A 2-Ply Ass…in a 1-Ply World

Ever feel like you’re constantly defending the creature comforts in your life – even to yourself?

Heated car seats…Self-parking cars…A Boat...Satellite TV…Xbox…Xbox LIVE…Netflix…Home PC…Home PC and a laptop…iPad…Lawn sprinklers…Riding Lawn Mower...Lawn care service…A Pool…Garage door opener…Treadmill…Health club membership…Country Club Memberships...Ten pairs of shoes (just for Monday’s)…Thermostat set on 60 (when its 99+ outside)…72” wide-screen TV…a TV in every room…Blu-ray discs…$5 Starbucks coffee…Fine Dining…Designer clothes…Pedicure…Manicure…Botox…etc...etc.

We all have them…to varying degrees…and usually they come with a cost. Sometimes that expense can be very small or not monetarily based at all, but other times the price tag can be staggering and turn into a significant financial drain.  The pleasures we draw from these indulgences are personal, and subjective, to the point where one person’s convenience can be another’s necessity. How many of you considered an item on my list above a necessity?

Like every married couple on the planet, the wife and I get into a spirited debate from time to time regarding our monthly budget.   NO, this is not a post where I act like a baby-whinebag and complain about how she regulates our expenses.  This is more about me, and my own world- view.

You see, I used to play that game all the time where you ask yourself “Do I really need this?” In fact, there was a period when our family cut out almost everything we considered frivolous or a luxury.  Know what I discovered?  Yes, we saved money, but life SUCKED!

Why are we so hesitant to admit that we like to be pampered?  I myself love conveniences.  I have my own level of embellishing pleasures that to do without...life would be grey, mundane, hard.  And we shouldn't beat ourselves up whenever the subject of cost is raised because this is not your typical ROI (return on investment) formula.  As funny as it sounds, I shop in stores that stock their bathrooms with actual toilet paper and not the stuff that could substitute for low-grade sandpaper.  Why? Because I know the management there understands that I'm more than part of an economical equation. How do you put a price tag on morale?

What’s the point of socking away pennies for a tenuous retirement if all of those years leading up to it are spent denying yourself?

So put an extra shot in that latte today, download that app you've been thinking about, or treat yourself to a dinner out tonight.  Make that smile just a little bit brighter.  You deserve it!  :)


40 comments

  1. I've noticed that the more conveniences I have, the busier my life is. Ironic, right?

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  2. Bwa-ha-ha! Funny you should post this -- and choose that example in your picture. I was recently banned from buying the toilet paper for our house, as I inevitably end up coming home with what my husband calls "orphanage-grade toilet paper."

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  3. LOve this post! After giving away all my 'stuff' in the States and moving here to Mexico, I'm selective about what I actually 'need' to buy. But ya know what? There are just some things a girl has to have, like the Internet, cell phone coverage, and Direct TV. I spent some $$$ to have small towers put on my roof here in the jungle.

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  4. I do believe we need to enjoy life while we live it, but I do believe most of us have more than we need. The only thing on that list that's a NECESSITY is a home PC (and high speed internt) and air conditioning/heating. However....Home PC AND laptop, garage door opener, riding lawn mower, treadmill, and ten pairs of shoes are really close. While I'm in the median somewhere I definitely fall into the pamper myself category.

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  5. We do need some luxuries, otherwise it would be pretty miserable. We do buy some food from the local supermarket that's the own-brand economy stuff, but if we bought all of it like that, every meal would taste like soggy cardboard!

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  6. I must admit, give me books and I'm happy. I don't have a treadmill. When I can't run outside, I run up and down the stairs and get mad with our punching bag. Okay, the punching bag probably falls in line with what you're saying here, DL. But that's so I can be heart smart, so it doesn't count. I do have a MacBook that my sweet hubby gave me for Christmas so we could go on vacation without me complaining that I don't want to go because I want to write. Smart hubby knows what it takes to make me happy. Even if I was only joking about needing a MacBook. Shhh. Don't tell him that. :)

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  7. Wow, I totally agree. I often cut back on things that are luxury but it's true, we're not enjoying the life we need now. And, in the end, I love my Keurig and Kindle!

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  8. Best blog title EVER!!

    I love this post. I used to be the biggest penny pincher until I realized that even though I was being frugal, I was making my life about money. I wasn't able to just relax & enjoy anything because I was always thinking about what it cost. I'm still not a crazy spender or anything, but I do allow myself to enjoy my luxuries guilt-free. :)

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  9. Agreed! Saving money is all very well and good, but there's no point in squirreling it away and never enjoying it. That's not life. And now, allow me to look at shoes online while I drink my $5 cappucchino...

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  10. LOL. My hubby and I did the same thing a while back, and yes, we found that life was pretty miserable. One of the things I like to splurge on is eating out - we only go out about once a month, so then it actually is a splurge.

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  11. Love the title of this post. And I love my heated car seats. And my remote start.

    My significant other and I are constantly fighting over the thermostat. He turns it up, I turn it down. My philosophy is heating oil's expensive and I can just put on a sweater. Or two. And a hat. And some gloves.

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  12. I love this! Title was O_o - loved it!
    I can admit that I like my comforts, and I do defend them often. Cable, Netflix, Cell, books... I'm a happy woman. My kids would "die" w/out a few things as well. I cut corners elsewhere. You give and you take.

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  13. I am definitely the Scrooge in my house...to me almost everything seems like a splurge :-) Thank goodness my husband lightens me up, or my sons would have staged a mutiny by now. Having said that, even I have to admit that heated car seats are the best things in the world.

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  14. I cannot tell you how much I love your title today. I've talked with enough people who saved and scrimped for retirement only to get sick or have their spouse die. Today. I'm gong to enjoy today. God never promised us tommorow.

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  15. Creature comforts make life worth living. Otherwise it would be a slog.

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  16. Yes! This is how I felt when I finally decided there was no point scrimping on groceries if I was denying myself good things like yummy cheese. I'd rather buy cheapy toilet paper, if it means I can have lots of Brie and blue cheese and imported British cheeses and local old cheddars and...
    Can you tell I'm hungry?
    Reminds me of the all-important scene in Outlander when Claire is deciding whether to stay in the past or return to her own time. She ends up staying but notes in passing "the hot baths nearly won."

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  17. NiiiiiCE, DL! Good reminder. *pours extra shot of Bailey's in my coffee*

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  18. Laptops are essential for writers. I'm a believer in buying the top of the line with the best memory. My husband loves me for that if nothing else.

    My garage opener hasn't worked in 7 years. Nobody died because of it.

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  19. My mother always told me I had Champagne taste and beer money. She was right, and honestly I have no right posting anything, after what I admitted in my blog.

    Best title ever!

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  20. My husband still struggles with his childhood and the lessons learned from his frugal (by necessity) parents. He denies himself things we can easily afford and hates to pay someone to do something he thinks he should do himself - even if he hates doing it. I ask him, what's the point of working all his life and becoming financially successful if he can't enjoy it?

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  21. I deserve to be treated like a queen!! Sadly, on my budget, I can't even rank as duchess.

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  22. If I need - or want - something, I buy it. We're at a point where the fun comforts and extra frills don't hurt us financially, so why not? However, I find it easier to buy my wife fun stuff than I do to buy it for myself.

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  23. Amen & Hells Yeah! (especially when it comes to toilet paper) I do love that you admit that you could save money, but life does indeed suck without certain amenities!

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  24. When we first got married we had to count those pennies for quite a few years, so now when I really want something I tend to buy it. Mind you I have a very Scottish background and my 2 'big' treats are my laptop and Chai tea from Tim Horton's a few times a week :) One of these days I'm going to hire a housecleaner though - that would be the best luxury ever!!!

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  25. I NEED it all. Really. You are doubtful? Harrumph!

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  26. I've been homeless and I've had money to throw away. What I've learned is that it all will pass. Be grateful for what you have, live frugally, but not miserly, treat yourself once in a while and treat your wife more often.

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  27. Yup, no doubt about it. I don't care about "luxuries", but life's too short to use cheap toilet paper. (Love the title of this post!)

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  28. A self-parking car? You have to tell me where to get one of those!

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  29. Whole heartedly agree with this post...sometimes it's the little things that keep us going, and failing to treat ourselves every now and then is kind of...depressing.

    BTW...hands down best.blog.post.title.ever.

    You are my hero. :D

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  30. Best post of the day. I recently found out I have to move. My only requirement in a new place was another swimming pool. Extravagant yeah, but it's my therapist, health club, entertainment factor (x-Box, cable, that type of thing), air conditioning, and most comfortable seat in the house. Some things I just don't want to live without.

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  31. Amen! I try to find a decent balance - paying off debt, but buying myself nice things or creature comforts. It is true that being a total tightwad is no fun at all :)

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  32. I like buying nice things, although sometimes I shake my head when credit card bills come in. Then I comfort myself with the thought that I need to enjoy my money a little bit.

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  33. Your title definitely made me want to know what your blog post was about. I found it interesting, because hubby and I were recently talking about the few luxuries we indulge in. You do have to have some enjoyment in life.

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  34. I hear ya. I'd never want to know when I'm going to die, but knowing how much I REALLY need in my retirement account sure would make a difference in how I spend money today, and whether I should indulge now or indulge later.

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  36. Good post. I have a hard time spending money... on anything, even necessities like socks and underwear.
    Luckily my wife is the voice of reason in the household and she makes sure we go out and enjoy ourselves on occasion (and makes sure my undergarments don't get too holy!)

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  37. I agree that we have to enjoy our lives while we're still here, but I also think that often we think a "thing" is going to make us happy when it actually just clutters up our lives. But I would have a hard time living without internet access and a computer.

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  38. Some little things in life really can make things so much nicer!

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  39. It is nice to treat yourself, isn't it? :)

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  40. Like Jeremy said in that first comment, sometimes conveniences can become inconvenient or get in the way of other things . . .that's what I get worried about. I know I can't save the world/dolphins/victims of human trafficking by using sandpaper T.P. but at the same time I want to think a little about the money I spend. It's a constant debate in my head, and in my household (with my hubby and kids) on whether or not certain expenses are important. However, we all like a morale booster and our comfort rituals. My hubs likes to buy Twix bars out of a machine at his work, I like to get a peppermint tea at a coffee shop while our kids are in dance class. Treats are wonderful, in moderation . . .and it all helps the economy, right? :-)

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