After setting record breaking savings rates the past few months it seems I am being tested. Heavily. And yes, the flesh is weak. As a result, I splurged a couple of days ago and cut my November savings rate by at least 12.5%. And it’s not over yet! How can this be? Two things have happened.
First, I finally pulled the trigger on a brand-new Asus GeForce GTX 970 Strix video card for my PC, something I’ve been contemplating as far back as the end of September when the card was first introduced. As some of you know, I really like video games and enjoy a high quality PC set-up. While my old – ahem – graphics card definitely did the job, I found it sometimes lacking in driving my three monitors at the same time.
Combine that with the fact that I have absolutely zero tolerance for
slow sluggish suboptimal PC performance and you end up with me spending over €360 on a fancy GTX 970. That’s more than my monthly rent payment. It’s also more than my discretionary spending from the past four months combined. More specifically, it’s 18% of my monthly salary.
Second, the seasonal Steam sales have begun. On top of that it’s raining Black Friday deals left and right, even here in Belgium. Online resellers are basically throwing games my way at a fraction of their original cost. Luckily, I never buy games when they’re brand-new and wait until the first large discount, so at least in the long-run I’m coming out ahead.
When I was in my first year of university during my very first and overly confusing class of philosophy, the first thing the professor uttered was “so what?” – yes, it was one of those courses. Weirdly enough, that one sentence has always stuck with me, even today. So after punching in my credit card details on the Amazon website, I asked myself so what?
Is it bad that I spent 18% of this month’s salary? That I have to spend 30 hours at the office to afford such a luxury?
My answer would be a confident no.
I shouldn’t care in the slightest. When you’re trying to reach financial independence by saving and investing rigorously, don’t feel bad when you sometimes spend money on stuff that really makes you happy. It might be very materialistic of me, but that video card will offer me many hours of fun in the very near and more distant future.
Being the frugal badass that I am, of course I made sure to reduce my initial investment of €360 by selling my previous graphics card for a hefty but fair €150. You see, you can have the best of both worlds. Luxury and frugality aren’t like water and fire. They should be used in tandem to achieve greater effect.
It’s like Jeremiah Fink announced all over BioShock Infinite’s dystopian flying city I’ll now be able to enjoy even better: “The early bird catcheth the worm!” If you’re well-prepared on your early retirement journey you’ll be able to enjoy many of the luxuries you desire.
Which luxury do you like spending money on even though you’re trying to save as much as possible?
And, oh yes, I can already imagine some of you rubbing your hands with glee out of good-natured Schadenfreude. Be sure to check back in two days to read about my November budget wrap-up!