Examples of spending on the things you LOVE?

Ramit Sethi

I was reading this Reddit thread where people talk about their biggest discretionary expenses and it got me thinking.

It’s so rare to see that kind of honesty, where people talk about what they really enjoy, guilt-free. It’s very different than the finger-waving nagging you see from so many people who tell you what you CAN’T do.

You already know that I take a very different approach: Work hard, automate your financial goals, focus on Big Wins, disproportionate rewards, and spend your surplus on whatever you want! Guilt-free.

If that means paying off your parents’ debt, awesome. If you want to go out for $15 cocktails, I’m all for it. Or just buying the coat you’ve been eyeing for 2 years.

It’s funny that when I first started talking about conscious spending years ago — spending extravagantly on the things you love, and cutting mercilessly on the things you don’t — the responses were VERY mixed. So many internet commandos were used to telling you to cut back on everything, but threw their hands up saying, “That’s RIDICULOUS!” when given examples of $200 jeans or a weekend trip to Vegas.

For a lot of IWT readers, however, it resonated — the idea that as long as I’m hitting my financial goals (ideally automatically), I can take whatever I make and spend it guilt-free and unapologetically.

Oh, I like extremely weird habanero hot sauces that cost $14 each? GIMME 5!

So today, I thought it would be interesting to share our BIGGEST discretionary expense. No guilt. No shame. Just an interesting look into the spending patterns of people who are committed to living rich lives — whatever that means to you.

What’s your BIGGEST discretionary expense? Do you get any flak from the people around you? It’ll be fascinating to see what people say. Share your answer in the comments below.

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  1. Joanna H.

    New tech gadgets. I usually am able to resell my old stuff for 90-150% of the price I got them for since I like hunting for deals. Everyone still thinks I’m spending way too much even though my earning and saving rates are well above theirs proportionally….

  2. Heath

    I really enjoy going out to lunch during the workday. I spend $15/day on it. I’m from the midwest, so this is considered fairly extravagant.

  3. Rasha Hisham

    my biggest discretionary expense would probably traveling. I love to take weekend trips and long train rides to neighbouring countries but it does take up pretty much all of my extra money. A lot of people tell me I should be saving this money instead of travelling but the whole reason I work hard at my business is fund my travel bug.

    • Annie

      Me too, travel. My husband and I live in the ghetto and no one understands why we would want to spend so little on our neighborhood (our apartment itself is nice). We take two big international trips/year and can’t imagine being “house poor”

  4. Nina

    Gaming meetups. I travel between Brussels and London a few times a year for this, and in recent years there was also a yearly trip to Iceland included. People who aren’t gamers think it is pretty crazy, but it fits my budget and most important I enjoy it a lot. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit a few place I’d normally not consider for a vacation by being able to go there with a group of gaming friends, or stay over at their homes.

    • Marius

      Let me guess… Eve online? 🙂
      Spending on things I love… I think the new gadgets are in the sweet-spot. Even though I still don’t use that much my tablet, I don’t regrett buying it. All my childhood I dreamt of smth. like that. At least now I can buy it whenever I want 🙂

  5. Tomas

    My latest no guilt expenses was $400 headphones for music. Since I spend ~9 hours a day working in office, and I love listening to music while I’m working, so it was completely guilt-free. And headphone amplifier is next on the list which will be even more expensive. But I’m fine with it – I can enjoy them everyday, and it makes me more relaxed and my job less stressful.
    I know this kind of expenses for headphones can sound a bit crazy for someone, and I had funny questions from people who are not “in audio”, like how you can spend So Much for that ??? (it’s almost third of your car value!!! etc), but it’s worth every penny for me.

    • Jacqueline

      Nice! I had that feeling when I went to buy BOSE headphones. But it was one of my better purchases last year! 🙂

    • Juha

      Heh. Same here: Audio equipment. When someone asks me recommendations about headphones/speakers/amps, before I even get to answer they already ask how much my equipment cost. And… when I answer to the question they look me like I’m crazy as I spent thousands of euros to my main speakers alone (I have speakers and amps almost in every room). 🙂 But I love it! And I don’t give a ….. what they think. The funny thing is that I think the people who spent 10x more than me on their audio equipment are crazy.

    • javier

      Yes, I can relate to it. I did spend on some 200 dollar earphones. There the shure se315. There worth it because of the isolation, high def drivers. People look at me crazy for that, but I dont care I got what I payed for.

  6. Kymberly

    Good Bose headphones – for travelling and my daily commute. For both sanity and health, surprising how they have reduced headaches and bad moods.

    More regularly, a particular coffee bean roasted in Melbourne (Kenya Peaberry). Postage costs as much as the beans, but they’re so worth it!

  7. Jess H.

    My house. We just moved to a new city where housing is relatively inexpensive. Instead of getting a cheap apartment, we bought a house in a beautiful, walkable neighborhood. I can walk to work, my husband has his own space for a home office, and we are mostly car-free. It has a fireplace for long winter evenings and a deck for long summer afternoons. Best of all, we bought a house in great shape so we can enjoy it now instead of after putting in tons of time and money.

    • Jess H.

      Oh yeah, and I get zero flak about our house – because everyone around us says things like “What a smart investment!” and “Doesn’t it feel great to own your own place?” I just laugh at them because they don’t understand the real reasons why we did what we did: to minimize car use, to be able to host our large families, to live in a neighborhood we love, and most of all to splurge on something we really enjoy, which is having an awesome home.

      Ironically I get a lot more flak for my book-buying habit, which is less than 1/10 the amount ….

    • Alexander

      What town, if you don’t mind telling. Car-free living – that sounds awesome!!

    • Tim Ellis

      Car-free living is the way to be! I can tell it’s mostly Americans on this site, because Americans tend to be surprised at the notion of a car-free life being possible, but as someone who lives in a city with great transit, car-free is drastically cheaper and almost as convenient (not to mention much safer). Paying extra for accommodations that allow you to live without a car is a very worthwhile investment.

  8. Nick

    I am one of those ppl that had the “Don’t spend money mantra” seared into my brain. It has taken me a little while, but that switch has finally flipped. I want to make more money so I can spend on what I want and not sweat the small stuff (student of the ZTL course to help make that happen :)). That being said, my new thing is buying breakfast at work. I really used to shake my head at all the people “wasting” their money buying food in the cafeteria on a regular basis. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but for me this was big. Can’t wait to make some real money though so my splurges can really look like splurges.

  9. Laura Lou

    Clothes + shoes. I love fashion (classic fashion, not weird runway fashion), it’s my hobby but people just don’t get that, and I get judged for it alllllllllllllll the time!! I blog about fashion for fun rather than to make a living – I have 3 jobs for that, so I don’t have adverts on my blog, which is considered weird. I don’t do climbing, or photography, or karting like my friends. I’d rather buy £200 shoes than a £200 camera lens because that’s what I get enjoyment out of 🙂

  10. Tom

    I’m learning how to fly airplanes. It is amazing to be at altitude and take in the gorgeous landscape around you. I vividly recall the first time I saw a storm off in the distance: it looks like a rectangle where rain falls from one cloud but all around the rain cell is clear. Even if you are not interested in learning to fly, I highly recommend a discovery flight so you can get a completely different perspective of our planet.

    I haven’t told many people about flying since it is an expensive hobby, though select friends I’ve told think it’s pretty cool. I fund it by saving a certain amount each pay period into a sub-savings account in my bank, then debiting it whenever I pay for aircraft time (thanks for that idea from your book, Ramit).

    Our other big expense is paying off our student loans. Once those are done, on to helicopters (or as a friend who already flies rotary-wing aircraft calls them: magic carpets)!

    • Gemma

      My husband and I are aiming all our finances towards him doing a full CPL, ATPL course starting in November. Definitely not a cheap hobby but he comes home beaming with a spring in his step after every flight. He’s so animated when he describes how a turbine works, how certain technologies were developed by who, which airline is ordering which planes, the effects of weather on lift, … It’s worth every cent.

    • Matt

      Not long after completing my private pilot ASEL, I decided I ought to take a helicopter ride. It really was awesome and I came away thinking how much I’d love to learn to fly helicopters. Unfortunately, every time I look at local rentals for training I just can’t help thinking, “that’s nearly twice what a plane costs…” Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from deciding where to put the helipad at my house.

  11. Ryan G

    I’m posting this from Tokyo. I normally live in California, USA. My loves are games, anime, technology, and japan, and I am just finshing up a 2.5 week stay in japan. Been eating and drinking as I please, with barely a glance to the pocketbook, since I set aside more than enough money to spoil myself on whatever I desire here.

  12. Jason

    Travel: I’m writing this from Rio de Janeiro, staring at Copacabana beach. I live in Dallas and make a comfortable living. I’m particularly adept at finding good deals on flights or often use airline miles. I’m at a point in my life where I can travel all over the globe. I know that this period may not last forever because life circumstances change. But for now I’m taking advantage of it and seeing the world.

    • Jacqueline

      Fantastic Josh! I concur. I’m living in Cape Town, South Africa (home base after spending 9 years in the US – which I ended off in Hawaii :)) but off to Australia next week (and will hope up to Bali & Singapore as well while I’m “Down Under” for a few months). I plan to get over to S. America next year (Brazil & Peru at at the top of my list).
      PS: If you ever come over to South Africa and hit Cape Town, give me a hollar.

  13. Derrick

    $200 a month on a Krav Maga gym membership. It was initially hard for me to justify when I could get a normal gym membership in the $30-$60 a month range. But knowing that I can get a good workout while learning skills that can potentially save my life makes it worthwhile.

  14. Mike Julian

    Nice shoes. I spend $300 a pop on Allen Edmonds shoes (I own two now).

    People freak out when I tell them what I paid. It’s such a luxury purchase that most of my friends and family can’t conceive of having $300 extra to spend on something as “frivolous” as shoes. However, *everyone* comments on how nice they are and what it does for my overall appearance.

    As an aside, I can generally tell how the conversation will go right away: The people who’s first question is “How much did those cost?” will give me flak for spending so much. The people who’s first question is “What made you want to buy those?” seem to better understand value and purchasing something based on loving it.

    • Brad

      “I own two now” … a whole pair?

    • Andrew Hayhurst

      Just bought my first pair of Allen Edmonds. Amazing looking and comfortable. And they are blue so not the most practical but who cares!

    • Meggie Sophia

      Mike, when you’re feet are happy, everything’s happy. I love clothes and shoes myself, but I refuse to wear anything that itches, needs constant adjusting, won’t let me move, or just plain uncomfortable. I don’t care how hip or fashionable it is!

      Besides, I like to spend the money on something once and enjoy it for a long time. I don’t mind spending a lot of money on shoes if they’re comfortable, if I know I’m going to wear them for years, if they’re “totally me!”

  15. Nicole

    Two things: Whole Foods…people freak out when I say I shop there. Honestly, it’s not about the organic food for me (although that is a plus) its about the fact that when I was a kid, my family never would have been able to afford to shop there. Now I can, easily and I love it. I like good, interesting food and Whole Foods has that in spades. Besides I eat out less in order to afford it.

    The second: Classes. I have no problem dropping a few grand to learn something that I think will be valuable to my career or my personal life. I believe investing in yourself keeps you happy and sharp.

    What I don’t care about: My car. I literally will buy the cheapest model if possible because to me, a car is about just getting somewhere. I could care less what it looks like or what extra features it has. I just want it to be reliable and cheap to fill up with gas. Even if I became a millionaire, I still would drive a Hyundai 😉

    • Kimberly

      Actually Nicole, it shows how little they know. I find the Whole Foods 360 brand to be comparable to the regular grocery store – sometimes cheaper. And, strategic use of the food bar has SAVED me money.

  16. Kacie

    Baby carriers! I have several nice, expensive ones. As I have three kids and two hands, it is really convenient to wear my baby. I could do it with one or two cheaper carriers, but I like the nicer ones better.

  17. Matt W.

    Tabletop roleplaying games. Think Dungeons and Dragons, though I play different genres. These are $40-$50, thick books filled with rules, tables, and statistics for running these types of games. A $50 book is a bit steep for some people. But to tabletop gamers, it’s packed with value for running potentially infinite games with it. Even more value than a $60 video game. It pays for itself with all of the fun you can squeeze out of it.

  18. Andrew

    I love to fly airplanes. I will rent an airplane for $160 an hour and 400 miles on a weekend trip blowing over $500 on the aircraft rental alone.

  19. A

    Argentinian malbec.
    Only about $15 a bottle once or twice a week. For me that is a decent expense, but it’s worth it. My boyfriend and I got a Vacu-Vin so I can save the bottle for several dinners.

    Also we split it, and any dinners out, and often split entrees, so we are able to do much more extravagant things by virtue of splitting the cost between two people. Often you don’t need a whole bottle/entree/apartment to yourself.

  20. Jeff

    Definitely tech gadgets. I love technology and won’t hesitate to drop $$$ on a new iproduct, TV, universal remote, etc.

    Going out on the town I think is my more recurring discretionary purchases. I swear that when the weekend hits $200 just happens to sneak out of my bank account effortlessly!

  21. Renee

    I spend money on travel, too. The kids and I take a road trip every year, usually to a national park. I’m not in the least bit guilty because we get to reset on the road and become more productive and happier when we can forget work and spend some time together visiting new places.

  22. Meg

    Scottish cashmere! It’s completely different than the Chinese crap you’ll get at Macy’s or whatever, and it’s very, very expensive. My hat, gloves and scarf cost about $500, on sale. I wear a Scottish cashmere cardigan every day in the winter. It adds up, but it’s so wonderfully soft and warm that it’s worth every penny. I try to economize by buying used, but I still spend $100-500 per sweater.

  23. Ross U.

    Personal Training ($450/mo including gym cost) and saving for vacations (variable from my commissions at work, ~$10k last year). I’m pretty ruthless on most other categories and I’m maintaining a 50%+ savings rate for retirement.

  24. Casandra

    I don’t have a lot of “things”. I’m more interested in great experiences. I rarely buy new clothing but I spend freely on food and drink. Heirloom tomatoes, craft beer – I care about quality, not price! In fact, I don’t usually even look at the price. There is a typically price range for these things and I know I can afford it, even in the the upper end, so I don’t worry about it.

  25. Liz P.

    Travel is definitely my biggest discretionary expense, and the one I don’t feel bad about in the least! I do get grief from friends (“how can you take time off?” “isn’t that expensive?”) but the fussing gets really easy to ignore when basking under the sun in Costa Rica.

  26. Phillip G

    Food. Fiancée and I have averaged around $350 each month for the past 3 months on restaurants, around $400 on groceries each month. Roommates (college student, Home Depot employees) don’t understand how we can spend so much, but we honestly love to eat.

  27. Katie

    On coaching! Here in Belgium, coaching is still in its child shoes. I’ve invested already a lot on personal coaching and training and people don’t understand always that that’s an investment in myself AND in my environment.

  28. Tanya

    Books, without a doubt. Particularly limited edition art books, (better if they come with a signed print). The $5000 ones that Taschen makes are my weakness. But even just plain old coffee table books. At any given moment, I have a wish list of dozens on Amazon. If I get a big check, I’ll just buy the whole list.

    • Amy

      I don’t really buy expensive books, but I love to read, and really like books. No, I do not want a kindle, no I do not want to rent that book from the library, I want BOOKS. I dream of having a cool library in my house one day. I need to stop giving away books though, people never give them back! “borrow” yeah right! I guess I don’t want a library, I want a “these are all mine don’t take them!” book room. HAHA. With cool spiral staircases and moving ladders or something like you see in the movies, now that would be cool. Man, guess I need to go buy some more books!

      And if one more person asks me what I want for Christmas or birthday and then proceeds to tell me “books are a lame present” I’m going to hit them in the head with one. Lame is repeatedly and to my face insulting my interests!

  29. Laura

    I love cell phones, and previously would wait until my contract was up to get a new one and signed up for a new contract and phone. This time around, I saved up and bought the Galaxy Note 3 outright – $700! I had friends that balked and said I was crazy, but I realized with the service provider’s new ‘Share Everything’ plan that I wouldn’t be able to have a plan as cheap as what I currently have. I RAN THE DAMN NUMBERS and found that if I kept my plan, out of contract, and paid for the phone outright, in 26 months, I’d have the break even point and would be paying less than if I’d have went with a new contract. And this phone is relatively ‘future-proof’… more RAM and processor speed that is necessary right now to run everything. I expect to be able to hold onto this phone for at least three years.

  30. Michael Krause

    I love sports supplements! I spend a bucket load of cash on protein, preworkouts, BCAA’s and the like.

  31. Lisa

    I spend money on good groceries (organic veggies, free range grass-fed meat, etc), as well as quality shoes (e.g. just bought some beautiful $300 all-leather, handmade shoes).

    Spending more for quality, healthy food encourages me and my husband to prepare health, delicious food that makes us look and feel great. We love to eat at home together, or host our friends. It’s an investment in our health, and it’s a hobby, too.

    As for the shoes, well, if my shoes aren’t comfortable, they will just collect dust in my closet, so that rules out many cheap dress shoes. And I’d rather buy shoes that are going to last a long time and look great (and buy shoe polish to match so I can take good care of them), than “save” money continually buying cheapo shoes that fall apart within a year or so and can’t be polished because they are fake leather glued to fabric.

    However, I would NEVER tell most of my friends that I spent $300 on a pair of shoes – some of them are too “frugal” to understand. But they don’t understand that I am frugal in other ways – I almost never eat out, for example, and I save over 30% of my income. Plus, I’ve used Ramit’s material to get raises and rise in my career, so I’m making more than them. I could never tell them about buying Ramit’s courses, though – they would think I’m crazy – even though it’s an investment in myself and I have concrete results from his material. Yet they have no problem spending years of their lives and going thousands of dollars into debt to get a masters or PhD in a humanities field where the job market is glutted, and the jobs don’t even pay much. Isn’t that kind of ironic?

  32. Jennifer

    High quality food. I don’t think twice about the money I spend on grass fed meat, organic foods, or some special ingredient that I love to use for cooking…I feel healthy and it keeps my brain clear. This includes enjoying a delicious meal at an expensive restaurant.

    Also classes, if there is a course being offered that looks interesting, I am happy to spend the money to learn something new and challenge myself.

  33. nico s

    I spend time and money traveling abroad 6-12+ weeks every year. I love it, and I unashamedly take the time to do it. Yeah, I catch flak from almost everybody I know, but it’s become an indispensable part of my “rich” life.

    • nico s

      Ps. I’m writing this from Chang Mai, Thailand 🙂

  34. Tony Kaler

    Spending $2500 bucks to learn poker from professional player! That’s the crazy amount for one day lesson! Let’s see!!

  35. Paul

    My greatest discretionary spending over the past 8 years has been private high schools for my step-kids. After June, that will be done and next up are some cool wheels for my care and some home remodeling.

  36. Jenny N

    I’ve always loved dance and I go to performances as often as I can.

    Since shortly after I got out of college (the first time), I’ve had season tickets to the Northrop dance season. For a few hundred dollars I see 6-8 international companies every year.

    I’ve always bought 2 tickets to I can bring a friend, there’s something even better about a shared experience. Currently I take my mom to the ballets and my boyfriend to the modern dance performances.

    I donate additional money so occasionally I get invited to after-performance receptions with the performers and other donors. For several years I was always the youngest person in the room except the dancers.

    Last year, my bf and I really liked a couple of solo performances and discovered both soloists were from the same company, which was performing the next month in a city about 4 hours away. We both took 2 days off work, booked a hotel and bought tickets. It was fabulous!

  37. Vicki

    I don’t really have big discretionary expenses. I treat myself to a book or dvd on Amazon from time to time. The biggest discretionary expense recently was I used part of my tax refund this year to buy a smoothie maker (a modest, Ninja Master Prep – not the Rolls Royce of smoothie makers, but a decent smoothie blender nonetheless). I’ve always wanted a juicer, since I live alone and tend to eat less fresh fruit and veggies than I should (there are a lot of canned goods and frozen dinners in my kitchen at the moment). I don’t honestly like to cook, and it’s a pain. I thought juicing would help me improve my diet, by making it easier for me to incorporate lots of fresh produce with minimal cooking skill and effort, and so would be a worthwhile splurge.

  38. Varia

    The one I get judged for the most is paying disproportionate amounts of money (for my salary) for rent. I love living in nice apartments, regardless of how little time I may actually spend there.

    The one I judge myself for sometimes is going out for brunch. I could do it every day of the week. But having breakfast made for me makes my mornings infinitely better, so it’s worth it.

    Oh, and buying good wine and good (take-out) coffee.

  39. Ola

    Organic food & skincare, quality wooden toys for my kids and self improvement/spirituality books & courses.

    And ZLT 🙂

  40. David K. Whitlock

    Coffee & tea, and I don’t mean a $4 latte at Starbucks. Panama Esmeralda coffee and aged pu-erh tea along with all of the gadgets to make it. Who the hell needs 5 different ways to brew a cup of coffee in their kitchen??? THIS GUY!!!

    • Varia

      I have four different way s of making coffee at home and I love it 😀

  41. Candice

    I spend a lot on food and books. My husband thinks my book buying is ridiculous. I had cut back on it for a while, but I discovered I’d rather cut elsewhere. As for food, we like to eat a lot of raw food meals, and since we don’t have a ton of time for food prep, we have to spend more than a family our size normally would on groceries. I love eating out, but I’ve cut back on that so we can have more of the meals we love at home. Most of my friends spend a lot on food, but our grocery bill would seriously freak out my parents if they had a clue what we spend.

    I used to pay for a housekeeper to come every day, and one day soon I will again!

    • Varia

      I love to buy books as well. Unfortunately at the moment I’m living in a lot of temporary places so I can’t accumulate as many books as I would like, but that doesn’t stop me from buying them, reading them, and giving them away… Sharing is caring right? 🙂

  42. Erin

    Craft supplies. 90% of those purchases are guilt free and I do catch flak from people who are amazed at the volume of craft supplies in my home. But I use them and get great joy from making things and I pay all my bills, so I buy what I want.

  43. Kerry

    Plane tickets! Specifically taking my 8 year old with us. Many of our friends in the US think we’re crazy for living and traveling all over the world with our son. We’ve been on the go since he was 2 months old. The friends claim he won’t remember it but he doesn’t have to, it’s a part of him.

    Traveling as a family gives us an entirely different experience of the world. We meet so many different people because their child or grandchild is playing with ours. My son is very comfortable around non-English speakers and speaks a smattering of 5 languages himself.

    We don’t own a house (though we could, it’s just not a priority, we don’t want the responsibility and we would rather be gone than home), live where we can walk and bike, and get by with one very affordable car.

    Many think we are mortgaging our future for the present but we’re living according to our values.

    • Amy

      Love this! I dream about traveling with my family someday. Sorry, I don’t plan to be chained to my house for 18 or so years while I’m raising a family. Just because “you” don’t want to do it, doesn’t mean you can’t travel with kids.

  44. jb

    Vacations, decent wine & premium loose-leaf tea.

  45. Alex

    I love cycling. It was one of my favorite hobbies. So whether it means purchasing a new bike or saving money to plan a get away cycle trip or entering races.

    I was able to purchase a brand new bike for $800 a few months ago as well as a cycle trainer that cost me $500 and I did not even have to think about how I could afford it.

    This summer I am also planning a week trip to bike across Ohio. I will be leaving Detroit, Mi and cycling down to Cincinatti Ohio. I intend to do this in four days. I might even want to keep going all the way to Florida simply because I can!

  46. Sheila

    Workout classes. I spend anywhere from $100-200 per month on yoga, pilates, barre, spinning classes. A lot of people in my life think this is insane and that i should just do something that’s free, like running (which i also do). However, going to classes with other people and an instructor is what motivates me to work hard and not quit. When I work out alone I don’t have the same motivation. Going to classes has helped me lose 25 pounds and 4 pants sizes. Not only do I look better but I also feel better. My overall health and fitness level is better than it was even when I was a teenager. That is well worth that price tag to me.

    • Amy Zimmer


  47. whirled peas

    The great thing about spending money on things of quality is that it puts other artisans and craftsmen/women to work (which in turn allows them live their passion and to also purchase things of quality) and so on…and so on.

    The incredible thing about having plenty money is that it can also be used to help others. 16 to 21 thousand children DIE EVERY SINGLE DAY due to nutritional deficits (like starvation –a very long and painful way to go). We are the elite… the “let them eat cake” aristocrats of our time. So rather than being an oblivious tyrant, I can also spend lots on making the world a better place. Hooray!

    • Not a real person

      Speak for yourself, I am struggling like hell to make this work, perhaps you are the elite but let’s not assume.

  48. Justin D.

    While I do enjoy new ties/watches/phones/etc, i never think twice when I am spending money on an experience. This could mean dinner with a good friend or, like this past weekend, when I made the spontaneous decision to take my girlfriend on an 8 hour drive just so she could see her family (who she had been talking about missing) for less than 24 hours just to drive 8 hours back in time for me to catch some sleep before heading back to work today. Between gas, food, hotel, and some random stuff I forgot to pack (I also happened to have a rental but for unrelated reasons), I spent a good amount of money, but I was able to make her happy which is my favorite thing. So that is where my money goes. Doing things with the people I love.

  49. Preston Spratt

    High Quality Food and the best (lightweight and durable) outdoor equipment. Flak from people who think I spend too much on food when there are cheaper options available. Outdoor equipment is more people asking “How can you afford that” Answer: I Save.

  50. Elizabeth Grace Saunders

    I’ve got four areas where it’s so much fun to be lavish:

    -Travel: I just accomplished a major life goal of visiting six continents, and I’m so grateful for how my mind has been expanded through these experiences.

    -Hats: I have an awesome hat collection. It’s functional art that makes me super happy and the people around me. It’s not uncommon for strangers to walk up to me, and say, “I love your hat and that you wear hats.”

    -Cars: I think this is supposed to be more of a male trait but I LOVE beautiful cars. They are amazing and so worth the extra cost to me.

    -Generosity: I love hearing about a need and doing something about it. Not so much with charities-though I give to them also-but more people that I come across in my daily life. It feels amazing when you hear about a need that’s stressing someone out, and you just take care of it.

    I’m extremely grateful to have the financial resources to be care-free in these areas that bring me joy!

    • Jacqueline

      Awesome! I’m assuming Antarctic is the remaining one? 😉 For me it’s Antarctic & S America (I’m from South Africa). Incidentally, which countries in Africa did you travel in?

      And kuddos on the generosity one!!! Didn’t even think of that when I was commenting, but I love to do that too. Love surprising people 🙂

    • Elizabeth Grace Saunders

      Hi Jacqueline~

      Yes, I decided to leave Antarctica to the penguins for now since the main reason I travel is to experience other cultures.

      In Africa, I was in Uganda.


  51. JulesE

    Fully inclusive skis trips and I want more of them, twice, maybe 3x a year. Our one week trip to France in the winter costs 2x what we spend camping in the Alpes for a whole month.

  52. Eva

    Childcare, $2,000 a month. Having four kids is part of a Rich Life for me.

  53. FP

    I picked up my new Jeep Rubicon on Thursday. My last 2 cars were no-nonsense and practical vehicles. I have been building my rental and vacation rental business over the past few years. I was able to double my portfolio last year. My fiancé has been encouraging me to live by the “YOLO” – you only live once – philosophy.

    It was nice being able to splurge on something fun (and somewhat practical since I will be using for my business, too) for myself (and knowing the extra income from my rentals easily covers this new expense).

    Interesting enough, no one has given me any flak. Instead, people have been saying things like “I would like to own one someday” and “you’re going to have fun.”

  54. Ashley

    New vehicles. All my friends laugh and say its a complete waste of money, but I will never buy a used car again. I like my car, I can afford, and I think I actually get a better value for my money than my friends do anyway.

  55. Preston

    My biggest discretionary spending is on high quality bacon. 16 dollars for 2 pounds. Nobody has given me any flak about it, and if they did, I wouldn’t care. I LOVE bacon.

    • S.WILLI

      good for you! I say- enjoy the bacon Preston! ENJOY!!!

    • Rachel

      Fiiiinally! Someone said bacon…

      Me too! I get Scottish bacon shipped (in the US). It’s expensive for the shipping-before-it-defrosts, but oh so totally worth it.

  56. Samm

    My biggest discretionary spending would probably be on Kindle books. My library is worth well into the 4-figures, I’m a speed reader who consumes and remembers voracious amounts of content and I’m dangerous in bookstores.

    Books and coffee…

    Oh no, I’m -totally- *not* a writer.

    • Ianna

      Can you elaborate on how you speed read on digital device? I can do it with traditional books, but not at all with digital ones – having a finger track where I am in the text is tremendously helful but impossible to do on touch screens.

  57. Anthea

    My biggest regular discretionary expense is an unlimited Crossfit membership. It’s more expensive than a regular gym, but it’s the first organized exercise that I’ve ever truly enjoyed! I only go three times a week at most, so I could drop down to a lower tier of membership, but I like supporting the box and having the flexibility to go more often if I wanted to.

    On a cost-per-use basis, Crossfit costs orders of magnitude less than any regular gym membership I ever had!

    The discretionary expense I get the most flak for (though it’s more like either envy or incomprehension) is spending several times as much as the bargain price to stay someplace nice when I go on vacation. My husband and I enjoy reading in the hotel as much as chilling on the beach, so a nice relaxing environment is a big factor in enjoying our vacations!

    • Anthea

      Also, weird as it is, the discretionary expense I feel the most guilty about is occasionally spending a dollar or even (gasp!) $1.25 for a large coffee from the cafeteria at work.

  58. Heather

    I splurge on cashmere yarn for knitting at $3-400 a couple times a year. I travel but often stay with friends or family and use mileage points. My biggest spending is for food. I feel guilty about it and feel that it is ridiculous. We spent $14k on groceries in the past 12 months. We feed our pets fresh raw organic food at about $400/month. I have chronic pain if I don’t eat specific foods that are expensive because they are special ordered from small farmers. There is conflict because I want to live where I can grow and raise the food but husband loves living in the city. We rent a tiny place and spend a monthly mortgage amount on fresh food. We are not saving enough money to say that we can comfortably afford to spend so much on food. It’s stressful. The stress add to the chronic pain, no doubt.

  59. AJ

    2 things for me:
    1. Music related gear (audio interface, speakers, cables, records and maintenance-related items for my guitars)
    2. Concerts/music festivals. I will shell out for a hell of a music experience once/year generally.

    Otherwise I don’t shop very much, I cook in-house almost every single day, and I have driven the same car since I was 16 years old (I’m only 26 but I’m in it for the long haul.)

  60. Sophie Hodges

    My favorite guilty splurge is handbags and taxis. Okay, so biggest first – handbags … I am not talking a little high-street number, I am talking ‘beans for the rest of your life’ Louis Vuitton, Prada.

    Now, it is not as bad as it seems as I typically buy second hand and refurbished. I should also say that I am a dedicated IWTYTBR follower and so this is my disposable income, but I feel disgusted with myself every time I buy ….(but only for a short second until I check that my savings didn’t magically also go with the dough just stumped for the bag and until I get that first complement).

    Second, Taxi’s. £6 taxis from the local tube station to my house after 9pm, to be precise. I know I shouldn’t and I should take the extra 20 mins to get home, but I rationalize this to myself by saying, “you have been working late, would you pay £6 for an extra 20 mins in the bath/reading a book/with my husband/cooking a healthy dinner” – the answer is always yes.

  61. Andy

    Working on my car, and not just maintenance. I’m talking upgrades but cosmetic and performance.

    My car is a huge hobby of mine so I enjoy spending time on it on the weekends. Keeps me sane!

  62. Debashish

    I love motorcycles, and related safety gear. My current motorcycle cost me about a third of my car and almost all the people (including my parents) thought I was nuts. When I told them that the safety gear I bought with it was equivalent to 40% of my monthly salary (at that time), they looked at me like I’d completely lost it.
    I can’t wait to tell them about my next motorcycle. It’s going to cost me 2X of my car!

  63. Maya

    The biggest is probably a tossup between weekly housecleaning (2 children under 3 = big mess + tired parents who also work full time), or plane tickets for multiple plane trips each year to see family and vacation – each about $5K a year. I don’t talk about our spending much beyond family, and luckily don’t get much flak from them because they know how much we save. On a smaller scale, hired a wardrobe consultant and bought bunch of new clothes, and wish I had done that way sooner!

  64. Brian Radvansky

    Fine coffee! Pricey beans, a nice grinder, and the time that goes into the act of french pressing. It’s a much more satisfying art then telling the automatic drip coffee maker to turn on at 7. Being involved in the process brings me joy.

  65. Jessica

    Not sure if this counts as discretionary spending, but we are currently “cutting mercilessly” on most things because we are saving up for an adoption. We intentionally chose to go with one of the more expensive agencies because they provide us an incredible amount of support and every step of the process and do all of the marketing/matching for us. One friend in particular gives us crap about it when we don’t want to go out to eat or go shopping because he doesn’t understand why adoption is (or can be) expensive and doesn’t care to learn.

    • Melissa D

      Love this, and hope for successful adoption soon.

  66. Tara

    Weekday dinners at IHOP.
    I love their strawberry syrup, my daughter their blueberry lemonade and my son must have is a steak dinner. It’s always a treat for the children when I pick them up on a random Tuesday and we head out to a kid friendly restaurant for dinner.

  67. Jeremy

    My wife has a handbag and shoe collection worth about $10K and we spend $3K per year on skiing. Our grocery bill for two people is also ~$500 per month because we indulge in all manner of specialty and high-end foods.

  68. Lane

    Racing. It’s an expensive hobby, but I love racing cars at a national level. I’m perfectly willing to give up other things to save to have a competitive car. I’ve met some of my best friends through racing and it’s always a good time, win or lose.

  69. Derrick

    Definitely travel. I take 2-3 vacations a year and my wife and I do a couple weekend trips during the year as well. My wife is an amazing travel deal finder though, we did 5 nights in Vegas 4 years ago for under 1500 and that included cirque shows, nice dinners and a 5 star hotel. Don’t put off traveling until you are 65, it won’t be as much fun.

  70. Eric

    Craft beer is my guilty pleasure.

  71. Hunter

    I spent $1500 to become a Google Glass explorer. I’ve been hiding the purchase because I know my partner would hit the celing. But they’re so cool.

  72. Gabrielle

    Good quality cookware. I just recently spent $200 on a 4 quart sauce pan. Some people I know don’t think that’s crazy since it will most likely outlast me, but I know some people would think I’m crazy since I could buy a pan from walmart or something for probably like $30 and put the other $170 into my savings account. However, I highly doubt it would last as long or cook food as nicely as the higher quality pans do.

    • Jennifer

      OMG you are my long lost sister lol. I feel exactly the same way I will drop $200 on a Le Creuset pot & not even feel guilty… Happy cooking sis. & long live the pots lol

  73. charissa

    Two things:
    1 – Good chocolate (probably around $10/bar).
    2 – Yoga teacher training (between $2300-$3600/course).

    The higher price tag on the chocolate actually makes me appreciate it more (aside from the taste!) — and helps me not eat too much. So whenever I do treat myself, I don’t feel guilty!

    The training is hard for some people to understand: it’s not like I teach enough hours to realistic make the money back. I really enjoy getting that deeper understanding, though, and having the “study time” to immerse myself in the yoga is a good feeling. Once again: no guilt!

  74. Bill

    Guitars. Over the past years I have made both impulsive and planned guitar purchases. From a $300 Fender Squire Strat to a $1800 Taylor electric acoustic. Playing guitar has allowed me to keep my sanity over the years and has brought joy and happiness to my family. The guitars are worth every dollar.

  75. Dev

    Going to breweries! I have no greater joy in my life than visiting craft breweries with my boyfriend and trying new beers and meeting new folks. That is, far and away, our biggest discretionary expense.

  76. Tim

    Starbucks Chai. I love that stuff! The stronger it is, the better. And occasionally, when I need an extra jolt, I order it dirty which means they put a shot of espresso in it. Delicious!

    • Amy

      Me too!

  77. susan

    Going out to eat! I work hard all week, the thought of being able to eat at a beautiful restaurant and ordering whatever I want with a great bottle of wine would be such a reward at the end of each week.

  78. Kristina

    Definitely traveling. I never feel guilty about traveling to any country I want to visit. I’m from the Midwest where most people consider one two week trip to Europe as a trip, and expense, of a lifetime. Anything more than that is hedonistic. For me, though, travel is about so much more than touring Italy for a couple of weeks. I love meeting new people, exploring other cultures, histories, languages, and so on. Travel boosts my creativity, energizes me, and helps me appreciate life and the world even more. For me, it’s an investment, not a luxury.

  79. Elizabeth

    Beautiful handmade Italian shoes and purses. I am a high-end Italian shoe-aholic.

  80. Wesley

    I spend 2-3k a year on hunting and fishing. It’s my stress relief and time to regain strength and focus to get back into the day to day life. It’s probably worth 20-30k in good health and life.

  81. Brittany

    My biggest discretionary spend? Plane tickets to other continents. But my most indulgent? Bringing back gorgeous clothes, shoes, and jewelry from those unique, oddball places that I find on those continents.

  82. Simon

    I would say that my biggest recurring yearly discretionary expense is traveling (between $5k-$10k per year). I really love traveling so I created an automated savings plan to make sure that every year I have enough money put aside to travel at least 3-4 times.

  83. Luke

    My Harley

  84. Bri

    My biggest splurge has to be kiting. We spend thousands a year traveling to kite festivals and buying/making kites, simply because we love it. It’s hard to be mad or sad when you’re standing on a beach somewhere flying a kite. I mean, really, how bad can it be!?! Throw in great friends, good food and a few beverages and you’ve got my recipe for happiness.

    • Tom

      Wow…never would have thought you could spent thousands on kiting. Cool!

  85. Micah

    Splurging on trips and nights out with my girlfiend.

    Taking my friends out for drinks.

    Keeping my fridge stocked with awesome craft beers!!

  86. anne

    Mostly clothing: $600 boots, cashmere sweaters and $300 jeans – all things I wear and LOVE.

    Wine and perfume…I collect both.

  87. Alex Bodensieck

    I like the mindset of spending extra on what you love. I’m super cheap when purchasing anything from cereal to a car but when I go on vacation, the money I saved for the trip is burning a hole in my pocket. My biggest discretionary expense would most likely be gambling. I’ll spend a good amount gambling, it’s a sadistic form of entertainment for me.

  88. Joan

    (1) I haven’t done my own house cleaning in decades.
    (2) Rarely look at the price tag on quality groceries. Love Whole Foods!
    (3) I’m a sucker for a good cause. Especially homelessness, hunger and animals.
    (4) Does any quilter ever have enough fabric?

    I have selective deafness when anyone brings up my spending habits. It’s my money, I earned it – back off!

  89. Art McCormack

    Books for sure. I have no qualms dropping$50, $100, $200 or more on a book. I remember the first time I did this…dropped $54 on The Robert Collier Letter Book (hardcover). Albeit some books are expensive it’s not so much what I spend on a signle book though that gives me guiltless pleasure, it’s what I spend on books period. I have no shame in admitting I haven’t had TV in my home for going on 12 years (any TV at all, just movies) and what I’ve saved in TV subscriptions allows me to freely indulge my pleasure for books. Zig Ziglar said it best…“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.” Although I may not be at the point where I consider myself to be rich, yet, I am confidently heading that way.

  90. Cristian

    I am giving away 15% of my income to the people I love or people who need it.
    I am spending money indulging in mindless sex until I get bored.
    I am traveling tons..
    I am buying a Porsche Macan S Turbo – white one with red leather interior … ahh… feels soo goood…
    I am making random gifts to friends..

  91. Kimberly

    Belly Dance – workshops, costumes, performances, travel. It all adds up

  92. Joel

    My online budget program tells me I spent $1600+ in the last three months on restaurants and takeout, though I brown-bag my lunch every day. When I get home neither my wife nor I have much energy/time to cook.

    I sent her an email with a snapshot of our spending and she got all upset about it. I agree its wasteful, but our savings are on auto and the mortgage payments are accelerated. I just accept it as a cost of living that we’ve chosen.

  93. Mica

    Clothes/shoes: I refuse to shop at discount stores with shitty clothes that look terrible on me. I’d rather spend $100 on a top or shoes that’ll that look fucking amazing on me and I’ll wear for years.

    Tech stuff: I work in high tech, so dropping a few hundred dollars to over a thousand on a new toy twice a year is an investment on keeping up with the trends. Granted, I’ll keep that device for years.

  94. Joe

    Obscure and extreme craft beers. I just spent $260 on a box from Scotland for a beer-tasting party with my friends.

    Analog Music gear. Synthesizers and signal processors.

  95. Diandra

    Groceries at Whole Foods… The fiancé and I spend $900/month. I should add that he eats between 3000 and 4000 calories per day so that’s part of the reason. I cook every every day and love their produce and meat choices. WF employees are so nice, helpful and don’t look miserable being at work… So that’s an added bonus. When money gets tight we cut back on everything else but still enjoy WF.

  96. Leigh

    My biggest discretionary expense is buying groceries.

    I make it a point to shop at nicer grocery stores/co-ops, rather than discount chains. I attempted to go to a few times but always leave saying, “never again!” For instance, before even leaving my car a child aggressively opened its car door, leaving mine with a scratch; no apologies from the child or parent… Serenity now!

    I don’t care that I save a whopping $10 on my bill; I’ll gladly pay more for the convenience, selection and overall experience of going to the nicer places.

  97. Heather Jackson

    1. LASIK for my husband – he hasn’t shut up in 3 months about how amazing it is to see clearly.

    2. Trans-Siberian railway – thought about it for years before going last month. If we did it 5-10 years ago, it would have been hostels and ramen soup all the way, but we treated ourselves to hotels and 1st class train tickets (you get funky enough as it is when you’re on a train for 4 days straight). It’s been a real pleasure swapping trip stories with our families, friends, and coworkers.

  98. Jay P.

    Sasquatch Music Festival every Memorial Day. $400 to see some of the best bands in the world with some of my best friends at a gorgeous music venue in sunny late spring, with no cell phone service? Sign me up.

  99. Jacqueline

    TRAVEL: I just spent $1300 last week on a flight to Australia. And I’ll be spending another $1000 likely on trips to SE Asia and around Australia. I probably spend about $4000-5000 a year on travel & adventures 🙂 I’ve visited over a dozen countries & been to 5 CONTINENTS <— spent over a month on each & lived for over 5 years on two of them.

    MUSIC: I'm one of those people who actually still buys albums <– perhaps because I'm a musician myself. But I also buy music & recording equipment and accessories. Set myself up with a little home studio of sorts a couple months ago. Spread out it was probably a $3000 investment in the past year.

    • Jacqueline

      edit: $4000-$5000 if for all trip & living expenses: food, accommodation and transportation (living expenses) for a period of a few months (most of my recent trips have been around 3 months). So while it seems like a lot, I’m actually very frugal and travel economically & make ways for it to be affordable ie not much more costly that had I stayed at “home.”

  100. Paul Lepage

    Books and info-products. I must spend close to 1k to 2k per year.

  101. Ben

    Bought a private island with your bro. It was pretty fucking awesome.

    • Jacqueline

      oh sweet, that was you too? I read the blog post Maneesh wrote about that!

  102. Paul

    Absolutely LOVE buying “expensive” brand jeans for the simple fact that they are supremely comfortable and stylish to boot. However, I recently discovered a new trick to even save on this. There are a couple higher-end thrift stores near me and I go hunting to find the exact same jeans at a 1/4 of the price. Then I get them tailored at my local seamstress for $7 and have an affordable, stylish, and perfect fitting pair of what should be expensive jeans. Can’t beat it!

    I also love splurging on great food, whether it be going out to eat at Fogo De Chao with good friends or cooking with high quality ingredients at home.

    Ramit I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your psychological insight into conscious spending. It’s because of your personal finance book that I’m leading the rich life I choose. I cannot say enough about how powerful all your material is to me and countless others. I always pass on your name when people come across psychological barriers because you have the systems to break down those invisible walls. Much love man, keep up the phenomenal work!

  103. Owen

    I spend so much money on beer. It is pretty usual that I will drop $50 to $100 per week on just a few bottles of high quality craft beer. About once every 3-4 months I go crazy and drop $300 over a weekend on some hard to get stuff. It is totally worth it though. Its a great way to bond with my friends by sharing and swapping bottles, even going so far as to (illegally)ship them across the country to each other. My parents knock it as just a fad and some people cant believe the amount of time and money I spend visiting breweries or stopping into out of the way bottle shops, but it is an important part of my culture. I work hard enough to enjoy a classy beer after work, or to bust out a rare bottle when cooking dinner for friends. I justify the expense by rarely ever going out to dinner because I would much prefer cooking something nice and opening a good beer or two. Just last week I bought tickets to a camping trip at a brewery for $250 and didnt think twice about it, spending a weekend camping and drinking top notch brews with my friends is easily worth the money.

  104. Nell

    Books and magazines.

  105. Susi

    I’ve had to cut my spending significantly over the years, but one thing I will not give up is my participation in Fantasy Football. One league, in particular, has a $400 entry fee, and we travel to South Florida every year the weekend before Labor Day for our Live Draft, which ends up costing me around $1500. My boyfriend gives me lots of flak for the travel piece, but we have been doing this trip as a league for years and have become great friends, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Sometimes, I will try and schedule something for business while I’m in Florida so I can write off part of the trip and make some money while I am there. The other leagues I play in aren’t as expensive ($100 and $25 league fees), but I enjoy them as well.

  106. j a shimel

    i like to spend a little on luxury cosmetics, lotions and creams

  107. Emily

    My biggest discretionary expense is my personal chef. It doesn’t actually cost me much more than groceries and the food she makes is amazing and healthy. She follows what I want in terms of ingredients and her creations are way better than anything I would cook for myself. No one who knows me gives me any grief because they know I was on 25 pills a day by the time I was 30 for various illnesses and healed myself by changing what I ate, so they know how important health is to me. Hiring her was one of the best decisions of my life!

  108. Roberto Musa

    I have a Foo Dog collection. I own 43 pieces now, and although some of them are quite inexpensive, I have paid up to $300 – $400 por some of my favorites. I look for them whenever I travel aborad, and enjoy having a story attached to the process of acquiring each one. Most people object to them because they find them hideous, how much they cost is only a secondary concern.

  109. Karthek

    Personal Trainer.. “If you are interested in being fit you should do it by yourself. Why spend hundreds of dollars each month?” seams to be a common notion around my friends. I tried doing it myself for few years didn’t work.. I am back training with a trainer, don’t have to think about it and feel great after each workout.

  110. Mat

    Online services like Infusionsoft, Aweber, GroSocial, PayPal Website Pro,, FileMaker Server, Google Apps for business and the 40 web domains that I own and host when I don’t even have a website yet, any online products to sell or any clients needing those avenues yet enjoy the hell out of pretending I need them because I’m curious and love figuring out how things connect for that one day when I actually follow Ramit’s advice and create an online business that provides epic value for the people around me.

  111. Christina

    I just bought a vacuum for $1200. Vacuuming is my SHIT, and this vacuum…It’s the greatest thing ever. It finally feels like my house is actually clean and that my carpet isn’t made of black dog hair.

  112. Kristen

    Mine is definitely food! I spend 3x as much as some people-because I am committed to eating grass-fed, local, organic, whole foods, no grains, mostly produce and meats. It’s a big priority for me, so this is not an area where I skimp.

  113. linda klain

    I love to spend money on my hair. It is an expression of me– a palette for my creative side. I bet my facebook page features at least 12 different looks this year. I change cuts and colors frequently– and well, it costs money. I have tried to cut corners and every time regret it. As I type, I am sitting here with streaks which are plum because I tried to tone my lightened color myself after spending spring break in the sun and it came up purple. Money to the hair pros is money well spent! Why can I never seem to remember this lesson? Had to go to court this morning with magenta locks. Will need to spend the money anyway to reverse this…but i am smiling.

  114. Linden

    House cleaning every two weeks.
    Babysitter every Wednesday night for date night (we go to the gym and out for dinner).
    Yoga retreats 2-3x per year.
    2-3 weeks unpaid time off every summer.

    All of these things make my life better, and we can afford them, but they are extravagant compared with our peers.

  115. dsterry

    I like to buy books. My wife thinks or at least used to think it was a waste of money. One reason is don’t always read them. Some of them I buy just to have as reference and some I buy intending to read later. Then she started a nursing program and fell back in love with books again herself.

  116. melissa y

    my groceries. i buy from the farmer’s market as well as whole foods. i don’t look much at the cost when i see a basket of fresh strawberries or a bunch of beautiful broccoli. i feel like my health has no price tag so i spend guilt free.

  117. Rebecca

    I spend $150/month on my Muai Thai classes. It’s the biggest chunk of my income (after rent), but there is nothing else that I will go to 3 times a week.

  118. Kate

    Running: From race entry fees (even though I am in no way an elite runner that is going to win any of the races), to preoperly fitted shoes, to special headphones that don’t fall out when running, to gps tracking watches. Many people tell me that I shouldn’t even bother. Afterall, I do it to keep fit and give myself a healthy hobby. I shoudn’t be spending so much on the gear. But it makes me happy.

  119. Christa

    Luxury coffee, all day everyday!

  120. Emily from Let's Roam Wild

    Traveling and food! They both add up quickly but make me so happy!

  121. Nick Disabato

    An office. No, seriously.

    I work independently, and I _hate_ working at home. $300/mo for an office is _entirely_ unnecessary for me and my business, and yet I love it so much.

  122. Chris

    I’d like to share something like that resonates with me. The idea of “cry once”… If there is something I wish to purchase; a new pair of headphones, speakers, etc. I’d rather “cry once” and save up so I can purchase something of quality, like a pair of Maui Jim’s rather than continually buying 10 pairs of cheap sunglasses that break, or are misplaced as they have limited value. So I like the idea of “crying once” as opposed to numerous times when buying a product of lesser value.

    I realize I veered off topic, just wanted to share 🙂

  123. Marty

    Internet Porn.

  124. em

    I spend on music, a hobby: voice coaching, languages coaching, accompanist, buying music, travel expenses (drive or fly), to sing other places, dresses for performances, dry cleaning same. I have not run into anyone critical of this spending. Music expenses (direct and indirect) is one of my accounts.

  125. Jules

    Before children, it was travel. With children it is the best private preschool in town. Great programming, with lots of positive play and learning including multiple languages, karate, theatre, music, math, science, religious studies, etc. And so many activities for family involvement. Cool to see the little ones excited about school and learning so much in a fun, supportive environment. It feels luxurious to give them this wonderful opportunity.

  126. Claire

    travel! I’m a student working 2 jobs; money is tight, but I make sure to save up for what I want. this spring break I blew ~$800 on a week-long trip to visit my best friend (great food every day!), and it was worth every penny.

  127. Lisa

    A high-end Gibson bass guitar. I joined a band a few years back, when my friend convinced me it wouldn’t be hard to learn to play bass. (She was a little deluded, but I worked hard and have gotten pretty good.) I had an entry level bass for a while, but now finally upgraded to a pro-quality bass and amp. Both get a LOT of use, and it’s really improved our band’s sound.

  128. Paul

    CDs! Oh my god do I love going to my local record store and buying CDs!!!!

    • Bob Loblaw

      People still buy CDs?

  129. Kit

    Music. I spent around £600 in total last December to go to Dresden in Germany for a weekend (I live in the UK) to see a special Christmas performance by one of my favourite bands, and while most people would wince at that, to me the music, the event, and the whole experience was priceless. I’ll also happily spend large sums on limited edition vinyl box sets, merchandise, etc rather than settling for the cheapest online downloads.

    And it all comes especially guilt-free because most of the bands I support aren’t particularly mainstream or famous (some of them I even know personally), and any purchase by a fan makes some small but positive difference to the total income they get from their music. So I’m even benefiting others as well as making my own life richer! 🙂

  130. Ray Urner

    Workout supplements! Protein, BCAAs, etc

  131. Lu

    Food. Dining in NYC and any city I visit. I’ve taken to giving this “experience” as gifts to my parents and close friends too. People don’t need a lot of material things to make them happy (or they can get it on their own), bu tseem to appreciate experiential gifts like great food, shows, a trip somewhere.

  132. Ash

    I spend godly amounts of money on sciency books and nutritional supplements. I had to cut down because it was draining my pockets lol.

  133. John Shea

    Hi Ramit,

    I spent $25,000 restoring a car while still living with my parents making 40k a year. All my friends, family and co-workers gave me shit about it all the time. I spent 2 years paying someone to do the work while the car resided 4 hours away in NY with someone who knew this specific car in and out and had restored many of them in the past.

    I kept telling myself I had to do it before I got a girlfriend, a home, a first child, and lots of bills.. I now own my home, started dating a girl a month within moving in and now have a fun car all paid off sitting in my garage with no reason to ever sell it.. if I attempted to do it now it would take me years and years to get it done.

    I also did this by the age of 29 so I was happy to say I didn’t end up being that dude in his parents basement at 30.

    My opinion? It’s worth indulging for those things you want.. I always just make sure I don’t bury myself in debt or put myself in a bad situation.

  134. Fit Missy

    Healthy food! I like to spend lots of $$$$$$$ on food that will make me healthier. Lots of splurging there!

  135. David E.

    I purchased a 3-wheel recumbent trike costing about $3,000. To ride in the dark early mornings, I equipped my trike with 3 headlights, each costing about $100.

    My previous bike had cost only $300 so I now own headlights worth as much as my previous bike..

    I love riding the the trike so much, that on occasion, I’m miserable when it is out of service due to needing repairs I can’t handle. (I fix most everything with my credit card).

    So – I bought a 2nd trike!

  136. Travis

    GUNS!!! I have a large WWI and WWII collection and love to expand it whenever I can. But it’s now to the point where I need a secure room dedicated for just this. It’s time to make some more money and buy a new house with a nice big vault instead of just a gun safe. 🙂

  137. Andrew

    I’ve spent tens of thousands on education and books without blinking, it just feels natural. A $5 cup of tea feels like robbery, I’ll only do that once or twice a month.

  138. Robin

    I collect meteorites.

  139. Katrina

    Definitely travel. I spend every spare dollar traveling. If I find a good deal I will go anywhere no matter how far (ex. Norway for 2 days because I found a good fare). I actually get a lot of criticism for it but I would be miserable if I was not planning a future trip. I don’t see anything wrong with escapism!

  140. Lisa

    I love to go out to eat. I do not enjoy cooking and would rather spend my money on getting a good meal prepared for me. Friends and family have commented that it is a waste of money when I could buy the ingredients and cook for myself for half the price. I love the act of going out to a restaurant and enjoying my professionally prepared meal. That is one area where I enjoy spending my money.

  141. Jansen

    My biggest discretionary expense? Traveling, but not always for the typical reasons. I once flew across the country to watch a Japanese film that was showing in a single US theater for one day only. Then I did it again for a different movie just last month. 🙂 I always get to meet fun people I wouldn’t have otherwise, and my friends often tell me they’re jealous that I wind up seeing these films before they do. But the thing is, I don’t feel like I necessarily have more money than them (if anything, I probably have less). I just decided that, since I could afford it, I was going to be okay with shelling out the cash for a cross-country movie trip. (Although I also used some of Ramit’s Scrooge Strategies to spend a little less on things like plane tickets, accomodations, and food, which was nice.)

  142. Traci

    I am hopelessly addicted to school. I just love to learn! I’ve been through nine major programs in various industries, including phlebotomy (blood drawing), stock trading, missions, business, counseling, events…

    My second is clothes. Love, love, love clothes. I am super picky and can, with a lot of work, find most of what I buy at second hand shops. That keeps the cost to a minimum, and is a fun challenge.

    Don’t know or care if others are bothered. 😉

  143. Frank Taeger

    Video games.

    These are expenses in two ways:

    1. They cost a bit money.

    2. They cost you sometime up to 100 hours of game time.

    The money you shell over is nothing compared to the time you put in. Time is something you could use differently, so the games costs me opportunity and so on. But if they are well done, they are more than worth spending the time.

  144. Mani

    Aesthetics are really important to me. I’d rather have three expensive outfits that fit me perfectly and make me feel like a million bucks than twenty that are just okay. Same with my home environment. I’ll skip eating out and lattes for a couple of months to buy a piece of furniture or decor that makes me smile every time I walk into the room.

    When I look good, I feel good. I carry myself with confidence. I’m more outgoing. When my home looks nice, I wake up feeling happy to be there, and it’s really important that I enjoy my surrounding because I work from home.

    I feel zero guilt about dropping money on these things, even though I don’t make a ton of money. We’ve had a very rough couple of years, and I will take my small pleasure with gratitude and joy.

  145. Ashley F.

    Art and wine. My husband and I have no problem dropping $500 on a case of wine or piece of art – especially when we are on vacation. It’s a nasty habit, but one that makes us more ‘cultured’ – right?

  146. Elaine

    I love Barbour jackets, books, buying healthy organic whole foods (vegan) and traveling.

  147. Corinne

    I don’t have any discretionary income but if someone gave me $1,000 and FORCED me to spend on non-essential items I would blow it all on sushi and at the stationery store. Pretty paper with pressed flowers, overpriced pens with drippy ink… I would be in dork heaven….

  148. MrsKruse

    Not horribly expensive, but most people would consider my eating lunch in the work cafeteria most of the time to be stupid. But it’s not any more expensive than the pricier frozen dinners I would buy, and I’m too lazy to actually take the time to pack something. It’s worth the $5/day to not worry about it.

  149. Suz deMello

    I love to eat out with my friends and candidly, the only one who gives me flak about it is…me! I begrudge myself that 2d $7 glass of Prosecco even though I know I can afford it. What’s wrong with me (waaa waaa)

  150. Edith

    1) Physical training: I always, always wanted to be trim and fit and active. SO i spend some serious coin on workouts and trainers. I love it getting bright colored trainers for a workout every day of the week..

    2) I like gourmet organic handcrafted food. I love cooking and do not mind spending money on the best food. Yes, that means often going to Whole Foods or New Seasons. My friends think it is indulgent and pricey but honestly I rather spend money on good food to make at home rather than eat at the Cheesecake factory.

    3) Travel. I have spent my fair share travelling. I love it. I love meeting new people and seeing new and old places. The experience is way better than sitting at home!

    • alison

      In Canada “trainers” are what we call the people who train us. I was taken aback by the thought of your collection of brightly coloured people.

  151. Ines

    I do not work full time to have time for my dog and hanging out in parks in my hometown Potsdam – the dog is worth more than 10k at an age of 5 . I love pony riding and will buy an Icelandic horse, a complete unnecessary expenditure. I like to travel and spend far to much for trips to the beach trying to get my trips abroad paid by clients. My biggest guilty pleasure is having coffee 3-4 times a week when walking the dog….but I know that I need to focus more on getting clients or a good enough job.

  152. Asha

    100K+ on an EMBA that I don’t need for an already successful career. I’m doing it simply because I want to learn and I don’t know what I don’t know. Likely will be the biggest extravagance of my life.

  153. Michelle

    I just hired a housekeeper. Best day of my life- what was I waitiing for?! Of course I still had to have what I call “an American thought” and rationalize it by saying to myself. “It frees up my time to take on another client.” I’m going to change that to, “I will have more time to go the the beach half a mile from my house.” 🙂

  154. Kathleen

    I bought a brand new Mini Cooper in 2012 and I am so grateful. I paid for it with some retirement money and I have no regrets. I love the car so much.

  155. John

    Concerts. Not as much now as when i was single. I used to spend around $25,000 a summer going to shows. Covering travel, tickets, concert t-shirts, food, posters. Anything i wanted.

  156. Katherine

    Therapy. I’m in the mental health field, so not only am I picky about my mental health provider, it’s also exceptionally important to have good self-care in this profession. So, $100/week for an amazing therapist is totally guilt-free.

  157. Anna

    I like eating out fairly regularly at very expensive restaurants, and drinking correspondingly high end wine. This adds up very quickly.
    I also like to do very expensive exercise activities- including extravagant gym memberships (for the saline filtration pool- no chlorine!) and circus acrobatics classes, which can add up to $100/week if I am training as regularly as I ideally want to.

  158. Andrew H

    Wine. My wife and I have a deal we buy 6 bottles of wine at a time and the total about can’t exceed $100. Which at $16.00 per bottle you can find some great options. But I prefer to splurge on two $25-$30 bottles and then the other 4 have to be between $10-$12. It works well for us.

  159. Chantal

    Seeing this band called The Disco Biscuits. I like to travel to see them a lot. I also love traveling in general and try to experience new places as often as possible.

  160. Julianne

    My CrossFit membership – costs about 4x the cost of a globo gym membership, but is worth every penny. I was barely going to the gym and had no idea what to do when I was there. Now, I show up because it is a large expense for me. I always leave leave feeling accomplished and I am seeing results.

  161. Paul

    I’m an extremely fanatical supporter of my football (that’s soccer for you Americans) team. I go to the stadium about 40-50 times a year and follow my team home and away. Scotland, Spain, Austria, anywhere.

    I probably spend a few thousand dollars a year on following my team everywhere they play, but the joy it brings me is so worth it.

    • Camilo Oliveira

      Nice to see other football fans here hahaha.
      Which team do you support, Paul?

    • Ross McCay

      I think that is great but there are many cases where people take cheering for sports teams, playing video games, etc. too far. I am from Alabama and it is absurd how serious people treat football here. They root for Alabama (or Auburn) like their incomes and livelihoods depend on it.

      Just in my own experience living here sports taking to extremes can be such a drain on REAL productivity if you consider the amount of time that person could have spent reading books or upgrading their skills in that same amount of time. I love video games but only sparingly play them since I know every hour I spend doing that is an hour I am not writing, working out, reading, etc.

      I know I am rambling a bit but just something to consider.

  162. Mary

    My car. And craft beers. I have no shame in spending the money on the car I love. I have no shame in purchasing the beer I enjoy.

  163. Angie

    I take show jumping lessons (jumping a horse over fences) several times a month. I am also a triathlete which means lots of money on gear, races, equipment, etc. Both sports get me in shape, as well as are a lot of fun. People think I’m insane to do both sports, as they can be difficult, but its my passion. I keep the spending in check to fit within the budget, but definitely will not be giving up either anytime soon.

  164. Ben

    Honestly for me it’s probably tattoos. Between my wife and I we will probably spend upwards of $8-10k on them this year (which is probably 2-3 times higher than normal, but we’re both working on large pieces and want to finish them this year – bi-weekly appointments between the two of us add up). Given our incomes and current situation we can make this work while maintaining our savings and lifestyle, but I think there’s still an element of guilt for both of us – it’s a new feeling to be willing to drop this kind of money on something most people would agree isn’t a necessity, but is definitely a passion for both of us. Luckily considering we are both in our early 30’s we are running out of space / desired work, at which point I think we’ll probably move this income to our travel fund (which is another passion of ours).

  165. Camilo Oliveira

    Love spending money on instruments. I want to buy everything related to drums. Cymbals, sticks, heads, hardware, toms…
    Things related to soccer (of football, you choose). Shirts, tickets to go to stadium, tours, official products, supporter plans, etc.

    Going out at night with my friends is also another thing I don´t mind doing every time I can.

  166. Joel G

    A large discretionary expense is things we use often, where we value quality that performs and lasts beyond options perceived as cheaper, like a VitaMix or a Zojirushi rice cooker. I also think you shouldn’t skimp on your bed, (home) office chair, or your shoes (for comfort and function). You spend a lot of time in each of these.

    Our largest discretionary expense is tuition for children and summer activities. We hope this is an investment that will lower barriers for them in the future.

  167. Crystal

    $25 per ounce white truffle sea salt. It’ll change your life.

  168. tekky

    I know you ask for just the biggest, but a few from me.

    Biggest: Paying down mortgage. Not only did we get flak from my in-laws for buying a house with high cost /sq foot (but it’s close in the city and in a neighborhood we love), but we pay over 100% extra of the payment. The people that know we do this (couple close friends and family) think we are crazy, but the peace of mind that will come soon from having no mortgage payment will make up for it.

    Others: Craft beer. I like good beer (well and liquor), and probably spend ~$100/mo either at a bar or stuff to take home / friends houses. There have also been months where we’ve spent more on alcohol than eating out. I’m by no means an alcoholic (I’m pretty much the only one who drinks it), it’s just combining good beer and new beer is expensive so the quantity or frequency is not much.

    Buying a car that takes premium gas: We own a hybrid, but our other car is a fun ride that takes premium gas. I have a short commute so I only fill it up about once a month.

    Vacation: If we want to go somewhere, we try to make it happen. We do it cheap, but we make it a priority in our budget to save for travel.

  169. Nick M

    Skiing of a varieties. Bought new skis for myself and my wife last year and have been to four different states skiing since. Other than that… Well, I bought a two-seat RWD convertible five years ago that only gets spring and autumn weekend use.

  170. Aidan

    It’s weird but I find that I am happiest when I’m learning. Almost all of my discretionary income goes on books, Ramit’s courses and Muay Thai lessons.

  171. Aimee

    Travel, experiences, and quality education for my family. Things that open eyes and bring clarity to the whole big, beautiful picture (i.e, not so much the fancy jeans).

  172. JC

    I love this topic, Ramit. I bought a brand new Jeep a couple years ago and have spent a lot to modify it. I use it for weekend camping and off-road trips… rock crawling, trail riding, etc. To limit my risk of breaking things and having an issue getting home safely, I bought a truck and trailer to tow the Jeep. All told, I’m into this setup for about $90K!

  173. EF

    I spent 1000 dollars on a really nice bicycle but I sleep on a mat on the floor (I don’t mind) and I don’t have a car. ( I don’t mind) I’m a college student so not alot of money but I know what I value and I know what I am indifferent to. I buy cheap shampoo, keep my hair short, and wear v neck cotton Ts and jeans to class. I spend a fair amount of money on good whole food and babying my bike and cut costs everywhere else.

  174. Scarecroodle

    My biggest discretionary expenses might be on game systems but people don’t give me much crap for it. However, in terms of things that I enjoy and do catch flak for, I’ve paid more than $100 for some Transformers figures which even I would have thought was crazy some years ago.
    However, after regretting that I balked at the price in the past, I realized that the price really doesn’t matter because I have the money in-hand right now and, even if I’m not making a ton of money today, I’ll eventually find myself in a place where I’m making a lot of money anyway.

  175. Ana

    My biggest discretionary expense is a designer purse. Whenever I close a big deal, I buy myself a $2000 Louise Vuitton purse. It gives me the motivation to do the work to close the big deal. If it is a small deal, I buy a nice pair of $100 shoes.

  176. CDR

    I used to get a lot of flak from my co-workers for my love of Designer Sneakers. I really enjoy the way they feel and the way they look. I am now into Giuseppe Zanotti’s. Average cost per sneakers are about $1000 a pair. My most expensive pair were $1395. I have 4 pairs and about 6 pairs of Balenciaga Sneakers, selling for average of $600, if you can find them.

    Being a high school teacher, I would always catch flak about the cost. Of course, they all ask, and are astounded. Oh well. Its my money, I will spend it on what I like. I almost feel like they paid for the shoes and now are offended. (I wasn’t always a teacher & have paid off the house and am happy with my retirement accumulation thus far, with my kid’s college all paid for)

    Hey, I like what I like. I feel I can afford such luxuries…They’re going to hate me next month when my Porsche 911 Cabriolet shows up in the Teachers Parking Lot!!!!

  177. Erica

    Roller derby gear, wheels & travel. It makes me feel amazing to play a game that provides such an amazing exercise high. Since I skate 8-12 hours a week, the items get a lot of use.

  178. Angela

    Massages and facials. Mind you, I do tend to wait for Groupon/Living Social/ etc discount deals, but I’ll buy them ahead of time, save, and use on weekends when I have time. We’re on a bit of a tight budget so even a $30 facial is a splurge. But it’s SO worth it, just for the relaxation, and the feeling of pampering I get. Really helps reduce my stress level, even if it’s just once a month.

  179. Emily Capito

    We are still paying off debt and have been extremely frugal for five years. When we dropped all of our Dave Ramsey momentum and bought our dream home 3 years ago, we were our own biggest critics, but we have no guilt and no regrets.

    Our log home sits on 2.5 acres and is a member of our family now. Besides doubling our mortgage, we’ve invested more than $40K into necessary interior and exterior renovations and then splurged on a $5K spa to boot.

    If we had followed our own rational financial advice – we would have handily paid off the $36K in lingering student loans and socked away $30K+ in retirement savings. But that reality pales in comparison to our daily lifestyle.

    We LIVE our dream vacation every single day. Our home is rejuvenating, instead of just walls with a roof. The luxury of driving down a dirt road to our everyday getaway motivates us to work harder, spend less, and make every minute count as a family.

    It’s the best money we spend every month. Meanwhile our friends are constantly asking us to spend a few hundred here and a few hundred there to go camping or on a trip or out to dinner. We always say no, because we have all the luxury we need at home, even when we’re having past-roni and Franzia.

  180. Dana

    Right now, it’s Starbucks. I know I could make coffee cheaper at my desk, but I love getting away from my department every morning to chat with my favorite baristas and have a drink crafted just for me. My work friend and I go together everyday, and that moment of social interaction is important to me at this point in my life. My priorities may change, but I have no regrets – it’s one of the best parts of my day!

  181. PT

    £25 yoga class 4 times a month with my uber-yoga teacher.

    Initially I used to get raised eyebrows from my husband about this as regular yoga classes are in the £10 mark or even a good gym membership for a month will cost around £30-50.

    Over time, he has understood that I don’t spend this way in all scenarios and that this is ‘conscious spending’ on my part. And we are now cool about it.

  182. Jen

    Personal trainer. People give me all sorts of looks and assume I’m made of money (or that I’m lazy, or any other number of things) when I say I have a personal trainer, but I know that without it, I’d never do anything remotely resembling physical exertion. It’s so important to me that I don’t even pay significant attention to how much it costs; I just tell them to charge my card whenever I need to re-up my session pack. By keeping an eye on my bank account, I know I can be more discretionary in less important spending as needed so I can continue this.

  183. Steve

    Rent !!!

    We live in Silicon Valley. I walk to work!

    Paradise is expensive, but worth it!

  184. Andy

    Books. I probably spend c. $600-700 per year on books, or about $50-60 per month. No regrets. I love reading and I consider it an investment – particularly when I think about everything that reading has done for me, both personally and in my career.

  185. Terra

    Food and DVDs. I am a high carb vegan and end up spending a lot of money on food when eating out because I’d rather spend more and be healthier. I also love to have DVDs of my favorite movies and shows so I’m not at the mercy of Netflix or Hulu when I want to see my favorite shows.

  186. Alex Flores

    Wow, I’m a first time visitor to your blog and I already see what the hype is all about. This is a really liberating concept I’m going to think about. Probably my favorite discretionary spending category (that I have recently stopped due to the overwhelming guilt of being “irresponsible”) is scenic vacations with my wife. We both live very emotionally claustrophobic lives and taking trips like this over our career has been the source for some of our favorite memories as a married couple.

  187. David

    The latest electronic gear, usually Apple related and self-development material (including IWT courses).

  188. Jennifer

    Used to travel a lot – big annual vacation and lots of shorter getaways – used to go to shows when our favorite bands came into town – used to eat out all the dang time at really good places.

    And then my husband and I decided to have kids.

    So now its organic groceries, really good beers, dinner when I just don’t feel like cooking anymore, annual trips to see out-of-state family and those super expensive but really nice looking shoes that you can walk in for hours and still feel your toes at the end of the day.

    All of which just points out that we’ve gotten old. *sigh*

  189. Eddie

    College football tickets. I get season tickets every year. I love the whole experience — the tailgating, the cheering, the long trudge back to the parking lot when my team inevitably loses… When I think about how much money I’ve spent to watch kids play games, I kind of shudder, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  190. Ken

    My wife and I overspend on hotels when we travel.
    We love to travel… and to us it diminishes the experience if we are staying at a run-down place. So we look for clean, new, amazing places. We’ve taken multiple trips where the per-night room fee was $400-500 USD.

  191. Mallorie Williams

    My biggest discretionary expense is probably gas or food. I love eating out and I absolutely love going on drives and exploring. So I spend on gas. I also really love buying film for my camera!

  192. Emily

    1) Weekly personal training – an investment in my current and future well-being
    2) Monthly housecleaning – the team cleans better in an hour than I could spending 5 hours! I pay a premium to hire a company that is cooperatively owned, uses non-toxic cleaning products, and whose mission is to provide opportunities for low-income immigrant women.
    3) Travel to conferences – participating in small, intensive summits in my field around the country keeps me inspired about my job and has built my network of the top people in the field. It’s also great to extend the trip a few days to explore a new part of the country.
    4) Groceries – Not necessarily spending a lot but simply freeing myself not to focus on cost as the primary factor as I choose among grocery items on a shopping trip. Part of a Rich Life for me is going to the grocery store and buying based on what is most going to help me eating nutritiously, not on what is a dollar less.
    5) Taxis for safety – I’ve learned from experience that if I feel unsafe in an urban area at night, it is worth it to take a taxi instead of walking to/waiting at a bus stop.

  193. Jen Burstedt

    Vacation travel. I don’t think twice about spending $1000 or $1500 on a plane ticket for a week or two of travel outside of the US, and I don’t typically travel for small trips, so this money goes towards a big trip to Asia or Europe.

    I think it’s so important for me to travel, see other places and enjoy the rest of the world that I don’t care if it seems like a lot of money.

  194. Linna

    Traveling….and traveling to run marathons. I know it may seem so bizarre to the non-runner, but I absolutely love run-cations with friends…..hey, as long as I’m saving money for retirement, emergency fund, and all these other things, it’s okay, right? 🙂

  195. Susan

    music and art – I set aside $150 a month that goes directly onto my credit card, and buy about that much from indie musicians (bandcamp, patreon, kickstarter, etc) and on-line artists each month. I’ve been doing this for about half a year, and discovered so many cool artists I never would have heard of otherwise.

  196. Ben

    My biggest spending is usually on fitness equipment. I also really like to spend money on mountain bikes. I am a personal trainer and I feel like I am justified when I buy them. My fiancé gives me a hard time and says things like why do you need another kettlebell you have several. She also says where are we going to put all these things.

  197. Bronwyn

    I bought an 1100 square foot condo that I use as an art studio. I am not making enough as an artist YET to justify the expense, but it has been an unbelievable help in believing that I am a real artist, because I have a real studio. And I can afford it.

  198. John

    Experiences and sharing to people who really need!

  199. Cat Braithwaite

    Nobody I know really begrudges me this indulgence, mostly because they know there will always be amazing libations when I’m around… And they will always get great recommendations from me… Hmmmm, new business idea purrrhaps??

  200. Cristina

    Travel! My husband and I have spent about $10k/year on vacations for the past few years (not including more frequent weekend trips), as we had several big trips that we wanted to take before having children.

  201. Jen

    Grooming – I love getting pampered -mani pedis waxing haircuts facials massages.
    Also lunch at work. Though I think id like to swap that one for travel – little trips and big adventures

  202. Julia

    $5,000.00 handbag… Put it on my credit card a year ago, maxed it out, still trying to pay it off…

  203. Kelly

    Orchids. My boyfriend and I spend money on orchids. We try not to tell people how much they cost. We could surely save our money for something else, but we can’t resist. They are so much fun.

  204. Felicia Clemmons

    Food and wine. I am a major foodie and wino. So whenever I get the chance (and the money) I love to spurge on going out to eat and eating more local and generally more expensive food. Plus I am lucky enough to live in an area with lots of local wineries which I love to support.

  205. Emily

    Travel. We (myself, husband and 2 small kids) live in Europe and travel extensively throughout Europe. We love it, and we want to make the most of this limited opportunity (been here 3 years, 1 more year left).

    Yes, people think we’re crazy. And we hear about it all the time — How can we afford it? How can we spend the money on travel when we have high cost of living/school bills/debt?

    It’s worth it. We go without some little things (dinners out, coffee out, movies out) and some big things (we don’t own a car) to make it work, while still paying for other important things (school bills, paying off debt). We’re having experiences worth every penny.

  206. Debbie

    I have two children and five close family members who want to complete their education. I look forward to the day that I can pay for tuition AND books for those I love who earnestly want to complete their higher learning.

  207. Dominic

    I love cooking and eating. I’m a great cook so when I go out to eat I want to go to a restaurant that makes food I can’t make myself.

    I once spent $800 at a single dinner at The French Laundry for me and my wife. I’m currently saving to go to its sister restaurant, Per Se NY, where I expect to spend $900 for the two of us. I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

    Plus had, and will have, to pay for flights and hotels to get there.

  208. Whitney H.

    TRAVEL! I don’t go bonkers and stay in 5 star hotels, but I take my family to every place I can (including out of country).

  209. Ned

    Gardening supplies! Not your typical 25 yr. old male discretionary expense. Gardening brings me great joy and a few hundred dollars sustains months of work, tinkering, and fresh produce on the table. All that matters is that it makes me happy and I’m happy to forego other luxuries to have a lavish garden.

  210. Robyn

    GROCERIES! I love to cook– it’s a good stress reliever and I love good food. I have no problem splurging on groceries so I can cook gourmet meals at home. I don’t go out to eat as much as my colleagues or friends do but I’m always the envy of the lunchroom 🙂

  211. Kyle

    I will spend anywhere from $50-$120 per week on Organic foods and supplements. I figure Im investing into myself and it does makes me feel great and helps with training.

  212. Macy

    I work hard at saving my money and don’t really have much “stuff” that I want. There are some exceptions- and my favorite one is my Coach Diaper Bag. When I was expecting my first child nearly 6 years ago I had orginally bought a very utilitarian, no frills, no thrills diaper bag. And then I had very difficult birthing experience followed by unexpected health complications. By the time baby and I made it home, that utilitarian diaper bag just wasn’t going to cut it for me. So I told my husband that I was going to get the bag of my dreams and went to the local Coach store. There I found a bag I loved that would hold all of my baby items and look great on my arm. Suddenly, instead of feeling like a run-down new mom, I felt hip, stylish, and exhausted. As my child grew, the diaper bag has stayed with me and become my everyday bag for work. By now the bag is showing quite a bit of wear and tear.

    I am expecting my second child in just two weeks and this time I didn’t hesitate. I have already purchased my next Coach diaper bag and feel no shame. It’s a very functional bag (which is a must in my world) and gorgeous. I was lucky enough to find this retail bag in the outlet store and saved nearly 50% off the sticker price. But the cold, honest truth? I would have shelled out full price for it if I had to. It means that much to me.

  213. Nick

    I spent my entire holiday bonus on a swanky espresso machine and matching coffee grinder. There’s nothing better than waking up on the weekends and making myself a huge breakfast and enjoying a proper latte.

  214. P

    I spend about 100 a month on (recreational) soccer dues for the various teams I play on. I’m overall happier and sleep better when I play. I sprained my ankle in a game last year and couldn’t play for a few months while recovering, and just felt horrible the entire time. It’s an expensive hobby, and I could potentially get hurt again, but it’s all worth it. My family think it’s crazy due to the costs, but even they have noticed my level of happiness when I’m playing vs not playing (due to injury).

  215. Thao

    I like to shop clothes online. If I had money, I would buy clothes everyday. I spend more than 500 for the previous shopping. It’s a big deal for a starving student.

  216. James

    UBER, UBER UBER this is one of my favorite expenses – it’s a bigtime splurge depending on the distance but I love not having to drive or take public transit sometimes

    • Rob

      Hell yes. Uber black car FTW! I’ve had Uber pick me up and drive me around town to do my errands before. So awesome.

  217. Chris Collins

    Stylish jackets. Every day I wear a stylish jacket I get compliments. Way more worth my $100-$250 than an expensive pair of jeans in my opinion.

  218. Daniel

    I would say Travel by sheer numbers. I spend the most discretionary income on travel. Be it small trips back to my hometown. Or awesome domestic trips, or international travel.
    In terms of something more regular, it’s going out to nice dinners. They lady and I love going out to sushi

  219. Paul

    My travel spending is the biggest expense by far, I spend about 7000 a year for trips with zero regrets.

    Honestly, my day job just isn’t memorable, and it’s the trips for my wife and I that I work for and remember forever.

    Family won’t say out loud any specific judgements, but I can tell they think we overspend. They constantly talk about how expensive things are, and their focus on cost and scarcity gets old fast.

  220. Greg

    I use my discretionary spending primarily on adult hockey . I wish I played during my youth. I use it as an additional form of exercise and mental strengthener.

  221. Jazzdelaney

    I love flying! I saved up my surplus after implementing Ramit’s automated finance strategies & 3 years ago I spent about 15k getting my private pilot license. Since it’s a perishable skill that needs to be practiced to be safe, I spend around $500/month on flying & associated activities. The hardest part has been making room in the discretionary budget so that my wife can have $500/month too for her guilt-free spending (clothes & shoes)!!!

  222. Leah

    $90 a month for a Krav Maga studio membership. Yes, I could work out at home for free, but I wasn’t doing it. Yes, I could join a gym for $10 a month, but gyms suck. So, that’s my biggest crazy spending.

  223. Pete

    Lunch at Eleven Madison Park!

  224. Nils Davis

    The guiltiest of my pleasures is the >$300/month I spend on media services – cable, Internet, Spotify, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Netflix, NFL RedZone, etc. It’s a bit hard to justify, given how little of it I watch/listen to on a daily basis. Combine that with my smart phone data plan and we’re talking a large monthly nut. But, I love having all that stuff, so it’s a guilty pleasure.

    Other stuff I spend money on – great meals, nice hotels when I travel, cocktails, travel – no guilt involved. Can’t do as much as I want (i.e., two-three trips to Europe a year not in the budget at the moment) but all totally worth it.

  225. K

    For me, it’s beauty products/make-up. I could spend God knows how much money in Sephora if I let myself. Part of it is the thrill, I’ll research all the newest latest and greatest online forever then when I go in and finally buy that new face cream, or concealer, etc. I’m so pumped for it. For my husband, it’s entertainment. Basically, when he actually goes out to dinner, he likes to literally hunker down at a place for HOURS and drink, order food every hour or so, and make a whole day/night of it. As you can imagine, when this does happen… it’s very expensive.

    My husband used to think my beauty product obsession is silly, and I used to be like holy shit! We spent HOW much for all day drinks and food!? But basically, we came to the conclusion, neither is stupid, it’s just what what we like. I enjoy my beauty splurges and he likes his night out splurges/spending on experiences. So now, we both respect each other’s likes and work ways to fit it into our budget, no nagging, no flak from the other person.

  226. steve sweeney

    I love this topic – and I do my best to be “smart” with my money & take care to avoid unnecessary money hemorrhages but will unabashedly drop a good chunk on a new surf or snow toy. I work hard, my family is taken care of, and it makes me happy (the activity and by extension the toy).

  227. Rachel

    It’s a toss up between books, lunches, and the occasional pair of shoes. I do hear about it when my husband sees – especially the paranormal romance novels.

  228. Sharon L.

    My hobbies–and which ones are primary at any given time changes on a nearly yearly basis. I generally spend $100-300/month on whatever my current passion is, which may include papercrafting, theatrical/Hallowe’en makeup, gardening, playing bagpipes or ukulele, graphic novels, and is currently tabletop board games.

  229. Kate

    I spend money on books and antique/vintage dolls. Those are my largest discretionary spending areas.

    Travel would probably be next on the list, but I spend significantly less on travel than I do on the other two.

  230. Lisa Braithwaite

    My husband and I eat out a lot, do a lot of wine tasting and buy a lot (for us) of wine. The eating out isn’t always for fun; sometimes we just have long exhausting days and I don’t want to cook. But we do have a standing breakfast appointment every Saturday and one or two favorite restaurants we hit every week or so. We just love good food!

    We don’t get flak from people — if they’re thinking it, they keep it to themselves. Mostly people enjoy our Facebook pictures of our delicious meals and wine!

  231. Gemma

    Books! Literature, fantasy, politics, psychology, sociology, children’s. I’ll buy more expensive versions if they are made of nicer paper, have a preferable font size, smell right, are beautifully illustrated, feel nice to touch, and/or have a good heft about them.

    My husband and I also go driving together, (date night isn’t date night without a long drive), and never mind the fuel or wear and tear on the vehicle.

  232. Alicia

    I would say my biggest discretionary spending item the past year, other than my new car, a cheap Hyundai Elantra, which I take for commute to work, is my Vitamix, around $500 from Costco!

    I had no qualms about buying it, since I use it all the time, when baking, making smoothies or grinding up almonds into flour or butter! I figured since it’ll last me quite a while, I’d be better off buying a good blender, rather than a cheap one that won’t last as long or isn’t as powerful.

  233. Jose

    Fancy nut butter (cashew, almond, walnut). At 12 to 18$ a jar (compared to 2$ peanut butter), I consider this an extravagance

  234. Nathan

    Good coffee and Craft beer! I occasionally get flak for it until I offer those people a taste and they change their mind! 🙂

  235. Matt

    Shoes. Nothing beats having a nice pair of hand-made leather shoes. Also, custom suits. Having a well-made, tailored suit that fits your body well is so much better than buying anything off the rack. In my experience, women seem to notice the extra sharpness too.

  236. Angie

    I had no intention whatever of purchasing a second vehicle. When my boss offered me a deal on his late father’s convertible, I decided to be crazy as hell and bought it It’s a ridiculous extravagance but darn, it is so fun!

  237. Shawn G.

    Cycling gear. Bikes. Apparel. Everything. It’s my one thing. Absolutely love it!

  238. Laura

    I probably spend $450 per month on fitness activities. Here’s a sample breakdown:
    -Flywheel once/week at $22 with (20-pack discount) = $88
    -Pilates once/week at $24 (after 20-pack discount) = $96
    -Tread (lifting/treadmill class) once/week at $15 (after 20-pack discount) = $60
    -2 race entry fees at ~$100 each = $200
    My apartment has a gym, so I’m able to work out independently the other days.

    Worth every penny to me because I love those classes / experiences so much!

  239. Kaley Kaul

    Scented candles and I just signed up for a monthly massage membership!

  240. Harvey

    My biggest expense is suits and shirts. I used to dress like a peasant and felt terrible because it. Now I wear nice clothes that actually fit and I feel much better for it.
    Even though it makes me much happier people still give me crap for it “Why do you need so many shirts? Why would spend that much on a shirt?”

  241. Cesar S Falcao

    Tech stuff. 2 things (I regret) – a high end video card for my computer and an iPhone, both brutally expensive in Brazil.
    Quit buying both, still love ’em but now I use those money with stuff useful for the whole family, not just me.
    Now I have a Xbox360 and I’m saving for a Moto G or X.

  242. Anne Reuss

    Travel and personal training, but more on the latter recently. The amount of money I’ve spent on it so far could go towards at least one lavish Europe vacation, but I’ve never felt so content and am addicted to the challenge of improving my fitness abilities. Exercising is almost always my favorite part of the day and I’ve come closer to my goals in three months than I did in six months without a trainer. I’v been told I could be paying off my student loans faster, move to the city, and all that jazz but this is what works to have some version of the ‘rich life’.

  243. Ditas

    Spending thousands of dollars on coaching and personal development, hoping I can get myself to do something with a higher purpose while affecting someone’s life in a BIG, positive way. I also purchased, guilt-free a $3k Philip Stein watch as a gift to myself during one of my cruise trips to the Caribbean, but realized I probably didn’t need it anyway.

  244. Andrea

    I will always spend money on eating out with friends. Always. It’s a shared experience that brings us endless amounts of entertaining conversation & laughs and where the real connections in my life happen. And I spend money on cameras & film. I am not outgoing and prefer to observe the world from behind a camera. I try to be a bit thrifty about my purchases, but I never feel guilty about them. I work really hard and I do it so that I can live large in the way that I want. I also live in a beautiful but minuscule apartment because I don’t choose to spend my money on space and I don’t choose to spend my time cooking or cleaning. It’s the right balance for me.

  245. Eric

    Travel: I travel as much and as often as I can, and I generally select where I go and what I really want to do without considering the price.

    Dinners out with friends: when going out with friends, I don’t worry about how much I spend on food, drinks, whatever. Just focus on going out and having a great time with people I care about.

  246. Lisa

    My dog Lola is my primary discretionary expense. I pay for her monthly flea/heartworm preventative medicine, grooming, food, treats, and pet insurance. She is totally worth it of course. She is affectionate, funny, non-judgmental, a good listener, and a people magnet.

    • Beth

      Good call…I definitely spend a chunk on my 2, especially since they’re still young and getting all vacc’ed up…but wouldn’t have it any other way! Those wagging tails just wipe those thoughts of the money right out of my mind!

  247. Kathryn Taylor

    Here are two:

    1.)valet parking
    2.)education in my area of interest – I recently spent nearly $5,000 on a course in the field I want to move into. Flak? Yes. How I felt about it, the people I met through it, my excitement for my future about it? INCREDIBLE.

  248. Lori

    Traveling. Even then I travel on the cheap seeking the best price for plane tickets, hotel rooms, food, and gasoline (love Gas Buddy!). The challenge of traveling on the cheap is part of the fun, actually.

  249. Kyana

    Organic food, skin care, and quality vitamin supplements . I have spent $300 on supplements. I only buy organic. I like wild caught salmon. I like to feel good and what I put in my body should be the best of the best. No one understood this before. But now that I’ve had two babies, I’m in my 30’s, and I have tons of energy and great skin, people are starting to get it!

  250. Mel

    *Books (old school style) and ebooks for kindle from amazon, as well as magazines.

    Also shopping with convenience- it often saves money, and most importantly time and energy.

    Great veg food (eating out), organic vegetables and ingredients to cook with, quality natural products that go on my body

    social experiences- connecting with friends, dating, and meeting new people doesn’t always have to be expensive but if it sometimes means spending a little extra at a venue, restaurant, at the movies, or for transportation this is often worth it.

  251. Kevin

    I love to eat out! I am not a fan of cooking and I don’t mind dropping a few bucks at restaurants. My friends don’t give me flak because they know I’m good at managing my finances. People who don’t know me sometimes give me flak by saying, “Think of all the money you’ll save by cooking at home.” I always tell them, “All that time it takes me to cook and do dishes, I can use that time to make more money, figure out ways of making more money, or use that time to do whatever I want to do with it.” Thus making all my dining experiences guilt free!

  252. Aravind

    Tennis Lessons-200$/month. My friends look at me like I am crazy, but I love playing and getting better at it.

  253. Amy

    Weekly MAT sessions at 100/a pop. Look it up, it’s seriously amazing! I’m a big self improvement junkie, so there is always something I’m splurging on every few months. I also did some pretty bad damage at the outlet last week – consider it an investment in myself. I do feel guilty every now and then, but it passes. I know it all continues to pay off on a daily basis, so there’s that.

  254. Colin

    Definitely traveling, either to explore a new place or see an old friend. I can plan a long weekend trip and spend 1K easily….

  255. Chris

    I’m really into coffee, so last year I bought a $300 Technivorm (that’s an auto drip coffeemaker mind you, not an espresso machine) and a Baratza grinder (which is another $100+). Some people thought I was nuts spending 6 times as much as most people do for a coffeemaker, but I was ecstatic about my purchase. I use it at least a couple times daily!

  256. Becca Tilley

    I eat out. I hate cooking/grocery shopping/planning what to eat. I loooove cafes and nice places to eat. It’s something I try to keep to a manageable amount with my income so I don’t have to feel guilty about it. But that’s pretty much all I spend money on. I don’t buy makeup, clothes, shoes, handbags etc like a lot of women. (clothes shopping is a once-a-year kinda thing, and shoes as they fall apart only…) I get a haircut every 3 months and just hope that the fact I don’t spend money on that crap, or magazine subscriptions, or alcohol, or smokes, etc can justify my food habit! haha.

  257. Laura

    Clothes! Have an odd taste in clothes and people think its unusual, but I love it.

  258. Brad

    Traveling to Amsterdam every few months to enjoy what it offers…

  259. christina

    Food!!! That is my biggest expense along with travel, health( acupuncture, medical bills). I spend $300-$00 a month, and it’s for myself. I have gotten flak over it but it doesn’t matter. I need the food, I am underweight anyway.

  260. Heidi

    My biggest discretionary expense used to be books – I could happily spend an entire paycheck on books, back in the day.

    These days, that money’s been shifted to pay for visits to the coffee shop; as a new-ish mom, I’ve started leaving the baby at home with daddy a few mornings a week while I go to the coffee shop and get some “me” time. At first I felt guilty for the amount of money I was spending – and then I compared it to the value of getting out and away, and I realized I could spend ten times as much as I do and it would still be worth it! (Ok, I also still spend money on books – but I mostly only ever get to read them at the coffee shop!)

  261. Money

    Hookers and blow!

  262. AnnaMarie

    I spend guilt-free on traveling, shopping for clothes, jewelry and dining out. When I have the extra cash or I’ve saved for my goal I will spend it guilt-free. When I travel I have one-three months living saved and my trip is already paid-off before I left for my trip. I love shopping when I travel so I don’t worry about being broke.

  263. Bukka

    I go out to dinner at least once per week without regard to cost, I buy the highest quality groceries I can find, and I’ll hop on a plane to Vegas overnight if my wife or friends want to go. Sadly, most of the people I know find all these expenditures hard to swallow, and couldn’t imagine doing it themselves.

  264. VS

    I have a personal trainer who is $160 per one-hour session. I just started, but I honestly need to get more serious about it though since I haven’t made much progress towards my athletic goals.

  265. Rafael

    Shoes, food and travel. Not in that specific order, but man do I enjoy each of them. People always say why do I spend so much on shoes and food. Those two things get the most flak but people just don’t understand. I want to look good and eat well. Simple as that. Oh and travel usually involves planning new places to eat, and fitting in sight seeing in between.

  266. sanidhya

    I usually spend much on food and sports crazy things

  267. Theresa W.

    While I only work three days a week, I’m still able to take overseas trips every year (in addition to living abroad full-time). While I can’t afford to eat out or drop tons of money on going to bars, I think nothing of spending hundreds of dollars on plane tickets.

    As I always tell people, I’d rather buy memories than things.

  268. Mike

    Music concerts (rock, metal etc). VIP tickets to meet the band at $100? Sign me up. $100 to have a private lesson from the guitarist of Nile – done (twice, booyah!). Ordering limited-release obscure death metal bands back catalogue from Germany – meh, don’t even break a sweat. Or buying a monsterously large tube amp on Craigslist because it has some mods done to it that you like? Yeah I drove 200+ miles for that one just so that I can scare the kids the next town over when I turn it up. I get so much hate at work for this: “…but Mike what about having a smart phone or ?”.

  269. Edward

    My Biggest discretionary expense, besides buying a car for my dad, was purchasing audiophile grade floor standing speakers along with the supporting equipment for myself(48k). I love listening to music and it was time I bought something strictly for my indulgence. The 12 year old Bose system was obsolete.
    People’s reactions were different – “So much money – what’s so special”. They listened and they wowed..
    My mum ” so much money – anyway you worked for it – it’s ok”.
    It’s the best discretionary expense I have made that gives me immense pleasure .

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  271. Star Khechara

    For me, health is my wealth. I spend a LOT of money on high quality Organic and unusual food. I eat a high-raw diet and I love juicing. I’ve often spent £200 a week on my grocery shopping. The other day I bought a tiny jar of black Hawaiian salt for £8. I probably have an obsession lol. I also love to invest in my brain by buying courses and books. I rent an expensive house too because I needed a place with a certain sized kitchen for all of my artisan ingredients and gadgets.

  272. ihab battawi

    well for me what i really enjoy spending my money on is Art and Designs books specially if it was on how to design or how to draw. basically i notice i always buy self improvement books and tools to help me to improve my design and art skills. also i buy cooking books and if i have the chance i buy limited edition video games and strangely i like buying large beer mugs. other than that any thing that will caught my eye or i need it then i will buy it. while at the same time, even though i like spending on those stuff i like to save money do you know this simple rule? if you save your money you will be able to buy or do more things because you can and the quality of your purchase will increase.

    thanks Ramit for the nice newsletter

  273. Loz

    My biggest discretionary purchase is an MMA gym membership. The gym is right by my office and offers classes before work, so even though it is an expensive membership, it is great value compared with other gyms that charge per class.

    People baulk when they hear the monthly cost (and I did, too) of $200 per month, but $5-10 per hour for coaching is a great price in this city!

  274. Gwen

    Biggest money guzzler is my lifting habit. I’m a powerlifter and occasional runner, and I spend a lot of money on the gym, supplements, events, gym clothes… but most of all, good food. Steak, veggies, greek yogurt, tons of eggs, tea, whatever I want. I will buy my jeans in thrift shops and never go out to the pub if it means I don’t have to worry about the cost of what I put in my body.

  275. Tim Ellis

    Travelling for parties. I’m a rave DJ and often get paid to travel to a show, but sometimes there’s a great show happening across the continent that I’m not playing, and I’ll just hop a plane and go.

    I rationalize it by telling myself that I’m networking, but let’s be real, I’m out there to have a good time and party.

    I have zero regrets. The stories I’ve earned will keep my grandkids entertained for decades.

  276. Conor Pendergrast

    Good food. I love getting great, high-quality ingredients and making tasty meals. I also love buying high-quality spirits to mix up some tasty cocktails.

  277. Justin

    Salsa dancing. I pay $150 per month for my salsa school’s premium membership which allows me to attend any classes I like. This means I can go to beginner classes or lower levels to perfect my moves, and also take “specialty” classes like bachata, as well as be in a performance group. I spend about 9 hours in the studio per week which works out to about $4.16 per hour.

    I could have used this money to pay off my credit card even faster but at this point I enjoy it so much and have made so many great friends that I go there to just to destress after work. And the health benefits have been enormous as well. I’ve lost 10 lbs since February and fit into some old pairs of pants again.

    Just knowing I can dance well, and that I’m able to learn these things, gives me a great sense of confidence. It was something I never thought I’d be able to do until I took a chance on a cheap dance package. Dancing closely with a lot of women is pretty awesome too.

    • Varia

      I pay about $130 for salsa classes every 6 weeks as well… I wish my dance school offered that kind of flexible membership! I have to pay for every additional class that I take (though with a slight discount) so that limits me a bit. Right now I’m also learning Kizomba, but I still need to do Bachata & Zouk… not to mention all the specific workshops within salsa! P.S. latin dance is awesome 🙂 it’s great to meet guys that genuinely enjoy learning it as well!

  278. Elizabeth

    This changes over time but right now it is definitely travel. I have taken 3 international trips in the past 5 months and have 2 more planned in the next 2 months. That is mainly because we are living abroad for a year and taking advantage of it to visit lots of other places that are closer now.

    Before this year it was restaurants. Unless you count Ramit’s courses…

  279. Julie

    The house that I rent. Definitely would not be considered a luxury by many but I opt to live alone in a 3 bedroom house on a private horse farm with rolling pastures, horses, vineyards, trees, total nature surrounding me. I get $10 million views for a fraction of that cost each month and even though it’s a stretch it’s totally and completely worth it.

    • Varia

      Just thought I’d say this sounds AMAZING. Respect!

  280. Hemal

    My latest big expense was buying 2 new 27-inch monitors for my office, I did not cut any costs, because the increase in productivity would return my expense in no time.

    I also don’t care how much coffee costs at local coffee shops or Starbucks, gimme! =P

  281. George

    My biggest discretionary expense is training courses. I love the idea of learning “the” thing that will get me out of where I am. I enjoy the chase, I enjoy the purchase, I enjoy starting the course …. the finishing, not so much.

  282. Phil

    Travel, travel, travel.

    Yes, I spend thousands seeing the world and yes people frequently chide me for “running away” from reality or not “settling down”, but I see learning more about the world and myself as the ultimate investment and it gives me real perspective.

    P.S I read your email a little too quickly and thought it said “Or just buying the Goat you’ve been eyeing for 2 years….”! haha

  283. Vickie

    I am about to go on a dream trip to Bali and Singapore with my daughter…actually I’m meeting her in Bali. This trip is costing several thousand dollars just in the airfare and hotels. Plus I have been spending like a woman on a mission just getting gear for the trip…need a new camera? Check. Kindle for the 20 hour flight? check. And on and on… I leave in a few days and I am super excited.

  284. Nicole

    Juice (at least a few hundred bucks per month) and my fancy gym/club membership. It’s the best money I spend all month.

  285. Laura

    Travel. I have been paying almost $1,000/month paying back my student loans for the last three years (only two more months to go!!), but all of my extra money has gone to travel. In the last three years I have been across Canada, the States, to Europe, West Africa, the Caribbean and Central America. Every penny has been worth it.

  286. Beth

    My biggest discretionary expense (other than ZTL just recently) is my dance studio membership at $125/month and I can’t live without it. The 5 or so hours I spend there a week is the only thing that keeps me shiny, happy, and upright a lot of weeks.

  287. Hannah Stephenson

    I spend around $250-$300 a month on makeup. I could easily crank this up to $500 some months but then it wouldn’t be guilt-free!

  288. Bill R

    I am slowly migrating my closet to have only custom tailored shirts. They start at $100 and go up from there, but I love how they fit, how I can customize them with different fabrics and stitching. It gives me a one-of-a-kind shirt that I KNOW will fit me well.

    I have also discovered that I prefer writing with a fountain pen. People don’t understand how I can spend $50 on a pen (that doesn’t even include INK!!), but I really enjoy the act of writing. I’m not an author or poet, I just enjoy writing. I take notes in pen, write my journal in pen. It is relaxing and I love the feel of a well balanced pen that glides across the page.

  289. jacqueline

    Jewelry is my big splurge. I am jewelry fanatic, and maintained a jewelry budget even when I was completing my undergraduate degree when I had a $30/week grocery, $35/week entertainment and $20/week clothing and miscellaneous budget.

    I have had so many naysayers give me flak over the years, but the irony is that I have always been a good saver and have never had any debt, whereas many of them can’t say the same. I’ve always maintained that you make room for the things you love if you cut back on the things you don’t care about. The things I love just happen be bright and shinny.

  290. Emily

    I reviewed my American Express year-end summary report by vendor and the top two were Delta Air Lines and Lululemon! I love traveling and working out and will spend a significant amount of guilt-free money on both. Yes, I understand that I can buy a pair of yoga pants that cost $28 instead of $128 but if they (a) keep me motivated, (b) make me feel confident, and (c) are within by budget, why do you care?!

  291. Michael

    Self-help books. I guess I spend around £10-20 a month.

    I live in hope they will transform my life. So far, not! But I’m sure I’ll keep buying them.

    And restaurant meals with my girlfriend. Since she lives in London, that adds up quickly. I guess £30-60 a month. Maybe more with drinks.

  292. Ryan

    A signed Mariano Rivera jersey with the 2009 world series and 2009 inaugural season patches. Absolutely stunning in its frame. $935 plus $175 for the framing.

  293. Somudro

    My biggest expense after rent is plane tickets.

  294. Joyner

    Anything and everything! Although, if you consider that we systematically put money aside every month for travel and for “home projects,” then I guess travel would be our biggest discretionary expense. Outside of that, it depends on the month. Some months we eat out more often, others we might splurge on some tech gadget. Sporting events. We definitely spend guilt-free on musicals, plays, and concerts. I think our close friends and family know that we have a good system that works for us, so we don’t really catch any flak for it. But if I were to guess which of these expenses they find the most frivolous, I’d guess it’s all the visits to the theater district.

  295. NV

    A holiday house on a tropical island. If you’re smart about where and what you buy and how you run it, you can end up making a profit while creating a rejuvenating place for yourself and your paying guests. It actually ends up making me money rather than costing me any- that’s always the biggest surprise to people who think I’ve spent more than I can afford!

  296. Rob

    High-end booze. I will frequently spend > $100 on a single bottle of Cognac/Scotch/Armagnac/Tequila.

    Funny thing is it’s complete opposite of the way I behave with wine. Give me a case of Trader Joe’s Zin and I’m perfectly happy.

  297. DC

    A new digital camera ($500) and family vacation trips ($2000)

  298. Dayton

    Nothing does more for my well-being than spending time around a table with friends eating good food and drinking good drinks. Sometimes doing that costs nothing, sometimes the bill makes you gasp a bit, but ALWAYS worth it.

  299. Eric

    Ramit’s courses.

  300. Nathaniel

    I enjoy spending on trips, vacations, getaways, amusement parks, restaurants, and cultural events. We live in an area with numerous attractions that are interesting, enriching and fun. It’s a great feeling when I can provide those things for my wife and children. Doing so guilt-free is even sweeter.

  301. Bob Loblaw

    Yep -tech and travel

  302. Kristy

    I spend on vintage clothing. They fit well, and most of them are great deals. No flak on spending from others.

    I give myself flak:
    – I feel I have too much (or too much that isn’t high quality)
    – I need to curate my collection and cull down what I already have

    I plan ahead for what I know I’ll spend on, so if a question is ever raised, I explain I’ve been saving for x amount of time, and that the expense is no issue at all.

  303. Denise Duffield-Thomas - AKA "The Lucky Bitch"

    I love spending money on my hair… I never used to, but I realised that having good hair actually MAKES me money.


    When I have good hair, I’m inspired to make videos. When I make videos, I make more money selling my programs. Easy as that.

    I used to feel guilty about how much I spent on my hair – but not anymore. It’s practically an investment in my business!

  304. Chantal B.

    Expensive children’s clothes and shoes…very expensive children’s clothes…what can I say, I just love when the little girly looks super-cute 😉

    The brands I buy (Persnickety, Matilda Jane, Well Dressed Wolf, Joyfolie) do resell well as long as the items are still in great condition…but I’d probably still buy even if the resale wasn’t as great as it is…

    I haven’t gotten any flak about my kiddie clothing habit (though once or twice it has been implied) but I know many others who do!

  305. Rajiv

    I am known for spending money on food. That’s where most of my expenses go. I don’t spend money on clothes or tech gadgets everyday. I got a new laptop after my 7-year old laptop gave in. My friends are sometimes surprised why I don’t spend money on alcohol all that much. I just tell them that my expenditures are based on my priorities. Alcohol is not one of them. I’d rather try new food items at new locations.

  306. Nathaniel brown

    I spend $300 a month for a full time maid/cook/baby sitter that lives in our house (works 6 days a week)

    This makes my wife happy since we live in China.

  307. Peter Ottes

    Tools are a big point of spending. Woodworking, chainsaws. I see them as ways to be creative as well as self sufficient. The more I learn with my hands the more diverse I can be.

  308. David

    Cigarettes & Whisky & Wild Wild Women!

  309. Chinook Traveller

    Education and experience! Travel, learning…the two are inseparable. And a good cabernet sauvignon.

    Meet your targets, then reward yourself and your family/friends as able. You can’t take it with you. That being said, ensure you have enough (carefully consider what enough is…once you rid the noose of debt it isn’t a lot), and then enjoy giving it away to yourself, your family, your friends, and those in need.

    Use what you have, and take only what you need (Katie Lundon).

  310. The smaller dollar

    I definitely spend more than I should on board games. I enjoy playing them, I enjoy spending time with friends who play them, I enjoy everything about the social and mental experience they provide, and it shows in my spending.

  311. Carmyn

    Travel! I love visiting new countries and cultures, and probably spend $5,000-10,000 per year on travel both in the US and abroad. Usually, criticism sounds something like, “Must be nice to not have to pay for kids or a house…”

  312. Jessica

    Roller derby gear–Skates specifically. Wheels, trucks, bearings, plates, boots…Right now I’m saving up for some custom Antiks with Avenger plates that are probably going to run me over 1k when it’s all said and done. Don’t care what anyone says about it though, because I love it!

  313. alison

    Horses. I will do without almost everything except my horses.

  314. C. Anne Tipton

    I have food and clothes delievered.

    Food- Organic, local, fresh produce, eggs, and meat- to my door every week. Because it’s the best quality you can buy, and because it is there I am much more likely to eat the way I should. Monthly cost for the hubby and I +$500.

    Clothes- I subscribe to a clothing service that deliveres clothes in my size (think Netflix for clothes). They do all the shopping, maintainence, dry cleaning, ect- and I get to wear fancy new dresses, blazers, and tops almost every day. I look better, feel more confident, and spend much less time with laundry! At $100/mth- it’s worth every penny!

    I have certianly gotten some eye rolls about both of these, but I don’t mind! It’s my rich life, and I’ll spend as I want to!

  315. Benjamin

    I like spending my spare cash on food and sports training gear. Whenever there is a good opportunity to be involved in a seminar or training event, I try to prioritize those, but such purchases are usually larger and require more forethought.

  316. Jordan Ayer

    I love spending money on entertainment and fun times. Roller coasters, movies, concerts, horseback riding are all some of the things I love being able to spend money on and enjoy!

  317. Lifeinsurancereviews

    Food! Lately I have been eating out for nearly every meal and it does get expensive but it’s worth it. I don’t like to think about how much it adds up to but it’s not cheap….

  318. Paris

    Food, make more money options and things for my son

  319. Judith

    High-quality food, travel to Europe to see family (and elsewhere) and gorgeous lingerie, usually French.

  320. Enzo Falco

    Travelling.. I am not from the States and last month I spent 35 days travelling across the US from NYC to Austin and then San Diego. Awesome!! All I have I spend it on travelling!!

  321. Annie

    I’m currently spending a huge chunk of savings travelling to a few places I’ve always wanted to visit. Our experience so far has been amazing. What’s been sad is the negative reactions from a lot of family members who think we’re crazy. They don’t understand why we’re not using that money to buy a tiny one bedroom London studio tied into a long expensive mortgage and have become quite bitter about it all!

  322. mehdi

    My biggest discretionary expense would be on buying expensive shoes, I just feel better and more comfortable wearing them and also they provide greater durability.

  323. L.

    Most of the things I love really are either cheap or free but I have two financial indulgences. Spending intelligently on each of them actually allows me to do more of both than most people think I “should” do. People sometimes ask me, “how are you doing this considering how broke you’ve been all these years?” I tell them, “well I’m not broke anymore, for one thing, and for another, you’d be amazed how much you can get for next to nothing if you go through the right channels.” Actually even within my “indulgence” areas, I spend as little money as I can on things I don’t really care much about and go wild with the things I really love.

    One indulgence is the area I choose to live in, a few miles from the coast of California. Most people who don’t live here tell me I am insane to stay because of how much it costs. Most people who live around here stay for a couple of years and then move somewhere cheaper, possibly in a hailstorm of expletives about how they can’t stand to pay $1000 a month for a studio apartment anymore. Okay, good! You don’t value being here? Leave! More rental options for me. I have lived here most of a decade and refuse to leave. The actual place I live in is anything but fancy; it’s a 1-bedroom cabin the size of a postage stamp, but I am in heaven here. I live in the mountains where nobody can find me unless I want them to, and yet I can drive 20 minutes and be in town or at the ocean, or drive a couple of hours and be in practically any kind of urban or natural environment I want. I don’t freeze my butt off every winter. It’s a good home base for a budget traveler – I’m two bus lines away from both an international airport and an Amtrak station. I fit in here socially – thousands of artists and spiritually focused people all over this area. It is extremely safe; you can generally walk alone at night without worrying much. The city subsidizes hundreds of recreational events; you can take self-defense classes for $60 here that would cost you hundreds in the next county. There’s so much public art and music you get more culture walking to the laundromat here than you do in most museums. You want $1300 a month to live in the middle of that? Shut up and take my money! LOL! Seriously, there are places where I could get twice the space for half the price, but I’d be miserable, so what’s the point? The cost of housing itself is astronomical but the value of living here is actually exceptional. This area is perfectly suited to my interests and temperament.

    I do have another indulgence – a mixed crafting and collecting hobby – I have been madly in love with scale dollhouses and miniatures since I was a child, and as soon as I had any discretionary income at all I started doing miniature crafting and collecting. It can be either a very cheap hobby or a very expensive one depending on how crafty you are and what you’re trying to do. I don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a lot of materials and a lot of amazing collectibles thanks mostly to eBay, and I love spending hours crafting something, but I’m very particular about the dollhouse kits and the dolls I use. I bought myself a dollhouse kit for Christmas that cost about $200. Yeah, I am in my 30s and I spent $200. On a dollhouse kit. For me. Sometimes I will also spend $100 or more on a single five-inch-tall figure if it is the exact right porcelain doll. I do have to budget wisely and save up for these things, but when I can, I spend the money without compunction. And why shouldn’t I?

    This is why I work. So I can live in the best place on earth, and have the most beautiful dolls and dollhouses imaginable.

    • Vava

      the place you’re describing sounds exactly what we’re looking for in CA – what’s the name of the town?

  324. Piyush Kayastha

    I spend money on car parts and all things related to modifying cars.

  325. Breezy Kimerly

    I really thought about this and I realized, I don’t spend on myself. Every expensive thing I take pride in was a gift.

    The biggest “just for me” expense I splurged on, was $25 of yarn, which I used to make things for other people. . .

    Wow, I have some adjusting to do!

  326. javier

    I’ve been spending on adult webcam sites. I think i may have a problem. I like to get drunk, and tip them well. Jk :p

    Pretty much I like spending on food, and video games. I admit that I do eat junk food snacks, but also buy a lot of vegetarian foods.

  327. Daniel

    I just bought a pair of $500 men’s shoes. Sure, they’re plane looking and you can probably bargin shop for something that looks similar. Don’t care. I completely love them!

  328. Galina

    I used to go dancing a lot. Every night of the week, different venues all over the city would hold salsa nights. For me, that would total $10-$15 x 7 days = $100 a week, and a gigantic monthly expense of over $400, roughly. Working as a contract teacher, I eventually had to take a break from dancing.

  329. Larry Charles

    My disposable income is spent on speed. Muscle car and motorcycle upgrades.
    It’s my thing : )

  330. Vava

    Meditation retreats, travel to sacred places, group meditations, organic food, good-quality-everything (I research obsessively before buying), cashmere clothes and other 100% natural fabrics for my wardrobe. I wish all clothes were made from cashmere! Well-designed cashmere is almost non-existent, I’m not interested in a turtleneck or a cardigan but more interesting pieces will cost you an arm and a leg… so it’s a major expense.
    People know I’m a spender, so nobody judges my decisions except for my husband who has to balance the accounts:) Though if it ever happens and someone doubts that my purchases are necessary, I have a strong talent convincing them that investing in quality and health is almost a virtue, and they start doing the same!

  331. ShellyBelly

    I definitely love having my hair professionally colored/cut in a high end salon and take pride in the fact that I look nice. I only go to the salon 3 times a year or so, which makes me feel like it’s totally legit. Hey, I’m a young professional woman! I also like buying a few pieces of clothes I really love. I’ve been a plain jane for many years and am just now branching out and exploring fashion a bit at 26 years old. It makes me feel more confident and happens to be fun too!

  332. Aaron Miller

    My latest guilt free purchase was a new road bike. I had been eyeing up an upgrade and this past fall I just pulled the trigger. I do a lot of cycling and set up a “Bike Fund’ bank account a few years ago. All of my extra consulting money and random deposits are put in there for anything cycling and sports related. It adds up quickly and one day my local bike shop featured it on sale, I made the purchase and I love it.

  333. Maria Brophy

    Even when I “shouldn’t” I spend money on travel – my husband and I, every year, will take a trip for 2 or 3 months or more at a time.

    One year, when the economy was rough for our little business, we just didn’t have the money to travel.

    Our accountant, knowing us well, warned us “No surf trips this year – your numbers are way down, you two need to stay put.”

    But we went anyway – and this time we went on the road for 5 months. We figured out that we could rent our house out for the summer and that the rental income would pay almost 4x our expenses! We MADE money by traveling! It was nuts, but it worked.

    The kicker to that trip was, as soon as we committed to having this big adventure, we got business proposals for big projects in areas where we were traveling to. So we had 3 big jobs lined up while we traveled.

    It was a big lesson for us, to learn that if we make a decision to do something, everything falls into place.

  334. Kristen

    My biggest discretionary expense would probably be craft supplies (sewing machine, feathers, you name it)..after that is workout clothes and clothes on the whole…and I’m planning on the third to be travelling lol

  335. Leonardo

    There’s a little Argentinean restaurant close to home and I HAVE go there twice a week to buy their amazing “empanadas”.

  336. Craftynail

    Nail polish and nail art stuff!

  337. James

    I have two discretionary expenses that first scared the crap out of me because I’m risk-averse, but ended up changing my perspective on money for the better.

    The first is grad school. My wife and I are a year away from getting advanced degrees from part-time programs, while continuing our careers in tech and law during the day. We live in a small 1 bedroom apartment which is across from her school and 2 blocks from the subway to her work, so she’s effectively car-free. Her employer has a tuition forgiveness policy so we’re doing a partial loan for her while paying for my school in cash and maxing my company’s 401k match. Total list price: around $250k, but it’s already helped us both find jobs that have nearly doubled our income before we even graduated.

    Before that, our biggest expense was a condo, which we bought around the same time we started grad school. Price: around $250k, but it reduced our monthly expenses while we lived there, and we sold it 3 months ago, more than doubling the money we put into it.

    In both cases, my extremely risk-averse parents advised me not to do these, or only do one at a time. My wife’s parents, who live comfortably off their businesses, were enthusiastically supportive of doing both at once.

    Besides the financial benefit, these discretionary expenses have helped me overcome my fear of big investments that make sense for us. I used to be someone who would know something made sense on paper, but wouldn’t commit my time and money to it. Now I have the courage to make bolder moves in my life.

  338. Maria

    All sorts of things. In general, if I want something, I tend to want a nice one that will last forever. I also approach my money with the thought that any time I feel sad that I can’t afford something, it is a sign that I need to re-evaluate my spending because it is obviously not in line with my priorities. It helps that I have inherited my grandmother’s knack for finding things for way, way less than they should cost, but not her unwillingness to pay full-price if it gets me what I want.

    The most obvious splurges can be seen in my kitchen. I love to cook and have been at it since I was 5 years old. Even as a graduate student, my kitchen is very well-equipped. I have a line-item for large household expenses that accumulates each month and allows me to buy nice things for my kitchen. I have a prioritized list and whenever the amount accrued is high enough to get the next thing, I buy it. (I know, I am a weirdo who actually budgets. Data junkie. Can’t help it. Doesn’t hurt that it allows me to have nice things on a grad-student budget.)

    In addition to that, right now I’m slowly working on my pen collection at three-figures a pop (just one more for now and I think I’ll be set for quite awhile). Next year I am planning for a new violin bow in the four-figure range, perhaps a custom-built bicycle after that.

    That said, I am happy with hand-me-down phones, keeping a laptop for most of a decade, the cheapest earbuds that don’t sound tinny, and have precisely no desire to have cable. I also frog-marched my entire family onto a shared phone plan a few years ago so the entire family (5 lines) now has more services for less than any two combined bills were before for just voice. Cutting ruthlessly on the things that don’t matter to me lets me have the ones that do.

  339. Sanjana

    Apple! Between me and my husband, we have an iMac desktop, a Macbook Pro laptop, an iPad, 2 iPhones and an iPod. Planning to buy a Mac Air just for travel now.

    Conservative moms in India do not approve of spending so much on these…but I love my stuff n use it till I run it to the ground, so I feel it makes a lot of sense.

  340. David

    Wow, I’ve gotten a lot of ideas from these comments. I have to say that I can’t really think of any wild discretionary spending I do. It always seems to be “sensible” stuff like books or education. I just signed for a 3-month, $300 membership to TechShop to build some furniture. I also wrote a $500 check to fund a new business. Sounds like I need to save up for something I wouldn’t normally buy. I am starting to do more work travel – I saw nice heapdhones on this list a few times – maybe those are next.

    I really resonated with the line “…spending extravagantly on the things you love, and cutting mercilessly on the things you don’t.” I’m training to take that same approach with my time – that’s actually the new business mentioned above 🙂

  341. Ian

    Guns. I collect them. And the value of them are only going up, some I bought as little as 3 years ago have more than doubled in value.

    So I get the experience of having, fixing, and shooting them. Plus they will last forever, and only go up in value.

    There’s not much smarter than an investment you can actually use and enjoy, not to mention one that could save your life someday!