Splurge vs. save: How I spend money

Hi, my friends! 

In the spirit of keeping it light: This blog post is going to be all over the place, but it came to me the other day, and I felt like running with it …

I’m a saver. I’ve always been that way. I used to be really tight with my money, but have gotten much better about treating myself, going out to eat, getting fancy lattes at least once a week, and ordering the most random but necessary items off Amazon Prime for convenience (because #momlife).

But when it comes down to it, I watch my money closely and am very aware of what I spend. I do not spend more than I should on things that are not worth it. That’s just not my style.

Over the years, I’ve developed a few standards on what is worth investing in to me, and I thought it would be fun to share that with you …

Splurge vs. save: How I spend money

Splurge vs. save_ How I spend money by A Lady Goes West

Save …

Outfitting Brady and toddler clothing in general.

I can say with certainty that 85 to 90 percent of Brady’s clothing is comprised of hand-me-down items that are several years old. And some of those items have been through two families before making it to us. We are lucky in that some sweet friends pass along boy clothing to us. As much as I love clothing and love dressing Brady in adorable things, this is an area where I’ve been very reserved over the last 2.5 years. We bought him a new outfit for his first day of school, we buy him shoes and the occasional little gift, and of course, he gets clothing as gifts for birthdays from family (my brother and sister-in-law are always so generous with Brady and send him great stuff), but we don’t get a ton of gifts, truly. I like it that way. He doesn’t need a million things filling up his tiny dresser drawers and hanging on his tiny hangers. We do always buy his socks and jammie dresses brand new, because he runs through those quickly. But clothes-wise … it’s either a hand-me-down or we picked it up at Old Navy or Target on sale. He looks cute in everything, we repeat his outfits every week, and he doesn’t care or notice that everything he wears has been worn before, and so neither do I. Save!

Splurge …

Caring for my face with better skincare and makeup. 

This one is no surprise, right? But honestly, I spent VERY little on skincare before switching to Beautycounter. I picked up whatever looked okay at Target for my skin, then switched to coconut oil for a while. But once I finally made the decision to invest in my skin with Beautycounter, I haven’t looked back. It’s made a HUGE difference in my skin. Here’s what you should know: High-quality, nontoxic, sustainable skincare products cost more, because they last, they work better, and they are worth every penny. You’ve heard me say it a million times, but your skin is your biggest organ, and everything you put onto it seeps into your bloodstream, and many products on the shelves have NOT been screened for safety. Not only that, but once you hit 30, you really need to invest in a skincare routine to take care of your face and prevent signs of aging. Game changer right here, and something that I am so glad decided to get into. As well as safer and better makeup. Splurge!

Things I splurge or save on - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

Save …

Filling the freezer with frozen veggies.

I know that frozen foods sort’ve developed a bad reputation because of all the crappy ready-made frozen meals that are full of preservatives and junk. However, there are MANY items in the freezer aisle that are not only healthy, but they also last longer and are better priced than fresh. We are literally kings and queens of frozen produce at our house. At Whole Foods, I load up on the frozen bags of organic cauliflower rice, organic broccoli rice and organic mixed veggies, and I buy like 10 bags at a time. Not only are frozen veggies cheaper, but they are actually said to have more nutrients than fresh produce, because they are frozen at the peak of nutritional value. There’s nothing I hate more than wasting food, and because most of my veggie consumption is from frozen, I rarely have anything go bad before eating it. I buy fresh bananas, avocados, organic sweet potatoes, organic tomatoes and organic blueberries, and that’s about it. Every other veggie we eat has been frozen. Save!

Splurges vs. saves - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

Splurge …

Sticking with organic and pasture-raised eggs.

I eat a lot of eggs, and because of that, I choose the best possible option that I can at the grocery store. For me, that’s organic and pasture-raised eggs. They are quite a bit more than the regular eggs, but they are so much better. The taste. Color. Nutritional value. All of that. I don’t skimp on eggs, ever. My favorite brand is Vital Farms, but there are a lot of good ones on the shelves these days. Splurge!

Save …

Borrowing all my books from the library.

The fact that more people don’t utilize the local library is a mystery to me. I will admit, I do have hard copies of all of my favorite books and keep them on a bookshelf in our guest room, so it’s not like I don’t have ANY real books in my home. However, I read maybe one to two new books a month and those are always checked out from the library, totally for free. I reserve the books I want ahead of time, pick them up, wipe the laminated cover down with disinfectant wipes, read them and return them. It’s a win-win for everyone. If you’re not using your local library, may I recommend it? The best part is that if you don’t like the book, you just stop reading it and return it too. Nothing lost. Save!

Splurge …

Keeping my nails done with regular dip powder manicures.

I’ve had my nails consistently done without a break for two years — it’s just my thing. It all started when Brady was really young, and I wanted to have an activity to get out of the house alone every few weeks to treat myself. And I got so used to having nice manicured nails that I kept up with it and love to look down at my hands and see them done. I go almost every three weeks to get my dip powder manicures. Truth be told: I don’t actually love being at the nail salon, but I keep busy while I’m there by listening to a podcast during my appointment and usually get at least one long one in. And I go to the same place every time, because they always do a great job. Even better: Getting dip powder manicures is way safer for your nails than gel manicures. No damage and no need for sitting under a light either. This is totally a personal opinion, but for me, I like my nails done. I haven’t always been this way, but it’s a current phase that I’m okay with. When it comes to my toes, I do those myself, so that’s my save. But nails are a splurge!

What I splurge or save on - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

Save …

Eating all of my meals at home during the week.

When I was in the corporate world, I brought my lunch from home 99.9% of the time, unless we had a scheduled lunch meeting. And that has translated into making my own food while working from home too. I like to buy quality food, but I prefer to save on most weekday meals. Dave and I eat all of our dinners at home during the week as well (if Dave is eating at home and not out at an event). I don’t mind eating at home, and it’s a big savings to do so as well, so it’s another win-win. However, I do like our Saturday or Sunday lunches out, and those will remain. But weekday meals are a save.

Splurge …

Treating myself to an overpriced latte once a week.

As I mentioned in the opening of this post, I’ve come to grips with the fact that I spend $6.50 on a single fancy latte at least once a week, usually twice. I like to get a large, with alternative milk and all the fixings. This works for me. I went for so many, many years of never getting anything at coffee shops, that it just feels right to do now. And I look forward to my coffee shop work sessions while Brady is at preschool, so that pairs well with the fancy latte. Splurge!

Save …

Often choosing store brands instead of name brands for household supplies.

I have no problem buying the Sprouts generic dishwasher pods or the Target brand aluminum foil. Why get the name brand when it costs more and doesn’t necessarily perform better? As long as the product is what I need and is the cleaner of the choice (fragrance free and no phosphates for dishwasher pods, always), I’m brand agnostic, and I go on price. Save.

Splurge …

Keeping it picky with jeans and purses.

There are two things that I won’t buy cheap: jeans and purses. I don’t have a ton of either item, but the ones I do have are nice, cost a little more than other items in my closet and are high quality. I like to wear my jeans over and over again, and I like to keep my bags for years and years. So that’s where I am quite particular about what I choose. I have one designer purse I’ve been using regularly for 13 years. That’s longer than I’ve known Dave. The truth. And jeans? Splurge worthy.

Splurge vs. save blog post - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

There we go, folks! We’ll end it there.

Thanks for reading this one! I’d love to hear you weigh in below in the comments on how you splurge vs. save. See you back here soon! Stay well!

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day

How do you splurge?

How do you save?

How was your weekend?

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  1. I really enjoyed this post! I too am not a saver when it comes to jeans. I have my favorite brands and am very loyal to them because they fit so well and last forever. Same with Lululemon and Fabletics leggings.

    I save with frozen veggies for sure, but I am not a saver with most foods. I buy expensive eggs and mostly organic meats and veggies whenever I can.

    I am opposite of you with nails. I get pedicures every two – three weeks (how do you do your own?!) But I don’t get my fingernails done anymore because my nails grow so darn fast! I get manicures from time to time and LOVE them for a couple days but literally within 4 days I have so much undergrowth. Ugh. #firstworldproblems


    1. Hi Courtney! I totally agree with spending money on the best possible food — we totally do that — luckily frozen veggies fit into that! And I feel like doing my toes is so easy — I like to paint them, however, I DO not like to take the polish off, so that’s the only downfall. And with nail growth, some people have different size nail beds, so maybe yours are the size that make your growth look extra present? Or maybe you are being too critical. Send me a pic hahaha! I just feel like I look at my hands so much typing and whatnot, I like them done. Okay, long response. Thank you for saying hi!!! Stay well!!:) xoxo

  2. Hey, enjoyed this post. I too save on library books (I read a LOT and couldn’t afford the amount of books I read) and spend on nails and handbags every few years!

    Also spend money on travel, speaking of we are now not getting on our honeymoon to the US, I’m super sad and will need to save all your San Francisco recs for the future trip, I hope!!

    Stay healthy!

    1. My friend, my heart breaks for you and this travel ban — but perhaps you will have an even bigger and better honeymoon later this year. Stay positive, as hard as that can be! 🙂 xoxox Take care!!

  3. Oh gosh, a post after my own heart. I’m a big saver as well! Especially when it comes to food. I would rather cook at home all month and go out for one quality meal then buy lunch or order take out.

    Other ways I save: looking for options to pay for my insurance once or twice a year rather than monthly, staying with friends and family when we go on trips, wearing the same clothes all the time, accepting all hand me downs for my son, making part time daycare work …. the list goes on and on!

    I think it’s the little things that add up rather than the major purchases that really get in the way of saving!

  4. We are so similar! YES to the library! I could care less about purses and jeans though, as long as they fit and look good I’m cool. I work in a casual office, so there isn’t as much pressure to look super put together. I love having painted nails, but do it myself once in a while for now.

    We spend most of our money on food and vacations 🙂 I’m currently on a no spend challenge for the month of March (https://jessiespeace.com/march-2020-no-spend-challenge/) for non-food related purchases because too much Amazon’ing happened earlier this year.

  5. Hi Ashley. Interesting post. I have the bank to automatically transfer money from checking t savings account each month. I did that when I was teaching. Best way for me to save is never see the money. I actually have 3 saving accounts. Each one has a purpose. One for vacations, one for taxes and insurance and one for house needs. That way the money is there when needed. The one thing I splurge on my self is my running shoes. I am very loyal to New Balance. They will run around $150 but they fit so ccomfortabl get them online from a running store in California.

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