The Slip Ups
I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I slipped up. I’ve been buying things. Ohhhhhhh I’ve been buying things.
I just kept justifying the purchases in my head. For example, I wanted a new mattress. My SO and I kept bumping into each other during the night in our queen-sized bed, we could feel every single movement and it was LOUD. It wasn’t a particularly comfortable mattress either. When I bought it about 5 or 6 years ago, I just sort of threw money at the salesperson and out popped an overly-firm mattress. I really suck at buying things when a salesperson is helping me. It was so firm, that I ended up buying a foam topper for the mattress, which helped a bit. I slept on that baby for years and attributed all of my lower back pain to doing squats and having a poor chair at work. I kept waking up in the middle of the night to a painful side and having to switch over to the other side on my body to sleep.
See how I’m justifying? I’m even convincing you, aren’t I?
There’s a phrase that’s pretty common around the “buy it for life” scene that says something like “You spend a third of your life in bed, so you might as well have a comfortable mattress.” It’s right along the lines of “You wear your shoes all day, every day, so they should be comfortable.” And, what is soon going to make me fork over some more cash…I sit in my office chair at work for 8+ hours a day and it is not doing my back any favors.
So alright, I bought a mattress. It’s nice and I’m going to use it every night. Should I be beating myself up over it? No. I know that. But you know what? I am.
Before this, I re-subscribed to Spotify for my student-discounted price of $5/mo.
Before that, I got rid of Ting for Project Fi when my phone exploded from a bad power cable which added ~$20/mo to my phone bill.
After the mattress and noticing the extreme comfort and what money can buy…I researched for hours for couches and all but bought a new, lifetime-warrantied, washable couch for $3500.
After having dodged a couch purchase, my SO convinced me to get a new pair of sunglasses that framed my face better…while I was wearing my old sunglasses. Down another $32.
I had to stop and ask myself, and am still asking myself as I type this: Why are you doing this? You never spend money.
Honestly, I don’t know. I just…shit…I like Spotify. I like keeping my mobile data on despite my previous cellphone heroism. I no longer wake up during the night and regularly sleep the entire night! Those sunglasses do fit my face better. At least I recognized we could squeeze some more life out of that couch (despite its terrible chasms).
Has my frugality muscle gotten flabby? Shit – that reminds me. I haven’t hit the home gym in a month. I went 35 days of silence on the blog.
Am I spiraling out of control!? Are my plans of early retirement going to come crashing down!?
Short answer? Probably not.
Is it going to slow my progress? Sure. There’s no doubt that money not going to my goals is time delaying me from attaining them. But, do I want to spend the next few years on a shitty ass mattress that literally keeps me up at night? Obviously not.
In times like this, when my frugality muscle needs a bit of an electroshock and some motivation to keep burning, I like to remember how much I’ve saved vs. how much I’ve spent in my recent “spendy-era.” I’m going to consider last month and this month as my spendy-era. My mattress, frame, pillows and new sheets/pillowcases since I upgraded to a King size was $1780.37. I almost consider this a necessity. We just were not getting any sleep. Also, this is sort of on the low-end of sleeping arrangements…even though I swear this is the greatest mattress I’ve ever had the pleasure to sleep on. Even the buying experience from Tuft&Needle and Brooklinen was very nice. They’re both pretty disruptive (to the mattress stores) companies in terms of selling directly to consumers and having minimal (comparatively) markups. I feel like I spent $1780.37 on a $4000 setup. Although, I was coming from a $600 bed that was too firm, too small, with junky sheets and very old down pillows so it’s pretty easy to beat that.
So looking at last month and this month, we can consider my two months of extreme luxury of always-on mobile data, Spotify and kickass shades…bringing the total to $1870.37.
How much did I add to my investments during the same time? $6242.66 …so about 30% more. Yeah, I splurged…but I’m not hurting. Though, I may cancel Spotify soon because I seem to just listen to the same old classical music at work, and podcasts on my bike commute. I think I may turn off my mobile data when I don’t need it – but I really find value in Project Fi since I’m so close to Canada. Traveling over there, I was able to use my data plan and text as usual without costing anything extra…so navigation over there was easy peasy. I’m so close to Canada that when I was over at Devil’s Hole State Park, my phone believed that I was in Canada.
Perhaps I had a moment of weakness, but maybe also, I’m slowly adding things back into my life that actually did add some value. Also, I think sometimes, like a broken furnace or water heater…you just have to replace things once they don’t perform their function anymore. My real lesson about mattresses, shoes and chairs? If you use it all the time, buy the quality version of it. If I bought a quality mattress the first time around, I wouldn’t have had to upgrade.
Long story short, I learned some lessons and hopefully I will stop beating myself up for spending on some much needed (and appreciated!) items.
What larger purchases are you not-in-the-least sorry about?