style.
- Appearance - I don't spend a lot on haircuts, or "beauty" products, I would never spend money on hair color or tooth whitening.
- Cars - this is a complicated one, I like nice cars, I have owned a couple of really nice cars, but I have never spent more than $19,000 on a car.
- Food, I have to admit, we really don't pay attention to the grocery budget, we buy what looks good, we seldom look at prices.
- Travel, under ordinary conditions travel is a budget priority. I have to watch prices, but I would sooner spent a few dollars more for an airline with better service. I will shop for a good price at a nice hotel, but I try to avoid cheap hotels. I go for the best I can afford for the location. The last time I went "bottom fishing" for a hotel room, I killed a bed bug. Never again, I could have easily afforded the nicer hotel next door, my comfort is worth the extra few dollars.
- Technology. I hope I have learned the lesson, that cheap computers are more expensive in the long run. I have tossed more cheap computers than I can count. The last time I spent three times the money and bought the best, and three years later it is still flawless. I have had several cheap tablet computers - all of them disappointing, one I-Pad - joy! There is one exception of cheap computers that worked, Chrome Book. My first one lasted about 6 years. I beat the crap out of it and it never failed, the battery got to the point it wouldn't hold a charge. I bought another one. It has been used less, as the I-Pad does everything the Chromebook will do, and weighs less. The Chromebook is currently my bed computer.
- Shoes, I have reached the point in life that shoes have to be comfortable or my body hurts. I don't care what they cost - I am buying the good shoes.
- Soap. When I was in college in Florida, there were a couple of fancy shops up Park Avenue from campus that sold expensive soaps. I discovered quality, and it has been something I have splurged on ever since.
What are your priorities, what does not matter to you?