The shopping season is a good time to adjust old habits and spend a little on ourselves. After accumulating more years on this earth than we have left, it’s time to stop scrimping on certain purchases.
We scrimp on the darndest things, denying ourselves small pleasures. Of course your luxuries might be my necessities and vice versa, so here are a few of my purely subjective places to consider not trying to save.
Coffee. The best tasting coffee you ever had probably won’t break the bank. I can’t find a cheap, really good-tasting Colombian, so I buy a brand I know will deliver.
Toilet tissue. Maybe not one of life’s little pleasures, but something we’re in contact with often enough. I know people who buy stuff so harsh I swear you can still see the wood chips in it. Why? Cushy rolls are only pennies more.
Name brands. Buy generic when it doesn’t matter to you either way, but if you’ve got a favorite brand and you’re convinced it’s the best, get it. Example: Cotton swabs. Every time I buy generic, I regret it.
Bottled iced tea. I know it’s practically free when you make it at home, but on the road, those attractive bottles are a treat. Okay, they’re nice at home too.
Hiring someone to do a chore. Pick your most onerous job and pay somebody to do it. Mowing the lawn. Taking the stove apart and cleaning it. Bathrooms. Windows. If you hate it, farm it out once in a while.
Sound system. Get the best sound you can afford. I’m not talking about the kind where the crew comes over to your house and installs it. If you have a home theatre, you don’t need suggestions from me about good sound. But if you don’t, get yourself a reliable, compact system. Speakers are small but the sound can get as big as the neighborhood will allow. Vinyl is back and today’s sound systems allow for turntables too. When you love music, good sound isn’t really a luxury.
Parking closer (and paying more.) There are times and weather that make finding a parking spot the biggest hurdle of all. Splurge on the valet or the closest parking structure. I live in an area (San Francisco) where the joke is, if you’re visiting here and you find a parking space, consider moving here rather than moving your car.
Another place I used to live, (and still visit monthly,) Los Angeles, is similarly parking-challenged. I noticed for several years during my annual trips to Neiman-Marcus sales in Beverly Hills, that their valets parked only Rolls Royces and Bentleys and similar shiny exotics right outside the valet stand, the place clearly visible to all emerging customers. That kind of display doesn’t intimidate me today. Having enough years on us helps us appreciate, unapologetically, our old faithful conveyances for as many years as we prefer to drive them. We can give them the full valet experience whenever the mood and the budget allow.
As we go along with this blog, I’m learning that just because I feel like posting, poetry doesn’t always emanate, but lists often do.
Ó By Anita Garner