When to Save, When to Splurge?

Roy on tractorWe are a thrifty family. We clip coupons, buy in bulk, embrace hand-me-downs and shop at garage sales. It’s sport for me. My heart beats a little faster when I save double-digits at the grocery store or spot a mint-condition ’70s sweater in my size at the thrift store. It’s just my way.

Usually, we are good at knowing when to splurge. Local meat. Organic veggies. A really comfortable couch. The occasional bunch of fresh-cut flowers. Shoes. A person needs a decent pair of shoes. Or, in my case, a person needs many, many pairs of decent, adorable, cool and/or sexy shoes. (It’s a weakness.)

Last spring, Clint was super busy at work, yet squeezed in a side job for one of our awesome neighbors. They insisted on giving him a bit of cash. In an uncharacteristic twist, Clint declared it was “his” money and tucked it away, waiting for the right thing to spend it on. One morning last weekend, I had to work, and before Roy and Clint headed off together, Clint grabbed the money out of its hiding spot. Hours later, my two guys came back with a tractor. A gleaming, grass-colored, battery-operated toddler-sized tractor plus trailer—something I wouldn’t have considered buying, for no particular reason whatsoever, in a million years. What an awesome splurge.

Roy can barely reach the gas pedal, so Clint built it up with a wooden block. Little guy’s still developing the skills to put together large-piece puzzles, so the concept of pushing the pedal while steering is still a ways out. But he’s having a fun time trying, and getting better at it every day. And believe me, we do practice every day. It’s hard to get him into the car to daycare in the morning, because he stands next to his beloved tractor repeating, “Drive? Drive? Drive?” I have a feeling that next spring, he’ll be but a green blur circling the yard.

What are your splurges, big or small?

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  1. by Eve

    On September 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Super. Great. Splurge.

  2. by Stefanie

    On September 15, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I think its important to know that treating yourself is a good thing, and I am impressed to see Clint did it with “extra cash”! Balance is key, and a little green tractor is worth a splurge when it makes a sweet young man happy!

  3. by anti jen

    On September 15, 2011 at 11:23 am

    that’s the most awesome story! i love when the dudes of the house bond.

  4. by Eileen

    On September 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Going out to eat was always a splurge for us.
    I love the look on Roy’s face…so intent and focused. What a great daddy!

  5. by Jessica

    On September 15, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Cool splurge! It sounds like you and & I splurge and save on the same things!

  6. by Berit Thorkelson

    On September 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Eileen: Good one, eating out. That’s a splurge for us these days, too. And Roy IS pretty intent. Focused on turning the key to start ‘er up. It produces the sound of the engine starting and idling :)

  7. by Heather Morgan Shott

    On September 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I love it! Such a cool story, what a nice daddy. My splurges: shoes, pricey haircuts/color, fabulous food and wine