We bought all the things: Will I run out of ways to be obnoxious?

So over the past year or two we’ve bought two cars, renovated the kitchen, shared the expense for a new fence with our neighbor, and bought a new clothes washer.  We’ve subsidized family vacations to not-so-fancy midwestern destinations and we’re going on an anniversary trip (to Portland!) next summer.  I also bought an iPad pro and a Remarkable for quasi-work purposes (the iPad pro seems to be the winner so far for editing other people’s papers, and I’ve been good about not using it for goofing off).

Since October we’ve bought the aforementioned clothes washer, donated a TON of money to various educational causes (including $2K+ to DC2’s school, the + because they had a couple fundraisers that we donated to separately), sent money to various political causes, and I made DH buy an Apple watch because he works from home alone and it can detect falls and irregular heart-beats and notify people about them.  (Really I started the campaign to have him buy one because I thought it could detect heart attacks, but it turns out it can’t.  Still, the other health metrics seem more useful than nothing.)*  DH is buying himself a 3D printer (he’s been avidly reading gasstationwithoutpumps among other sources in anticipation), though maybe that shouldn’t count since he’s been saving up his allowance for it for a long time.  We also bought $200 worth of Scholastic books and a new tall bookcase to replace DC1’s short bookcase (hir old bookcase is going back into the hallway) for $500.  And we paid the full property taxes in one fell swoop and I transferred 10K over to Vanguard taxable.

Really only the property taxes (and technically the Vanguard transfer before it) made a dent in our savings.  This is because in October we both got a bunch of large delayed reimbursements (I think something like 9K (!) worth– did you know you can just rent an ultrasound for like $500/mo?), late summer salary, and my first paycheck on top of DH’s paychecks.  So we were super flush with cash after having a somewhat careful September and then the bills for a lot of these won’t be due until after we get paid again.

I don’t really have a point to this post, but it’s been weighing on me and I had to tell someone, and who else to tell besides the grumpy nation?  I am going crazy buying all the things, but a lot of this buying was also delayed spending.  So it feels like a lot, but maybe it isn’t because other people would have renovated that kitchen a decade ago, bought a new clothes washer the first time it broke instead of repairing it multiple times, regularly gone on vacations, and have bought a watch to replace that 20 year old Casio calculator watch a long time ago instead of just replacing bands and batteries.  (Me, I’m still rocking a 20 year old Timex that I love.  I think you can get the same model new for under $40.)  But let’s be completely honest, we’ve been spending a lot.

What I’m wondering is if after this spurt of buying things we’ve been putting off buying or thought would be nice to have if I’ll settle down again into not spending frivolously or if this is a new normal.  I can’t really think of anything else I want… I mean we’ve kind of exhausted useful Apple products.  Maybe my next big purchase will be a crown for when my third molar finishes cracking (dentist thinks no earlier than next year, but definitely in my future).  Or maybe I’ll see something new I want and just get it in my best Ariana Grande style.

Will the obnoxious posts end?  What money things will I blog about if they do?  Do you delay purchases and then spend when you’re flush or do you spend more evenly?

*Update:  it turns out our iphones are just a little bit too old for the newest Apple watch (we didn’t get the S version when we bought our phones).  So DH has to decide if he wants to get a new phone or return this watch.  And if he returns this watch, does he get an older model Apple watch or not.  He probably won’t get an older model.  My guess is we’ll either return or DH will finally upgrade phones (his is falling apart a bit and we have been thinking of passing it down to DC1 since DC1’s current dumb phone works only about half the time we need it to work, though that has its own concerns).   There was another item in the initial draft of this post that got returned as well– I bought a pair of fancy European shoes off Zappo’s, but when I got them one of the two didn’t fit and had all sorts of stitching problems(!) so I sent them back and decided I really do have to go to a store to try on expensive shoes, but there are no such stores nearby so… I’m not sure what I’m going to do for my brown dress shoes need given my half boots are really worn down in the heel.  DH is thinking an iPhone 8 (same size as his current 6) for $450 instead of an 11 for $700 or 11 Pro for $1000, so that’s almost frugal (not really).

26 Responses to “We bought all the things: Will I run out of ways to be obnoxious?”

  1. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Today I called my senators using this (slightly modified) script from Indivisible:

    I want the Senate to hold a fair and open impeachment trial that allows for the full array of evidence to be presented and considered. I don’t trust Mitch McConnell to do it fairly. I want Senator [NAME] to publicly support a fair and open impeachment trial.

  2. CG Says:

    Entropy…there will always be more things that break/wear out and need to be replaced.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That’s true. And we are getting to the point where things we bought when we graduated and moved into the house are starting to wear out (see: clothes washer, cars). I think our water heaters have a couple years to go, but they will need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

  3. bethh Says:

    I live in Portland! I love it! Not sure what time of year you’re coming, but guard your heart well, people do fall in love with it (I did!). But it’s a lot more affordable than the bay area, so maybe that wouldn’t be terrible.

  4. Michael N Nitabach Says:

    I bought a stupidly expensive green corduroy sports jacket last week!!!

  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    “he works from home alone and it can detect falls and irregular heart-beats and notify people about them”

    Funny, that makes total sense and yet I never thought about this for myself! The dogs sure won’t tell anyone that I’ve fallen or have a problem.

    I saw that Scholastic was advertising a big sale online. Always always tempting. But they will have a book fair at school too.

    We just finished dealing with PiC’s eye stuff and now he thinks I should embark on dealing with my dental stuff but I don’t wanna because it’s $$$ and also I don’t want to deal with appointments and pain.

    A lot of the time it feels like there’s always going to be more I “need” or want so if money is coming in, I can find a way out for it. I temper this as much as I can with the giving project to keep perspective and also reminding myself a lot that I don’t actually want to drown in stuff. But then there’s the washer / dryer, there’s the dry rot we have to get rid of, there’s the forest of weeds I have to remove… eek. Our spending is always pretty lumpy despite my best intentions.

  6. Abigail @ipickuppennies.net Says:

    Whew, that’s a lot! But I didn’t hear anything terribly frivolous when it came to spending. I mean, maybe a couple of things you didn’t need, but that’s not the same as frivolous spending. To me, frivolous implies not just unnecessary but without much thought put into it.

    Glad to hear money is going so well for you. As long as you’re getting these kinds of results, don’t fret the apparently very occasional phone upgrade and the like.

  7. First Gen American Says:

    I spend more when I have free time.

    Shopping is also a chore to me, so I put it off as long as possible and when the stuff I need reaches a critical mass, I finally break down and spend some time on it. This leads to periods of high spending….but it’s more like procrastination than a spending spree. It’s actually something I’ve been trying to change because sometimes when you really need clothes the stuff in season can be god awful.

    Also things tend to be designed to last a certain lifespan. Maybe you’re just hitting that replacement cycle timing? At my last house I distinctly remember a bunch of stuff breaking all at once but it corresponded to 5-7 years after we moved in.

  8. SP Says:

    To make up for your obnoxiousness, may I suggest a blog giveaway? ;)

    I try to delay purchases generally. I think my husband is more likely to spend when money shows up, but we typically have the MOST money in our accounts at the end of the calendar year, and by that point, I usually have a good “target number” I want to keep our yearly spend under (whereas in the beginning of the year the target is more flexible).

    My phone screen is cracked (it’s an old iPhone SE), so i will likely replace soon. I hate that apple phones are still so expensive, when I could buy an entire new Macbook Air for $900. I am kind of waiting for black Friday sales, but I prefer to buy my phones outright and I can’t figure out what is going on with the Target deals where you get $200/$250 off (or a gift card?) but somehow have to pay in installments? Or change my phone plan somehow? It is confusing me.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      But give what away? In a month and some change it will be time for the most frequent commenter to get a charity donation…so that’s kind of a giveaway. (I miss chacha1)

      I tend to ignore deals, especially anything complicated. (I do tend to use the personalized coupons our local grocery store sends us but they are REALLY good at targeting us.)

      • SP Says:

        I dunno, give away an iPhone? To me? (Just kidding.)

        Yay, I forgot about the upcoming charity giveaway – that’s always fun!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        You probably already have a nicer phone than we have! (DH’s iPhone 6 is going to DC1.)

      • SP Says:

        Iphone SE, but now with a cracked screen! Not nicer in that respect, but the cracked screen is my fault for dropping :( So, yes, a newer model than the 6, although it was sorta a “budget” version when released. I’m just annoyed prices on iPhones haven’t come down more over the years.

  9. economiss Says:

    I have had good luck with Amazon for shoe purchases. They tend to have a pretty good selection of european brands (I’m partial to ecco). I always double check, but most shoes are free shipping & free returns, so I will order 10 and return 8 or 9. On a related note – I tried Abeo’s for the first time this fall and love them. Cute but supportive.

  10. I guess I’m not going to front-load DC2’s 529? | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] some stuff because I haven’t finished that post yet, and I know we bought a car this summer, paid for lots of summer travel and camps that probably won’t happen now, maybe it was front-loading DC1’s 529… probably […]


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