Lest you think I'm a fabulous frugalite, here's my list of must-have money wasters...
1. I buy what people want (if I know) for gift-giving occasions. I do have a gift box, but I rarely use it because I know how much a personal gift means to me.
2. I eat out 2-3 times a week. I like cooking, but I don't like to feel like I have to cook. I also enjoy the greater variety a restaurant offers. Everyone gets something they want that night.
3. I don't bake my own bread. I know I would save, but for me, the time involved isn't worth it. There are several thrifty things that I could do that I don't do because the time involved doesn't make it worthwhile to me. With a small child, my free time is valuable!
4. I wash my hair daily. If I only washed every other, I would save on time, water, and hair care products. But I feel nasty when I haven't washed my hair. My hair doesn't require daily washing, but my mental sanity does.
5. Coffee. I love coffee, as in coffee shop coffee. Not Folgers. Even Starbucks at home, while good, doesn't compare with the satisfaction that I get actually going somewhere, ordering a specialty coffee, and then sitting down to enjoy it. I have contemplated buying an espresso machine and learning how to make all the coffees, but I think a lot of my enjoyment has to do with the atmosphere. Part of the reason why I am frugal is to support my $10 a week coffee habit.
6. I drive an SUV. I know it's a gas hog, but with so many other SUVs, over-sized pickup trucks and vans out there, I am safer in a larger vehicle. The model I drive has the highest crash ratings, and gets good gas mileage for a vehicle of it's size. If it wasn't for my son, I would drive a smaller car but I feel like an SUV is a safety investment.
7. I use store-brand dishwasher detergent instead of making my own. I pay 3 times more per load, but homemade just doesn't work well with my dishwasher and I figure that washing things a second time by hand cancels out the money I would save by making it myself.
8. I use a Clorox mop. I pay more for the cleaning solution and the cleaning pads, but the time and convenience make it worthwhile to me. I also don't have to worry about my son hurting himself (or a toy) with a bucket full of hot cleaning water.
9. I don't have a low flow shower head. I like the full power of water in my shower in the morning. My shower is one of the few times I get each day to myself, and I don't want to make it a less enjoyable experience. I take a short shower anyway.
10. I love to scrapbook. I spend serious money on each scrapbook; to date, I have filled 8 scrapbooks. I have a ton of scrapbook stuff that I haven't used. But I look at scrapbooks as a way of preserving history and memories. It's important to me that each page looks its best. I try to buy on clearance and sales, but if what I need for a certain look isn't clearance or on sale, I will buy it and not feel guilty.
I will post one day in the future explaining how with #2 and #6 I do it cheaper than most, but the other 8 items don't have a cheaper version for me. Sometimes being frugal or thrifty isn't worth it if it means that you will have to sacrifice happiness.