Written by Sarah Cocchimiglio
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Newton’s Third Law is also true of saving and spending: If you want to buy something, you’ve got to give up some cash.
It sounds simple, but often it isn’t. What’s worth saving for and what’s worth the splurge?
According to Chase Blueprint, more consumers in 2013 are planning large expenses over the next five years, compared to last year. Forty-six percent are saving to purchase a new car (up from 38 percent in 2012), and 26 percent are saving for a dream vacation (up from 24 percent in 2012).
For some consumers—whom we conducted video interviews with for our Smart Spending series—it’s easy to give up one small creature comfort in exchange for a special treat.
“My one indulgence is definitely manicures. It’s relaxing, a fun way to spend your Saturday,” said Elizabeth Banta. “I can afford it by not having cable.”
For others, the sacrifice is a big one, because so is the payoff. Joe Russo’s family gave up annual vacations to fund a kitchen renovation.
“We didn’t go on vacation for about a year and a half because I wanted to build a new kitchen for my family,” Russo said. “We like to cook together and eat together, and it was something I felt was very important for us.”
Would you consider kicking a bad habit in exchange for something you love?
“I have three coffee makers at home, but I still like to go out and have my coffee made for me," said Wendy Flohr. "I gave up smoking, so I use the money [from quitting] for my one indulgence of coffee every single morning.”
To fund a part-time passion, Garrett Ritz uses a full-time savings method.
“Fishing is my passion, my secret indulgence,” Ritz said. “It’s time consuming and very expensive. So what I try to do is budget any bonuses or spare money, especially during the off-season, to help off-set costs during the season.”
Mollie Miller made an ongoing sacrifice to purchase something with a long-term payoff—her first home. Miller said she followed her father's advice and put a little bit away every month.
"[He said] No matter how little you make, every single paycheck try to put at least $50-$100 away," she said. "And with that advice, six years later I was able to buy my first house at the age of 28."
TELL US: What would you sacrifice for a splurge?
About this series: As part of our Smart Spending reporting, Patch is profiling people across the country who have found creative ways to save money. If you're a smart spender, we want to hear from you! Share your story here or in the comments section below.