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View Poll Results: What is your 'I don't care' spending limit? (read first post)
< $5 9 13.64%
< $10 7 10.61%
< $15 5 7.58%
< $25 11 16.67%
< $50 10 15.15%
< $100 17 25.76%
Sky's the limit! If I want it I'll buy it! My money will never run out! 7 10.61%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-07-2010, 09:20 AM   #21
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I haven't voted, because I find it difficult to be precise. Since putting a focus on ER, I find that my impulse buying has dwindled significantly. I recall about 25 years ago spending ~$800 on a dress for a special occasion. It had the Dynasty big shoulder pads ....I would never do that now. The last special occasion dress I bought (which I have used at least 6 times) was on sale for $39.

I am a price cautious grocery shopper but don't bother organizing coupons (life's too short). But occasionally I will buy a gourmet item, as I did yesterday (locally made organic mustard for $10). Mmmm!

I would never skimp on necessities like car maintenance, but despite great deals on vehicles, have not yet been tempted to exchange my 15 year old car for a new one. I don't have time enough to enjoy long road trips and my old car gets me from A to B safely and comfortably. Why pay for appearances?

OTOH I sometimes do make a quick decision to purchase a big item (even a property) when "chance favours the prepared mind". But that's all part of the FIRE plan.

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Old 02-07-2010, 09:48 AM   #22
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I really was not sure what to vote but I finally chose $50 . Most of my impulse buying is books or clothes and I'm a bargain shopper on both of those items . I do buy books as soon as they are released but then I resell them so the cost is usually only a few dollars . I have to admit I splurge on my grandson and with him the sky is the limit .

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Old 02-07-2010, 10:12 AM   #23
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I don't do any impusle buying. But I bought a used home theater PC last week for $350. No guilt at all. It had been planned for a year.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:25 AM   #24
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DW & I have a policy to consult each other for purchases >$100
We just made this a formal policy around here, too.

Recently DW went to the hearing aid doctor because one of her hearing aids was acting funny. He said that the aid was five years old, and she should just get a new one for $1,900. He didn't even test it. If she had it repaired, something else could just go wrong, he said. So she ordered one.

I said .

I called the doc and asked how much to repair it. Answer: $300. IOW, you could repair it six times and still come out ahead. Each time you repair something, that aspect of it is guaranteed for some period. We canceled the order, and it is being repaired.

I think it was borderline unethical for the doctor to not give more info on the repair option.

In any case, over $100, we discuss it.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:26 PM   #25
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I answered $50. Below that I feel OK buying something I can use and that represents a value to me with out researching the alternatives. Above that I'm more reluctant to buy something without researching the cheapest options first. The occasional <$50 purchase won't kill my budget, and I won't feel too bad if it doesn't work out like I hoped.
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:44 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Exactly. I don't buy anything unless I have decided that this is something that I want and that will fit in with my spending plan.

Sometimes I *WAIT* to buy the item, if my spending has been overboard but I don't tell myself not to buy it, or that I should feel guilty.

If my expenditures begin to EXCEED the amount I have allotted myself per month, and if I don't have money left over from prior months in the past year, I suppose I would feel guilty over spending anything at all until things are reined in a bit. In reality, I would not even spend a nickel that I didn't have to spend (other than on food) until that time.

So anyway, I voted "The Sky is the Limit". But also you might say a penny. I would feel guilty buying anything that was just throwing away money on something I didn't want.......
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
We don't have a dollar limit, however we are not big purchasers of "things". Our most expensive purchases seem to be travel related. If we get a good offer to upgrade to first class we will take it. If we want to stay at a nicer hotel we do.

When it actually comes to buying "things" we tend to not do so unless what we have now is broken........
I usually don't buy 'stuff' just 'because I can'. I normally only buy 'stuff' that I need or really desire to own....which is actually very little!!! If I want or actually need something, I'll buy it regardless of price, and not feel the least bit guilty about doing so. However, I do shop around for a good deal on what I'm planning to purchase, and most times I think about it and ponder whether I really 'need' or even want the item(s) in question. One of my best friends is Amazon's "Wish List".....if I find something that I think I want, I look it up on Amazon and add it to my "Wish List". In a week or two....or a month or two....or even longer.....I'll look over my list, and see if those items still hold any appeal to me. If not, I delete them from the list. If they still appeal to me I'll (a) leave them on the list and check back later (my normal action), or (b) go ahead and buy the item (which I do very seldom).

I don't normally go out on shopping binges or splurge on 'stuff' that I really have no major hankering exception was about 2 weeks ago, I went to Sears and they had men's clothes on sale for cheap, so I picked up several polo shirts and t-shirts, and a corduroy shirt/jacket with quilted lning. Those are all things that I normally wear and would be purchasing at some point in time anyway, so I just went ahead and bought them before I actually needed them....on sale!

I have no outstanding CC debt, as I always pay off the full balance of my CC EVERY month! And I want to keep it that way!!! I can pretty much afford anything that I'd want.....however, there is very little, if anything, that I actually want!

My biggest area of spending is trips, and I never hesitate to splurge on nice hotels and good food!!! Life is too short to stay in dumpy hotels and eat crappy food....I won't do it! And when it comes to concerts or plays or such, I will gladly pay extra for really good seats, rather than getting stuck in the peanut gallery 35 rows back behind a post (been there done that....NEVER again!).

So, that all said, I voted "Sky's the limit" on what I'll spend, "mad money" wise...but only after I decide if I really want or need what's being considered.
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Old 02-07-2010, 09:31 PM   #27
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I said less than 5 bucks, but it's really the principle sort of speak than the dollar amount. I hate wasting money when I know that I could of gotten the same or similar item for less. That's one reason we buy so many items at yard sales and thrift shops. So I don't care too much about spending money to go on a cruise (If I know I'm getting a great deal) but I will walk to buy bananas at the produce stand for 39 cents a pound, then to buy them at the grocery store for 59 cents a pound.
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Old 02-07-2010, 09:48 PM   #28
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I buy very little "stuff", and what I do buy is rarely an impulse purchase, so I chose < $10. I will occasionally stop into a bakery and pick up a couple of muffins or brownies to take home, or maybe some treat that I know SO will like. This is the closest thing I can think of for an impulse buy.

Like others have said, if I need something I will research and try to make an informed decision. The bigger/more expensive it is, the more time I generally spend researching (for example, I spent a lot of time online researching before I bought my last car). At that point, price is only one of the factors.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:42 AM   #29
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Great question - but as you can see, there isn't a discrete answer. In my case it depends on what I'm purchasing. For example, if it is something that can produce something else (in my case, a small loom), then finding the best price I can is what my limit is. If it something that is disposable, then again, finding the best price I can is my limit.

Clothing - my choke point is $20 now - used to be a lot more, but sales can really bring the prices of clothes down. Plus, once you have a good basic wardrobe, it should last for along time. I found a beautiful leather jacket in the Tyrolean style for 20 Euros - normal prices? $300-$500 - on sale, I saw a much less detailed one fo r $199 - gonga deal I got.

Food -eating out - depends on the restaurant. We've found that eating out a lot at cheap restaurants doesn't satisfy us - we can cook at home and it tastes better. We save restaurant dinners for special and rare occasions - then dropping $60-$100 is not an issue.

Books - don't buy any - library is the best institution there is, with internet a very close second. Only time I buy books is if I get an Amazon gift cert for a gift - then I agonize over what to buy (still am from last Xmas!).

Sporting goods - can find great used or sales deals. I just found a ski/snowboard coat for $25 at the local Aldi here.

Chatskis - doo-dads around the house - one good thing about having traveled a lot already and being older, is I already have that stuff, so when tempted to buy another, I realize I just don't have the room or wherewithal to drag something else into/around the house. I buy postcards and pins (ski areas have little pins you can purchase) - oh and my husband takes lot of pictures. I have lots of pretty stuff I use rarely - I'm glad I've settled out of that stage of buying more pretty stuff.

Electronics - definitely try to minimize costs here - we have really old cell phone with pay as you go plans - computers are several years old and working fine for what we need them to.

So, the answer is - it depends :-)
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:20 AM   #30
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My "I don't care" spending limit is whatever is left from my paycheck after savings and expenses. The limit has gone down a bunch since I turned part time. All electronics, tools, travel and entertainment expenses fall into my "I don't care" category
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:06 AM   #31
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Really, for me, it is kind of like Bikerdude pointed out. Fifty bucks a day everyday is over $18,000 a year. Some may have that much pad in there budgets, some may not. I have always had a problem spending money. Especially little sums, less than $100. However, it was when I put it into a per day measure I realized I could most likely spend $50 a day and not bust my budget. I don't do it, but it made it a little easier to justify my last purchase.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:11 AM   #32
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I had to think about this for a little gardening and travel are primarily the bulk of my mad money spending. I enjoy both and reap a multitude of happiness and exercise benefits from each one.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:15 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
Really, for me, it is kind of like Bikerdude pointed out. Fifty bucks a day everyday is over $18,000 a year.
Well, sure -- but I don't think most of us who are comfortable "blowing" $50-100 on discretionary stuff from time to time are doing so every day.

I would have a tightwad tendency myself, except that I find that when I do it becomes obsessive and unhealthy (for me). So it's easier to just accept that over the course of a month, a few hundred bucks of discretionary spending will fly "out the window," and as long as I'm confident my aggressive long term savings and retirement investing goals are being met I'm okay with that. Stressing out over every few bucks spent unnecessarily would be unhealthy for myself, let alone our marriage.
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:12 AM   #34
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I also voted "sky's the limit" because there are some things that just warrant purchasing when a great deal. We picked up great knit hats at Dick's Sporting Goods (clearance bin of course!) for $1.97 each. No thought required. However - if there had a been a decent for my use kayak in the clearance bin for a couple hundred, I'd have forked it over in a hearbeat.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:32 AM   #35
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Any kid who's selling fundraiser food at our door is certain to score $10-$20. It's also turned out to be a great way to meet the neighbors.

Spouse's father is notorious for his tight-fisted attitude that starts with the statement
"I don't see what there is to this... [store-bought fruit/veggies] [modern computer] [brain surgery]... why, in 1964 I [grew] [built] [performed] my own and it was just as good as what they're asking you to pay for this!"
By the end of his cost-avoidance-at-any-price saga he's usually devoted 30-40 man-hours and twice as much money to something that could have easily been accomplished by paying for expert advice/materials in the first place. He'd also sucker me into loaning my tools and free labor, until finally after 3-4 years I started saying "Sorry, I can't help you with that but I can recommend a good mechanic." I finally even shortened that to "Sorry, can't help you" and stopped volunteering other expert's contact info because he drove them nuts too.

Either spouse or I will occasionally reflexively revert to his Great-Depression-deprivation attitude, and just the mere utterance from the other of "I don't see what there is to this..." is enough to make us stop vacillating and whip out our wallets.


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