The Good Times Are Back Again – The Indulgent List Of Things

Look around.  What do you see?  I see packed buses, traffic jams, busy open houses, expensive restaurants with only 9pm seatings, and friends finding new jobs again.  Double dip recession?  I don’t think so.  With the Dow over 10,500 and the S&P 500 over 1,020, it’s as if last year was just a bad dream.

Yet, it is exactly during good times, when we must be more diligent about our finances. It’s so easy to forget how bad things were and stray.  Rather than spend more money, save more money during upswings so that we can spend more money during downturns.

When times are good, it’s not necessary to spend more money to create any sort of additional fulfillment or pleasure.  We’re getting paid more, the opportunities for promotions are greater, and the demand for our services surpass our supply.

In essence, we feel good because we feel wanted again.  It’s when a downturn hits when money can help balance the mood out a little with some retail or food therapy, or maybe even a vacation.  In essence, spend money counter-cyclically for better returns.

DAY DREAMING TO RELIEVE DESIRE

There’s an exercise I like to do every now and again, and it’s called “Indulgent Reminding.“  In one minute and not a second longer, type out all your material wants within reason if you didn’t have to worry about money.

My Indulgent List Of Things:

* Two Tennis Racquets ($400)

* 5 tailored three-ply dress shirts ($300-500)

* Sports jacket (blazer) ($500-$800)

* A couple tailor made suits ($1,000-2,000)

* Brown loafers & dress shoes ($200-500)

* Digital SLR Camera ($1,000)

* Macbook Pro 13″ ($1,200)

* 42″ LED TV ($1,200-$1500)

* Panerai Submersible Stainless Steel Watch ($8,000)

* Audi S5 Coupe in Silver or Black ($60,000)

* A vacation for two to Greece ($10,000)

* A weekend getaway to Napa’s Auberge Du Soleil with full spa experience for two ($2,000)

In one minute, I’ve been able to come up with $85,000 worth of stuff to spend on!  It gets me giddy thinking about all the goodies I must admit.  The feeling of splurging without having to actually spend money is what financial daydreaming is all about!

After you’ve written your list, try to come up with several conclusions as to what these things reflect.  My list says I like action and appreciate expensive adventures.  Pretty standard guy stuff frankly, not to mention pretty shallow stuff too!  $8,000 watch?  Come on!

Now see if you can come up with a new list with a much cheaper set of things.  See how many of the items you can also happily do without.  Looking over my list again, all I really need are a new pair of brown loafers since my current ones have holes.  Ahhhh, saving $84,700 sure feels great!

CONCLUSION

I don’t know what it is, but I get the greatest satisfaction out of using things I already have, over and over again until they die.  Take my car Moose, for example.  He’s 10.5 years old now, with a finicky CD player, and a broken electrical passenger seat.  With 130,000 miles, it brings me greater satisfaction that he can still bring me from point A to point B just as well as a car 10X the price.

Once you start buying things out of pure desire it’s hard to stop.  Marketers are brilliant at getting you to buy more than you really need.  From shoes, to sporting equipment, to clothes, it’s a never ending list of things you can buy.  You’ll never be satisfied.  Hence, best to just use what you have, and do a little day dreaming to keep your desires at bay!

Readers, when times are good do you feel you tend to spend more or save more?

What are the things you like to do to keep your wants and desires in check?

Anybody else have the condition of really loving the stuff they already have?

Keigu,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Follow on Twitter @FinancialSamura and subscribe to our RSS or E-mail feed.

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. INB says

    My spending’s pretty stable and consistent in good times or bad – I take a few trips a year, spend on the same hobbies, save more or less the same amount, blah blah. As for what I do to keep wants in check, just the basic boring tactics like automatically moving most of my paycheque on day one, targetted accounts at ING, tracking net worth so my eye’s regularly on the prize, etc etc.

    I do keep a running list of stuffIwant too, in google docs. It doesn’t include Audis but does have weekend trips, items for the house, and random things like renewing my emusic subscription – all sorts of stuff. Then when I get a bonus or tax return or just feel like splashing out I open it up and may get one of the things on there or may think “what the hell was I thinking, I don’t want that”.

  2. says

    Great exercise Sam! Definitely when times are good it’s easier to spend. Heck, despite having a plan to buy in 3-5 years, this weekend I saw the perfect property and totally worked out how we were going to buy it. No more “looking for fun” for me. Doing this on paper is much safer and can help reinforce the goals we set out for ourselves. Because satisfying wants is much more rewarding when you don’t take on debt to do it.
    .-= Mrs. Frugal´s last blog ..Why the Waste? =-.

  3. says

    I tend to do the reverse of what others are doing. If everyone is buying, I’m saving.

    I just bought a new car. Granted I didn’t have to buy a Hyundai Genesis sedan, but we needed something bigger than a 2 door coupe for our ever growing family. The old Toyota was almost 10 years old with 122k miles and starting to rust (from an accident they didn’t really repair correctly) I figure get a new car now while debt is still cheap. I’m not so sure we’ll see sub 4% car loans in the future. The dealership was busy BTW and sold 4 cars (including ours) off the showroom floor in less than 2 hours. Happy days are here again… for now.

    Other than this we are doing needed improvements around the house (take a tree down that’s starting to destroy our garage, new gutters, buy a new fence, new grill), nothing that’s really a luxury. If we meet our 30% savings goal for the end of the year, I’ll buy some new speakers for our surround sound system. Other than this I don’t have any other desires at the moment. I like saving/investing better ;-)
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Weekend Reading for April 11, 2010 =-.

      • says

        Try 42k. I can definitely say the car has features that normally cars 10-20k more.

        Good value for the money, but does not have the brand cachet. I don’t care
        though. I’ll have to write a review on my blog, when I have the chance.
        .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Weekend Reading for April 11, 2010 =-.

      • Nick says

        Hi. Corporate tax analyst here.

        Cars used for business purposes are known as “listed property.” (This category also includes AV equipment, and company-issued laptops and cell phones.)

        Generally you can deduct depreciation based on the amount you actually use the car for work. So if you bought a $200k Ferrari and only 20% of the mileage you put on it was for business trips, you would depreciate it as if it were a $40k vehicle.

        If you use it less than 50%, you have to use a depreciation system called ADS that is less front-loaded and therefore less juicy.

        Use it more than 50% and you can take full depreciation, plus bonus depreciation if it’s available that year (Congress often approves these in tough economic years — it allows you to write off 30-50% of the purchase price up front instead of depreciating it over time).

        Even gravier is the Section 179 deduction, also known as the Hummer deduction (or in your case, the Ferrari deduction). This allows a small business (there’s an income cap) to write off up to 100% of the up-front costs in the first year. However, there’s been some backlash as this is seen as a tax break on small business owners who do things like buy Hummers and Ferraris, so amount you can write off is being phased out from 250k in 2009 to 134k in 2010 to 25k in 2011. However, Congress might refill this gravy boat with the latest jobs bill. Can’t overtax businesses during a recession, you know!

        • says

          Thanks for the explanation.

          Now explain to Sam why he should us an accountant instead of doing his taxes
          himself?
          :-)

          His effective tax rate is 25ish%.
          .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Weekend Reading for April 11, 2010 =-.

        • says

          Great stuff Nick! Thanks for the info. Section 179 sounds sweet! However, you pointed out the phase outs and income cap, which always seems to be too low to allow many to benefit. It’s a damn shame.

          I guess $134,000 is still a good amount to be able to spend and write off on a car. Audi R8 or Porsche 911 Turbo! lol.

  4. says

    This is a good idea. I like to think the economy is getting better, too. My husband’s business is picking up after a slow start, I’m using this as my gauge. Things should be on a roll now. Since my goal is to pay off my final line of credit and save for a house this year, I don’t think I’ll be excessively spending anytime soon :)
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..Sunday Roundup =-.

  5. kt says

    i think the only thing on y imaginary “indulgent list” is probably a few jeans, a pair of sneakers and the new 2010 macbook pro 15′. yup that’s right, my life is the epitome of simplicity :)

  6. Norman says

    As I get older, I seem to want for less and less. I think over the years I have learned from personal experience that stuff you buy has a short lived high. So now I only buy things that I’ve given some thought to why I want it before I buy it. I have come to really appreciate the things I already have and gotten rid of stuff I don’t need or want anymore. I hardly even go to garage sales anymore like I used to! Shopping has been replaced with doing things with friends and family.

  7. says

    Overall, I’m pretty stable, but I will say that I love deals. If I see more deals (i.e. recently there have been plenty of deals in retail, housing, etc.), that’s when I tend to buy more. In some ways, I guess I am a combo of @Investor Junkie & @INB
    .-= Roshawn @ Watson Inc´s last blog ..Through the Looking Glass =-.

  8. says

    On the surface it looks like the good times are back. Here in the UK I’m seeing all those things that you mention – packed buses, packed trains, full restaurants. I’m however beginning to think it’s not a real recovery and when it dips again it could be worse than last time. What has really fuelled it – using the UK as an example IMO it’s record low interest rates by the Bank of England, the printing of money (sorry Quantitative Easing) plus running a massive fiscal deficit. From this side of the pond the US seems to have done exactly the same thing.

    What put us in the mess last time. Well Alan Greenspan was recently challenged that he kept interest rates to low. What’s different this time? It’s worse not only low interest rates but printed money also.

    What can I see brewing:
    - Well here in the UK today the jobless total jumped to 2.5 million which is the highest since 1994. That’s not a recovery.
    - After the election here public sector costs are going to have to be cut otherwise the IMF are going to be knocking on the door. That’s going to increase the jobless count even further. That’s not a recovery.
    - Inflation has jumped to 4.5%. Even if the Bank of England doesn’t raise interest rates I wonder if the bond markets will demand more yield to ensure a real return. This would push up interest rates which is going to remove all that easy money. That’s not a recovery.

    I’m even starting to wonder if we are back already back to blowing asset bubbles. I wrote a small post about this a couple of weeks ago here http://retirementinvestingtoday.blogspot.com/2010/04/are-we-back-to-blowing-asset-bubbles.html

    I really hope you’re right and it is a genuine recovery but clearly I’m a bit more bearish than yourself.
    .-= RetirementInvestingToday´s last blog ..Australian (ASX 200) stock market including the cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio (PE10 or CAPE) – April 2010 Update =-.

    • says

      We’re going to have cheap money for much longer. It’s different in America then b/c there is always a sense of optimism. I see it with my own eyes, and what I’ve learned all these years is to NOT deny reality with my beliefs, but to just go with the flow.

      There’s no way we’re going to have a downturn worse than what we just experienced over the past 18 months. Maybe I’m disillusioned by all the money here in San Fran with Apple, Google, Facebook etc. Or maybe not b/c the stock markets have companies based all over the states.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Play Games To Save Money And Achieve Your Goals! =-.

  9. says

    Know I talked about staving comments until July – but couldn’t resist the challenge. Nothing constructive to add, just my daydreamings.

    1 minute damage – $355,550

    TRAVEL
    African Safari – $7,500
    Asia Trip – $2,500
    Bali/Fiji/Tahiti Trip – $5,000
    total: $15,000

    CARS
    Ferrari 360 Spyder – $150,000
    Porsche Cayman – $60,000
    Audi R8 – $125,000
    total: $335,000

    ADVENTURE
    Surfing Camp – $500
    Wakeboarding Camp – $250
    Deep Sea Fishing – $750
    total: $1,500

    SPORTS
    Triathlon/Marathon Personal Coach – $1,500
    Personal Golf Instructor – $2,500
    total: $4,000
    .-= FinEngr´s last blog ..Managing Fear and Expectations =-.

    • says

      Nice list FE! Although, it may be more effective if you write a list of things you could realistically afford to buy, but don’t.

      Sounds like you like cars! I would have put the Audi R8, but I don’t think I can realistically afford to buy a $125,000 car.

      I forgot why you said you wouldn’t be commenting anymore until July?

      Good to hear from you.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Play Games To Save Money And Achieve Your Goals! =-.

      • says

        Actually, if you look at the breakdown of costs – everything outside of the cars is indeed realistic.

        And that’s base cost only, does not include – gas, insurance, repairs – which is why I could NEVER justify spending that out.

        I’m also very atuned to experiences. My fiance and I are heading to Amerbgis Caye in Belize for our honeymoon which we’re very excited about and someday soon I would love to take a WALKING safari (looked at Zambia) but those can be pricey. Did you know there are also gorilla treks up in the mountains?

        Personal trainers can be useful but only need to be used sparingly (like doctor visit checkups). There’s such a wealth of (free or cheaper) information out there, it’d be hard to consider it a yearly expense.

        No comments b/c trying to make my away around the newer Yakezie members.
        .-= FinEngr´s last blog ..Managing Fear and Expectations =-.

        • says

          Have fun in Amerbgis Caye in Belize! Sounds like a fantastic trip! How much do you think it’ll all cost? Walking Safari sounds good too.

          Have fun getting to know the other Yakezie members!

  10. says

    I also keep a list of things that I want but it’s really not a lot – novels, some new clothes, another cat, a beautiful bed frame, some pricey cooking equipment and lessons, international travel. Maybe being able to move to a city with public transportation that was good enough that I could get rid of my car completely.

    The thing I like about spending/saving your money in the opposite of the economic cycle is that you’d always get everything on sale!
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..I Can Download Porn At Work, Can You? =-.

  11. says

    Even when times are good, I’ve never wanted much, to the point where when my husband asks me what I want for my birthday or Christmas, I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything at all.

    Right now, everything I “want” has to do with fixing up our home. And I could use some new threads for spring/summer, but since I don’t wear full office attire to work, the cost is relatively low. My conscience and my bank account balance are enough to keep my spending in check.
    .-= RainyDaySaver´s last blog ..Guest Post at Christian PF =-.

  12. says

    I’m noticing people all at once are contacting us for new biz. The wealth effect is definitely in effect.
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Weekend Reading for April 11, 2010 =-.

  13. says

    When times are good do you feel you tend to spend more or save more?
    Surprisingly, I found myself spending more money when we were in the midst of the “Great Recession”. Mostly because I thought in my own small way I was helping the economy recover…

    What are the things you like to do to keep your wants and desires in check?
    It use to be that fact that I was so deep into debt because of my house mortgage. But now I’m in danger of leting Lifestyle Inflation creep in. I’ll have to come up with a new plan and quick!!!

    Anybody else have the condition of really loving the stuff they already have?
    Yeah, that’s me… After so long of depending on my tools, I know I can rely on them to get the job done (unlike my good for nothing lawnmower…, I still can’t believe it broke the first day of mowing, at least I was able to fix it cheaply).

    My “wants” list is a bit simpler, I just want to save money for 2 things:
    . a future trip to Hawaii or Disney (for a 2nd time) in a couple of years. 5,000+
    . a car fund for my kids. 10,000+ (for both of them)
    .-= Money Reasons´s last blog ..MoneyReasons Weekly Cache 2010, April 18 =-.

    • says

      Uh oh, no debt means easy lifestyle inflation re-creep!

      Smart you spend money counter-cyclically, and even more interesting you have the good thought of spending to help the economy recover! That’s a good spirit to have.

      Sorry about your lawmower. Next time get the John Deer Turbo 8000 where you can sit on it and drag race against mopeds!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Play Games To Save Money And Achieve Your Goals! =-.

  14. says

    Maybe something is wrong with me, but I can only think of one thing right now:

    A telescope (and I can’t even tell you the exact brand, but I know it’s the kind that automatically tracks to the celestial bodies you want to see.)

    I don’t care if I own another car. Maybe a nice vacation in Hawaii for a few weeks – that would be nice too.

    Other than that, I’m good!

    All the best,

    Len
    Len Penzo dot Com
    .-= Len Penzo´s last blog ..Buying Prescription Glasses Online: Debunking The Four Biggest Fears =-.

  15. Charlie says

    Ha, I love that line about saving 84,700. I hope things are getting better. I semi witnessed a group of thugs go into a Lenscrafters and steal a bunch of designer frames recently. I didn’t actually see them do it but heard them talk about it as they walked up to the store and coincidentally heard them talk about it as they got on my bus 5 minutes later. If only I was the size of The Rock and wearing a bullet proof vest – I would have loved to smack them down and hand them over to the police. But alas I had no proof they actually did anything and really didn’t feel like getting stabbed on my commute home so I left it to karma to catch up to them another time. It does make me wonder if their motive for stealing was out of desperation or not.

  16. says

    Well, I guess you must not live in Portland, OR. The economy isn’t so hot here.

    Hey, I hear you with good ‘ol Moose. I just recently got rid of my ’95 car. It had around 150,000 miles. I was very fun to drive. And the best part was that I hadn’t made any payments on it for over 10 years. In my mind, that sure beats making $500 car payments! If I got a door ding, who cared?

    • says

      Door dings who cares indeed! It’s actually fun to play chicken with some cars, b/c I don’t care as much what happens to mine as they do their shiny new ones! Another benefit to owning a beater.

      Sorry to hear Portland isn’t too hot. At least property is cheap. Come down to the Bay Area. You might just land a job at the next Facebook and be a mega millionaire!

  17. Larry says

    I’m not big on religion, but Joseph in the book of Genesis had it exactly right when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream of the seven fat and the seven lean cows. Fat times will be succeeded by lean times, and the best strategy is to save during the fat times so that you have an excess during the lean times. It’s counter-intuitive to do so, as the natural impulse is to spend money when you have more of it. But after the experience of the past couple of years, it seems to me the most logical way to proceed.

    I agree also on the idea of spending if you can to help the economy. If you have the means and go out to dinner during a recession, you could be helping a waitress and a chef keep their jobs. If you buy a piece of original art (my personal favorite indulgence), you might be helping a struggling artist survive. The natural impulse during a bad economy is to resist spending, but though I of course don’t believe in taking on debt, it seems to me any money you can pump into the economy will be beneficial.

    • says

      Hi Larry, thanks for sharing the story about a Pharoah’s dream. Fascinating they discussed this ages ago, and I suppose it makes sense, as survival was much more difficult then!

      Original art… I’ve kind of got there, and look at some good pieces as investments. Perhaps that’s something I should really look into now that fine art prices have fallen. thnx.

      • Larry says

        Survival is difficult in any age; it’s just the specifics that change.

        Buying art really deserves its own discussion, but I hold to the theory that art should not be thought of as an investment (unless you’re buying really top artists, who cost a small – sometimes large – fortune and whose work you won’t be able to purchase anyway). I buy work that I like and can afford. If its value goes up, that’s icing on the cake, but it’s not something a buyer should necesarily assume or expect.

        • says

          Good advice on art Larry. I kinda treat my portfolio property the same way. It’s for lifestyle, vacation, and experience. If they so happen to appreciate in the future, great, but I never planned to sell anyway.

  18. says

    It’s fun to dream, but the really successful people I know don’t adjust their spending and investing based on the ups and downs of the ecomomy. They have a plan and they stick to it. Avoiding rich indulgences–especially early in life–is largely how they become successful in the first place.

    That’s a pattern I want to follow.
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..15 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill to the Bone =-.

    • says

      May be a good path to follow. I actually think younger people should live it up a little, but making sure to know they will eventually have to start saving.

      It’s harder to save $1,000 when you’re 23 and making only $30,000/yr, than it is when you’re 30 making more, conceptually.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Katana: Spring Cleaning and Moving Forward =-.

  19. laura in atl says

    heh. as i get older, i want less things, but i want experiences. and i want to do them full out. i dont need a car, but i would love an african safari, and a full out top of the line african safari, including a hot air balloon ride at dawn over the serengeti. i want a trip to italy, with top food, wine and opera. i want a sailing trip to the greek isles, hitting all the islands and having wonderful food at each stop. THOSE are what i want, the kinds of things i want.

    i could care less about cars, tvs, etc . . . give me the world instead!!!!!

  20. says

    Sam,

    Just like you and your car, I’m trying to love my Corolla. It’s only about 4 years old, and I plan to keep it until the wheels fall off. Sure, brand new cars are nice, but I remind myself that I want financial independence more than a nice car.

    What I like to do to keep my wants and desires in check is to wait for about 30 days or so before making a purchase. During that time, I shop around, check for deals, and look for the best value.

    If I still want the item at the end of the 30 days, and I’ve found a good deal, and can buy it without getting in debt, then I’ll more likely pull the trigger.
    .-= Darren´s last blog ..$25 Free To Invest With Lending Club =-.

  21. says

    I love this phrase Sam: “In essence, spend money counter-cyclically for better returns.”

    Of course, you have to phrase it a little more discreetly in the downturns if you want to keep your friends. (Even the ones doing okay, who may see your high-rolling as extravagant).

    My problem is in downturns I see cheap stocks, not fancy watches! (And I buy my wishlist! ;) )
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Do you want to retire early enough to save 75% of your income? =-.

  22. says

    If Greece decides to sell a habitable island (not to Germany, but to the public) to help them get out of debt, I think we should gather a group of us to indulge in buying an island together. :D

    I really want an 84, white, Toyota Landcruiser. Clearly possible indulgence, just need the cash up front. :)
    .-= Money Funk´s last blog ..Earth Day: Camping is Fun =-.

  23. says

    Hey FS,
    I’m going to say that I’m most partial to the tennis racquets. My wife and I were looking at our community guide today for areas where you can play for free. The nicest courts in town are part of the tennis club and are a 5 minute walk away. I thought you had to be a member to play there, but they’re open to the public so long as there isn’t scheduled lessons or games. Yippee for us.
    Thanks for the post, and yes… It’s spring – Good times are here
    .-= Guy G.´s last blog ..Tips on Budgeting– A dollar saved is 2 dollars earned =-.

  24. says

    I have been growing my mindset over many years and I don’t think I will ever be tempted to spend a whole lot more than I do. It’s paramount that this recession that is passing reminds people to get debt cleared and savings stocked… let’s hope at least a small amount of people do this!

    My list would be very different to yours but would probably come up at a similar cost… The two items we do share, I already have but they are related to my business so I think I am allowed those (the macbook pro and the camera…. although I would love a new camera, my DSLR is 4 years old now).
    .-= Forest´s last blog ..Using Tomato Ends For Your Spaghetti Sauce Recipe =-.

  25. says

    Interesting thoughts, FS. Seeing as I fall into that 10% (give or take a few tenths of a percent) that is still unemployed, it sure doesn’t feel like ‘good times’ yet. Oh well. I Tended to save more when I was making more money, although that might be a false comparison. I was living in my Mom’s basement, in full geek style when I was working; now that I’m unemployed, I’ve been living with my fiancee, contributing to household expenses, and generally spending a great deal more than I would at my Mom’s.

    As for keeping my wants and needs under control, I try to do my best to control my spending, although it does get away from me at times. I just try to take it one day at a time.
    .-= Roger´s last blog ..Deep Thoughts: The Poverty Line =-.

    • says

      Rog, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Furthermore, my post now looks premature with all that’s going on in the euro and the volatility in the stock markets!

      I hope with the launch of the Yakezie website, you will be able to get some added income. Stand strong. Things are improving my man.

  26. Henderson Injury Attorney says

    I couldn’t agree more with the points you made here about counter-cyclical spending. I have watched my parents, one of whom is a very successful financial adviser at UBS (a bit of irony), dig themselves so deep into debt that I don’t see a way for them to get out at this point short of a miracle. Last November, my father (the financial adviser) received a bonus of $100k. Instead of putting that money towards their debt, or even just putting a little of it into savings or his 401k, they blew through all of it in a matter of months. Every dime of it was a casualty of frivolous spending, buying a new car, TVs, designer clothes, and upgrades to their home that were just flat out unnecessary in my opinion. I go over to their house, which is absolutely beautiful, and see all of their luxury, and then I see them eating canned raviolis for dinner and complaining about not having enough money to fill the tanks of their European automobiles with gasoline. Watching them throw away so much money and put themselves into debt without thinking twice about it has made me a much more responsible spender. Not that I don’t indulge from time to time, but when I do it is for something that I know I can afford without going negative. The indulgent reminding exercise is an excellent way to avoid impulsive spending, and I am going to forward this blog over to my parents, and use the exercise myself as well.

  27. says

    WOW – that 85k added up quick! It is so shocking how such few items that seem relatively basic (albeit luxurious) could add up to nearly six figures like that! It really makes you think about the money you spend and how every purchase adds up to one big intimidating sum of money. Great post.

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