Do you save on small things but splurge on big?

Put money in me? - A picture of a cute green froggie coin bank. Encourages good saving habits.
Singapore
March 21, 2007 2:38pm CST
Hands up! Who's a spendthrift, who's a miser? :P I know people who are thrifty to the core. My Mum is one example. She understands the importance of every cent, and does not buy things that are unnecessary. I also know others who spend money as fast as the tap runs. I have some friends who use up their money like there is no tomorrow. There are also other weird cases like my Dad. He does not bat an eyelid when splurging on big-ticket items. Take an example - to him, a $20,000 item is not much more expensive than a $18,000 item. Yet like I said, he is a strange case. He may not care for the $2,000 difference in this example, but he thinks a $3 lunch is much more expensive than a $2 one. See the bizarre blood that runs in my family? For me, I would only spend where necessary. After all, I need to hoard up enough gold to rule the world. ;-) What about you? I am curious as to what your spending habits are. Are you one who save on small things but splurge on big? Or... ? --- PS.: I have given out the virtual medals for my "Can you spare 5 mins?" discussion at http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/848403.aspx . You would want to refer to responses 4, 15 and 23 in particular. Judging from the responses, I think there are still quite a number of you who have not yet had a go. You can try responding if the topic is of interest to you. ;-)
19 people like this
62 responses
• Philippines
21 Mar 07
Like your Mom, I'm also a very thrifty person. I even hardly shop for new clothes. In grocery, I still have to bring my sister with me to be sure that I can budget my money to the fullest because she knows how to choose the best prices. When in a restaurant, I always look for the prices and mostly, whatever is the lowest price, that's what I'm gonna choose, provided that I also like the food, of course. That's how thrifty I am. But when it comes to traveling to other places, I spend a lot. I do budget but mostly, that's where my money goes. Most especially if the we're gonna go to beaches, mountains or any nature trips. :) Well, if given a chance to travel to other country, why not? So as long as I have enough money, I will. :)
• Singapore
21 Mar 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best medal!
;-)
2 people like this
• United States
29 Apr 07
This phenomenon (saving on small things, spending on big) has even been detected by the economists. There is a book out in the US called "Trading Up," in which they follow stories of people around the globe who shop at very cheap places for basic household items yet will spend large amounts of money on things they really want (technology stuff a lot of times). It's very interesting, and I think it is more common than you think. That said, I think putting your money into travel is a very wise investment indeed. I think nothing expands the mind like a trip to a new place.
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
21 Mar 07
I have to watch they way I spend money. I mean I only have so much a month that I can spend so I am careful with my money.
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
I believe that I'll have to take your word as an advice to one like me who is sometimes drowned by impulses when shopping. Thanks, Shaun.
• United States
23 Mar 07
i am thifty to my core. i try my hardest to find the best deals on everything i buy. i shop for most of my clothing at the $5 store. i shop at the 99 cents store and big lots all i can. i shop at Wal Mart, too. Yes, i know, some people may say i am "cheap." i say i am thrifty.
• Singapore
23 Mar 07
Nope, I don't think there's anything wrong with being thrifty. ;-)
2 people like this
@kamran12 (5555)
• Pakistan
22 Mar 07
when i am out of supermarket or i see something that doesn't please me much, i am usually not ready to show my cash. but sometimes, when there is something of interest to me or i have bucks to spend i don't care much about expensive or inexpensive. secondly, it's strange but it is what it is, i spend a lot of money on my family but for myself i usually don't feel like spending.
3 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
Alright, it depends on your mood then. :P
1 person likes this
@mfpsassy (2827)
• United States
22 Mar 07
I am generally very frugal but occasionally when we have extra money I become "penny wise and dollar poor" but everyone deserves something special occasionally. And when those times happen I usually spend it on my kids and hubby. My hubby on the other hand is a spender. So he is limited to how many dollars he gets lolol
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
I know.. it is sometimes hard not to get carried away.. :/
2 people like this
@mfpsassy (2827)
• United States
23 Mar 07
How true that is lol
2 people like this
29 Apr 07
I can sort of understand your dad's way of thinking, but it depends on what he's spending the money on, I mean if you are buying a new car then the $2K might bring in a lot more extras so it is worth it in the long run as the car would probably retain more value later on. I tend to be the sort of person that pays for quality and pays for the brand, e.g electrical goods I nearly always go for Sony because I know the build quality is good but that there is a price premium for doing so. I have to say that I only really spend out on big items if I know I have the money to pay for it, since I would usually buy them on credit card, but have to make sure I have enough cash to pay the credit card in one go so to avoid interest. Saving for your future is a very good plan, but we all work hard so spending on the occasional big thing is good too, as a treat.
2 people like this
• Singapore
29 Apr 07
Thanks for sharing. ;-)
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Mar 07
I fall sort of in between. I am thrifty on many things. For example I love to utilize my "used" stores and purchase household items like dishes, blenders, glasses, pans, etc. but will spend money on items that aren't worth purchasing "used" or cheap versions of. I will often purchase better brands of some food products to cook with while others I know are just as good in the generic versions. It just all depends on the item and what I'm doing with it.
2 people like this
• Singapore
23 Mar 07
I see, just different priorities for different items.
2 people like this
23 Mar 07
Think we all have to watch our money to a degree.. I for one wont spend unless I have really got to! I save what I can throughout the year,, Quite often when I do my grocery shopping! I often make use of the offers out in the store, especially when it is buy one get one free! Then the money I have saved, goes into a seperate bank account, and then when Christma comes, then that money is used then,, AND I never have any credit/debit card bills through the expensive time of year. I always remain in the clear as a result Lynn-Marie
2 people like this
• Singapore
23 Mar 07
So you are actually playing thrifty so that you can have a fabulous Christmas once a year?
2 people like this
@vicky19810 (1601)
• China
23 Mar 07
lol...it is a very funny post.and yes,for me ,i always save on some small things as i like,for example ,i would like to collect the beautiful stationery,the exquisite note books,and most of my preference is the cups,i like them very much.when i go to shop around ,i will visit some cup store,and view many kinds of cups ,if meeting a beautiful one,i will buy it without thinking about anything.
2 people like this
• Singapore
23 Mar 07
Why would it be a funny post? I didn't even put any jokes inside! :P
2 people like this
@weemam (13377)
22 Mar 07
I am very careful how I spend , I buy most things in the sale , and food items I buy a lot of buy one get one free items , I have to be very careful what I spend money on xx
2 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 07
ha ha. I'm almost like your dad. That $2k might make all the difference in the world. Depending on what you are buying. But that lunch. Why pay $3 when you can spend $2?? See there is a difference. I love saving money. I also like spending it. I'm weird like that.
2 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
Ha! :P
1 person likes this
@humpicas (82)
• United States
22 Mar 07
I'm a splurger but have very little to splurge with haha.
2 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
Aw...
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 07
I guess I would say I am weird like your dad. I will order off the dollar menu at McDonalds. I will also pay $100 for a purse. I will splurge on things that are worth it. Such as a really nice digital camera or my new razr cell phone. When it comes to basics like jeans and shampoo, I just buy what Wal-mart and Target have to offer. I don't buy the $300 jeans or the $20 shampoo, I get great results from the cheaper versions so I don't see any point. I will splurge on shoes and handbags because they last longer and hold up better. My husband doesn't understand how I can spend this on shoes and handbags while I don't see how he can spend $20 on a wrench (ONE wrench).
2 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
:p
1 person likes this
@Noel47 (28)
• India
22 Mar 07
people have their own way of spending money it depends on thier nature.they spend lots of money and what example you gave there for him $2000 isnt a big margin when compared to what he is spending $20000.but when it comes to matter of $3 or $2 its obvious that he will choose $2...because here that one dollar diffrence matters much as compared....so still i say it is individual character.certainly iwould not spend money so lavishly i would like to spend money where it is needed rather than wasting it
2 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
Yes, the percentages..
1 person likes this
• Ireland
22 Mar 07
I am coming near to my retirement age so I have to make sure that I have enough money to live comfortably when the time comes. Each month I set aside a certain amount to be saved both into a retirement fund and another fund for emergencies. Once those two are taken care of I will splurge the rest. I feel I should enjoy my remaining years rather than live a miserable life so that somebody else can benefit from it.
2 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
Ha! I agree too! ;-)
1 person likes this
@bindishah (2062)
• India
22 Mar 07
Its really bizarre. I had this friend who is something like your dad. he would not go out to eat at a decent place or go watch a movie in a theatre coz he didnt wanna spend the money. And then he'll go out and buy a thousand dollar watch. He used to always tell me that its not about being a miser...its about spending on things that you really want or have a passion for. Just because someone does not want to spend $3 on a meal does not mean he is being stingy coz that may not be important to him. As for me, I spend a lot of money for my day to day activities. I love going out to eat, watching movies on a big screen, shopping small things - and I indulge myself totally in it. But if I really want something big, then ill make sure i save for it in order to get it.
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
Such people are simply crazy, right? :P
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 07
i'm more of a miser,i think. i watched my mom blow through ridiculous amounts of money on pure crap when i was a kid-and end up broke. i get maybe 1 big ticket item during the year,and that's only if we truly need it.
2 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
Nothing wrong. ;-)
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
22 Mar 07
I am not a saver. I am not a very big spender also. I think its like this. If you are prepared to spend 18,000 on something another 2000 actually wont matter much, given the quality of it. But if you can buy something for 2 instead of spending 3, you might purchase it at 2. When i purchase high value items, i look for quality, durability, brand, etc. After all we buy this type of things, may be once in a life time. So, we have to buy the best we can afford. We mustnt think about that 2000 and buy a inferior product which we will regret in a few years.
2 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
Another way to look at it would be from the percentages. 2k of 20k is 10%. 10% of $2 is 20 cents. So from $2 to $3, it's actually a 50% jump. :P
1 person likes this
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
I really don't know where I belong. I can be very price conscious at times. When I feel like this, I go out to shop with a list in my hands and stick to it no matter what. But then, there are times when I feel that I must give myself a break. When this happens, I bring the entire family along and we splurge! My children love it when I get these pangs which hurt my savings immensely. However, I must admit that I get to enjoy from this exercise, too.
2 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
I know that feeling. ;-)
1 person likes this
@ankit2584 (109)
• India
22 Mar 07
I think it all depends on waht item you value more. Like for some people a perfume may be more important than a DVD player. So they would rather buy perfume for a higher price than buy a DVD for the same. And enen if they do they will certainly bargain to get it lower. Some people are very found of wrist watches and buy them worth thousands of dollars. The same amount could be used to buy a laptop. I like to save money on things which interest me especially electronics and tend to spend on them rather spending on small things.
2 people like this
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
Hey, good point! It is also to do with how much importance one attaches to an item.
1 person likes this