Thanks for stopping by Apathy Ends! Let’s talk about the conflict that arises between your money and the things you love. We are not an ultra-frugal household and don’t like to sacrifice on experiences. It’s the main reason we don’t have a budget (that and we were not good at sticking to it). That being said, we do spend intentionally and are cost conscious.
When you decide to indulge, you don’t want that little voice in the back of your head chirping “We shouldn’t have spent that much on a meal, it’s 12x more expensive than a PB and J.”
You want to enjoy it. You want to savor the experience. Punt that little voice in the crotch and out of your mind.
So, how do we find a balance and treat ourselves without busting the bank?
Treating Yourself without Breaking the Bank
The only way I figured out how to shut it down is getting what I want without overpaying. Below you will find some of the ways we cut costs on experiences we aren’t willing to skip.
Happy Hour Sushi
We love sushi. Sushi is expensive. What a conundrum we have encountered.
Simple solution, find a sushi spot with an awesome Happy Hour menu. One of our favorites cuts the price of their normal rolls by 30% and takes 50% of specialty rolls. Half price sushi mixed with cheaper beer and wine = no complaints from this family.
If you have a Hy-Vee close by, their sushi is amazing and reasonable!
If you follow my Twitter feed you know I am a Wild and Vikings fan, and we like to catch at least one game a year. We have a hard time buying tickets in advance due to our busy weekend schedules, so we end up buying closer to the actual date.
For awhile that meant overpaying a few days before the game to make sure we got a seat. This year I started waiting until 3-4 hours before the game and getting tickets off Craigslist for face value or under. I watched prices drop 30-40% off the highs from a few days before the event. Patience pays off.
Tip: I prefer Craigslist over TicketMaster where fees were $12-20/ticket! Just be careful!
Millennial Money has a pretty awesome event ticket hack in his side hustle post as well.
Credit Card Rewards
Credit Card Reward Points are amazing. They have saved us thousands over the years on airline tickets. It makes it a lot easier to travel when you can cut out one of the biggest expenses. Find yourself a rewards card and use the bonus cash on something you love! Consider it a gift to yourself for being responsible.
We recently signed up for the Chase Sapphire card and will be getting a ton of bonus points that we will use towards airfare. Considering it our first attempt at travel hacking, if it works out well we may do more. I like free flights.
And last but not least – Craft Beer
MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm, I love craft beer. Yep, total beer snob checking in. It’s to the point that a normal light beer tastes like crap.
If you are up for trying new types, you can usually find a 6 or 12 pack on sale at your local liquor store every week (at least I always find something). I have even found great craft beers cheaper than crappy Miller Lite when they are getting close to their expiration date.
Some of my favorites if you want to explore:
- Deschutes – Fresh Squeezed IPA
- Bent Paddle – Golden IPA
- Red Hook – Audible Ale
- Ballast Point Brewing Company – Sculpin IPA
- Surly – Todd the Axe Man
“Ballin on a Budget”
This post was inspired by an email from Personal Capital. They wanted to know how I “ball on a budget” – I am not a baller (unless slowpitch softball counts). The goal is to show that you can have a cost conscientious mind AND still do the things you love. Systematically cut the costs that don’t bring you joy, and don’t feel guilty spending on things that make you happy.
Personal Capital will be highlighted in an upcoming post on Asset Allocation, their tool saves a ton of time and shows you an in-depth view of your assets.
How do you find a balance and treat yourself without busting the bank?