Money Bags

The other day, I placed an order with Office Max and, at the request of some co-workers, purchased three boxes of a specific pen. I looked them up online to find the item number and was horrified to discover that they cost $22 for a box of 12. Granted, these are quite nice retractable gel pens, but when it comes right down to it, they are uni-ball pens, pens that came in a squashed little cardboard envelope. If I’m going to pay more than 20 cents for a pen (which is unlikely), it darn well better come in a little velvet lined box, preferably made of polished cherry wood. I’m particularly partial to blue bic ballpoint pens which cost about two bucks a dozen.

This reminded me of a post that One Smart Cookie wrote last week about what she’d spend money on if she had virtually unlimited funds and what, despite having gobs of money, she’d still not be very interested in spending money on. I thought about this all weekend, and Bart and I even talked about it at length in the car. So, if I had unlimited funds, here are the five things I’d blow my cash on and then the five things that I wouldn’t spend money on.

1) Travel. I absolutely love to travel, and I think we’d spend gobs of money on this if we had the resources. I not only want to have the means to be away for weeks at a time, but also to be able to stay in a nice hotel, eat at fun places, and enjoy all the things we want to do while on location. This would definitely be number one.
2) Activities. I’d like to have more money to spend on things to do just locally. I’d like to see more plays, visit more museums, eat out at cool restaurants, take a hot air balloon ride, etc. Right now our budget is sadly short a “hot air balloon” category.
3) Clothes. I really do love to shop for clothes and I love to buy new clothes. I doubt I’d ever buy really expensive articles of clothing, but I would definitely increase the quantity of things I buy. And I’m making the clothes category include shoes. Because what girl doesn’t love shoes? I’d also make that include flying Landen out to help me pick out shoes and clothes because that girl has a serious sense of style.
4) Landscaping. I would really love to have a backyard with huge beds of flowers, a big patio, a barbecue, a pool and hot tub, garden boxes, a swing set, and, why not, a tennis court (hey, I’ve got money to burn, you know).
5) Kitchen equipment. I really love to cook, and have people over, so I’d love to have a totally Williams-Sonoma’ed out kitchen, with every little gadget you can imagine. I’d also have cabinets and cabinets of dishes, in every color you can imagine. Ah, bliss.

What wouldn’t I spend money on?

1) I would NEVER pay hundreds of dollars for my future babies/infants/toddlers to take classes. It just seems proposterous to me to spend that sort of money on teaching a 10 month old Mandarin Chinese or viola or something. I don’t think little kids (4 or under) are going to benefit from taking expensive private or group lessons that supposedly enhance their intelligence and make them more likely to get into Cambridge. I’d certainly pay for an older child to take language, music, athletic, art, etc classes. Just not a teeny tiny kid.
2) Pets. I’m not really a pet person to begin with (although I can see us getting a dog or cat or something if we had a kid who was just dying for one), but I will never be one of those folks who spends thousands of dollars on my pet by buying gourmet animal food, little clothes for my animal, or tons of little toys and gadgets. I can think of a gazillion things I’d rather spend money on than a little dog.
3) Videos. Although I love renting and watching movies, I doubt I’d ever just buy movies off-handedly. I definitely like owning some movies that I know I’ll watch over and over, like Sabrina or What’s Up, Doc? but I just can’t see myself ever just buying a movie I’d never seen rather than renting it. Besides, I’m good about returning my movies on time, so I don’t even have to worry about the whole “after late fees, it’s cheaper just to buy it.”
4) Jewelry. I really like wearing jewelry and all, but the idea of having expensive jewelry makes me nervous. I’d worry more about losing them than I’d enjoy wearing them; I’d rather just have lots of cheap jewelry that I can enjoy wearing and not stress about losing an earring or the clasp breaking on a necklace. If I ever, heaven forbid, lost my wedding ring diamond, I’d just get a CZ to take it’s place. Expensive jewelry is just not for me.
5) Plastic surgery. I just can’t imagine being unhappy enough with my body to spend thousands of dollars altering it, especially because I hate the idea of being sliced open. Yuck. Also, I’ve seen those draining bags they put on you after lipo and wow do those ever make me slightly ill. I get a little nauseous even thinking about all the shots, medication, blood drawing, testing, etc, that would go into prepping for (and recovering from) cosmetic surgery.

It’s embarrassing how many things I think of for the second list and then think “well, it’s possible that I’d fork out money for that if money wasn’t an issue.” Fortunately, I feel very happy about our lifestyle and what we have. I don’t actually need a $30 avocado pitter from Williams-Sonoma to be happy.

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  1. But what if your husband was Chinese? And what if his parents only spoke Chinese? And what if you didn’t, but you wanted them to be fluent in the language in order to have a relationship with their grandparents? THEN would you pay for the private lessons?

  2. I’m not opposed to paying for private lessons; I’m just not willing to fork over thousands of dollars for an infant or toddler to take lessons once a week. I don’t think a tiny child is going to learn enough from a once or twice a week lesson to make it worth the horrendous amounts of money it would likely cost. I think that, for the child to really pick up a language that young, you’d need a parent or live-in someone who spoke almost exclusively that language. We have some folks in our ward that do that with Spanish and English. And I’d certainly be willing for an older child (maybe 6 or older) to take language lessons.

  3. Ni hao ma! I am actually studying Chinese right now. I realize it’s not for everyone – but I love it! 🙂

    My splurges: travel, travel-travel-travel; a comfortable home with a library (2-stories with a spiral staircase, like in the movies); clothes and shoes – although not necessarily “designer”.

    My saves: expensive haircuts/spa treatments. Sure it’d be nice every once-in-a-while, but not once a week; techno-gizmos. I need a laptop and a good digi-camera, but I don’t really bother with much else; fancy-schmancy car. I am just fine with a moderately priced, comfortable car. Who wants to drive a teeny-weeny sports car? You can’t fit a gallon of milk in the trunk! 🙂


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