A reader named Dakota suggested that I ask this question of the GOACA community, and I’m very curious to hear your answers. Was it a big-ticket article of clothing that suddenly makes your whole wardrobe come together? A vacation? A visit to the dermatologist for fillers? Your divorce? As for me, the best cash I spent last year, hands down, was on unlimited classes at my yoga studio.
Hands-down, my new winter coat from The Arrivals (Moya in Mars). So toasty in this bitter cold!
A toss up: my annual Crunch gym membership for maintaining my sanity or my Karen Karch rose gold/gray diamond ring for a beautiful treat.
A lovely custom fence that blocks my neighbor’s view into my home and patio. It’s changed my life and how I live in my home!
Instead of buying our girls more toys/books/clothes/whatever for Christmas, my husband and I decided to do a family gift instead. We got tickets for Hamilton in Chicago and also went to the MCA and the Field, plus hotel pool swimming. Hamilton was amazing and the trip was great.
The other thing was taking a big chunk of savings and applying it to my student loan. We’ve worked out a plan to get the rest paid off in 3-4 years. Those loans were for more than our first house (which was, admittedly, a shoe box) and it will be so nice to be finally done with them.
We did this for the first time last year and we will definitely keep doing it! So much more special and our kids loved it. They are too little for much more than the zoo and parks (Hotel swimming FTW!)
What is it about hotel pools that kids just love?!
Same here! In 2017 I went to “Hamilton” in Chicago for my birthday. For Christmas, I bought tickets again – for my children and me to go this month. I’m taking the day off work, they will get out of school, take the train to the city (still young enough that it’s fun but not too young to sit through the 3-hour show) – hopefully the fun and memory of this will outlive any video game they would have received.
Honestly? Paying down debt and saving some money. My partner was out of work for a year and a half and things were shaky until July 2017. Being able to put a little extra to pay things off has brought so much peace of mind.
It’s not terribly sexy, but today I’m very very grateful that I was able to buy 10 new, efficient windows for my house. I’ve replace 26 over the last few years and it’s made a huge difference.
Me too. SO glad you were brave enough to say this first! We bit the bullet and got them in before the deep freeze! We joked that this was our Christmas present but it really had been.
So many things that I spent money on for my kids that were worth it (school, occupational therapy, babysitters) but the best thing for me is that I finally switched to a gym that has childcare. Spending the money on a gym that I can take my small kids to has completely changed my workout so that I can actually go. My dream for 2018 is a yoga studio with childcare.
Besides travel, building a new closet in my finished attic. Now I can do the whole winter-summer clothing switch out without digging through zillions of zip up bags and tubs. Heaven.
After 22 years in a rent-stabilized apartment in the East Village, I traded up to a brand-new apartment in Brooklyn with open skyline views, tons of light, a washer-dryer, and a wonderful new kitchen. I had to downsize from a one-bedroom to a (large) studio, but it was totally worth it—no more 3rd-floor walkup and no more schlepping laundry to the laundromat. But the best part—and the main motivator for the move—is that now I can adopt a dog!
That is awesome! Another benefit I found when I switched from a walkup to an elevator building was using my bike a lot more — I no longer had to carry it up/down 5 flights of stairs!!
Check out Brooklyn Bad Ass Rescue. My daughter works with them. Female run and dogs are brought up from high kill shelters in the South. Congrats on your upcoming adoption!! (and your washer and dryer which can be everything–particularly in the kind of weather y’all are experiencing!)
C.w., Badass is where I am most likely planning to adopt! I love them, though there are so many good rescue organizations in NYC and I often develop crushes on dogs from them, too…
Upped my skincare routine (actually, followed thru & did it routinely) with better, targeted products. It sounds shallow, but that’s an investment that’s paying off.
Oooooh, exciting! This is one of my goals for this year. Care to share your products? As you know, that’s a favorite topic on this site! 🙂
Cleansing balm – Estee Lauder or Clinique – both get rid of makeup well.
Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel – smells divine & has helped my skin look tons better – fresher & glowing. A little goes a long way & it lasts forever.
Clarisonic Mia – believe the hype
LXMI Creme du Nil – heaven (especially during this cold, cold winter)
I love hearing what everyone else is using/wearing/enjoying on this site – it’s amazing!
Great tips! Thank you!
Our once in a lifetime dream trip to France and Italy with our three children. We all just cuddled on the couch recently to look at the photos on our TV. There were some pretty funny and beautiful memories.
That is so sweet!
Instead of getting a summer sublet in NYC, I bought new ultralight backpacking gear and did a solo thru-hike of the Colorado Trail. Nothing like 486 miles at an average of 11-12,000 feet to push yourself to your physical limit — and spending 32 days with yourself in the wilderness is important too.
Heather, WHAT?! How incredibly cool, brave, and badass of you! Sounds amazing!
WOW!! That is so inspirational.
would love to have that courage.
You DO have that courage. You just need the proper gear. 🙂
Weren’t you worried about weirdos aka as ax murderers on the trail? I won’t even run my local state park trails alone.
@ Stella: no. “Weirdos and axe murderers” do not hike miles into the backcountry. A number of women solo thru-hike the AT and PCT every year; i followed their safety suggestions (ie, i knew all the other hikers on my ‘wave’, never camped within a mile of a road, etc.
I love that you did this! I’ve been wanting to hike a long trail for a while – we leave near the Appalachian and I really want to head out with gear for a long walk this summer. I’m inspired by the instagram – @unlikelyhikers – you should check it out
Awesome, thanks! The John Muir Trail is a great ‘starter’ thru-hike that you can do in about 3 weeks. Since you live near the AT you could do a trial run of a few days. The main thing first-timers do is bring too much stuff. Backpacking is grear becauae it teaches us just how little stuff we need.
I’m gonna try it as soon as the weather is walkable again…
Heather – that’s so amazing!
I worked as a locum in New Zealand (taking a hit in pay), but it was totally worthwhile in terms of stress reduction and joy in practice.
What is a locum? I will have to google that!
Paying someone to clean my house once a month. I no longer have to feel guilty that I’m not spending part of my downtime doing something that I hate. Sure, the small, day to day cleaning chores are still there, but having someone come in to do the big stuff…the baseboards, polishing hardwood, all the light fixtures…it’s so great.
Agreed. I despise cleaning bathrooms and floors so that’s what I hire out. It’s such a relief!
I did the same thing! Subbing out these 2 big tasks was a weight lifted!
Oh yes, this is number one for me too. I like my apartment much better now, plus it was good for my marriage (so. much. less. nagging.)
Paying into a 529 college tuition plan for my two kids. Hopefully we will have college paid for by the time they are 18.
This is huge…you’ll be so glad when it comes around. I had to really stretch to pay for my daughter’s B.A. at a California State University…costs now for college are cruel and inhumane.
My folks started saving for my college when I was born, and between everything they saved (putting aside some money every month) and scholarships, I graduated without student debt. It has been SUCH a gift. I have many friends who are really burdened by their loans and just wanted to say from the person-receiving-end that this is so, SO great.
We moved in June (which in and of itself was probably the best $$ we spent) and rather than waiting and waiting to do all of the work and decorating on the house, we bit the bullet,and spent a lot of money on things like solar panels, gutters, chimney, energy efficiency updates and furniture/decorations that we love. Excited to sit back and live in a house I love instead of rushing to fix it up to sell a few years down the road
Weight loss surgery (even though most of the cost was covered by insurance). I finally know that other people aren’t just kidding themselves or lying when they say they’re full.
Lap band surgery a few years ago is number one of the best things I have done for myself this lifetime. You have just radically changed your life. Go gurrl!
I spent a lot of $$$ on so many stupid and wonderful things last year… so much so that I’m on a 6 month sartorial fast until June 30th.
The one thing that stands out as THE BEST EVER DAMN THING was the entrance fee to the NY Marathon. It was $295 to buy in once I won the lottery, and the price (as a non-marathoner and general ignoramus) was shockingly high. But just like you work harder for a graded class than you do for pass-fail, the entrance fee was sobering… as in “this shit is real and it’s happening.” It got me training… slowly slowly at first… Actually, slowly slowly the whole time, I’m a turtle and not a hare. Running that thing was one of the top moments of the last decade. Not only fun… but also epically hard and epically awesome.
That is truly awesome!
I did too! And had imposed a full year sartorial fast, (so I don’t know why I am on this site — vicarious, I guess). But am now wondering whether your six month idea is more achievable.
Congratulations on the marathon. That is impressive.
thank you both!
MAC – i think of this site as my porn, now… hehe
i thought of a year after that Ann Patchett article, but… well… Summer! Bronzer, bikinis, sundresses, sandals… who knows, i might be enlightened by then and go for longer
oh yes, I read that too! And there was another in the Guardian.
(and right there with you! perhaps enlightenment awaits. . . )
I had already decided to try a clothes and shoes shopping diet before I read the Ann Patchett essay, but I know there’s no way I could go a year. I’m torn. I have far more clothes than I, than anyone, needs. But on the other hand they bring me so much joy. I’m already thinking of modifications, like restricting myself to one new item a month, or to spending less than $200 per month. No matter what, I know I’ll buy less in 2018. Ideas, anyone?
Therapy, pilates classes, acupuncture and massage. Next up for 2018 is having someone come in and clean my condo every couple of weeks. I was on my own from age 18 on so I figure I’ve been cleaning my house for the last 48 years. I’m soooo tired of mopping floors!
I loooove acupuncture!
I signed up for Hello Fresh, the meal delivery program. At first I thought it was a bit pricey but really it’s not. My husband and I are eating better and I’ve become a better cook. I think in the long run, I actually save money because I don’t have as many trips to the grocery and I don’t have food going bad in the fridge. We are actually thinking of trying one of the other programs like Blue Apron or Home chef, just to mix it up a bit.
Our new Volvo XC 90 in bursting blue. We bought it right before I gave birth to our daughter and it is perfect for transporting our baby. But I also love it for transporting our English bulldog, it fits her large Gunner Kennels crate and this setup has dramatically reduced her travel anxiety (not to mention the safety precautions in case of an accident). Lastly, it has surprisingly good gas mileage and it fits in our small garage. Ticks all the boxes, I couldn’t be more pleased.
We bought a Volvo as well – and love it! But after reading through these comments, I am committed to making my 2018 big purchase travel-related.
Big ticket item – anniversary trip to Rome without kids – first real getaway in many years. Biggest bang for the buck – packing cubes – lifechanging!
I agree, packing cubes are the best. I’m using two sets right now for my baby and me. It’s fulfilling all of my organizational and quick packing dreams.
Three week South Africa road trip–from Cape Town to Johannesburg–visiting near every province and ending with safari at game park in Kruger.
If I think about things, it’s probably the Art Deco sapphire band I got for my wedding anniversary. I’ve wanted a piece like that years and I absolutely love it.
But truly it has been money spent on travel. I took some awesome trips last year with my husband and my family. In addition to our annual trips to visit family, we went to London, one of my favorite cities but two of my kids had never been. I went to the Amalfi Coast with my husband which had been on my wish list since the late 90s. We took a family trip to Maine, which was so beautiful. And we took a bucket list trip to South America with my mom- Quito to be exact, a city and country none of us had ever been to.
I travel a fair amount every year. I love it and my kids love for it so it’s always a priority for me. But looking back, I realize that travel saved 2017 for being a total crapshow.
So travel, plus therapy were best money I spent last year. Therapy has helped me realize that I’m burned out, so I’m taking a short weekend solo trip in a month – first time ever. Can’t wait!
And can I just say this blog is amazing? Because it’s amazing.
Two things stand out for me. Private Pilates lessons 2 times a week. Has changed my stamina and strength. The second cost me nothing. I retired and started to reach out to my friends far and near and gave myself the lasting gift of friendship! Priceless!
I bought a new house, a car, and a sofa in 2017. Also a new bed. I am very happy with all of them!
Ooooh NuFace Microcurrent toning device(you must commit to using it regularly) and Deciem NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum. Both are game changers.
Agree with you completely re: the Deciem Copper Serum, and just ordered the other device on your say-so. 🙂
I started using the NIOD regiment this past month and I’m not sold quite yet. Do you use it AM and PM? I’m fairly happy with the Drunk Elephant Vit C day serum followed by Vintner’s Daughter oil. The VD oil is ongoing – but worth it – expense.
I use it PM only, because it’s too expensive for me to use twice a day :). When I first started using it, though, I DID use it twice a day, and really saw results. Wish I could afford more. I also just added the Ordinary Retinoid 2% (also PM only, after the NIOD), which seems to be a good combo. I haven’t heard of the two products you mention… I’ll look them up!
I left a stable job because working for sociopathic bullies sucks and have struck out on my own. I splashed out on a fantastic clarity coach to help me focus on what I want to do next. Also, I saw a holistic nutritionist to help get my digestive system back on track (and some bonus weight loss) and I took up Pilates (equipment) in a big way at an amazing studio nearby. I’d like to keep focusing on self-care in 2018 as I had taken it for granted before and let stress creep in.
Good for you! Sociopathic bullies DO suck!!!
My first group trip with no one I knew hiking in the Canadian Rockies. It was my first serious attempt at significant physical activity since my cancer diagnosis, and it was amazing.
Yay for you!!
Indeed! Way to go, Cici!
A family trip to Ireland. My husband was born and raised outside of Galway, and every year since our kids were born (they’re 9 now) we have debated taking them but it is so expensive! Luckily his brothers still live on their family land, so we had a place to stay, which helped with the cost. We spent 2 weeks there and had an amazing time. We had several things planned (visited a haunted castle and the Aran Islands) but our favorite things were unplanned – coming across a 14th century abbey (Muckross Abbey in Kilarney), and getting to see a baby calf being born at my brother-in-law’s. We went just after the Vegas shooting, and though it was embarrassing having to answer the “do you LIKE your President???” question from EVERY local, we contemplated the idea of moving there until 45 is out of office (we both work from home). It was a dreamy, magical trip, and I’m SO glad we took the kids.
My husband and I feel the same way about Ireland. We would move there anytime too.
Divorce, apartment ownership (moving any day)! and therapy. Always, therapy. I also bought a nice bottle of perfume for myself for Christmas.
congratulations! 2018 is definitely looking up!
Thanks! It definitely is.
OMG — you all are so cool. I’m inspired fro 2018. Meanwhile, in 2018 I was incredibly indulgent all around and LOVED every minute of it! I had to acquire a new wardrobe to suit my return to the practice of law in DC; went to Buenos Aires with a friend and took polo lessons as well as tango (did well with polo — shock — and horrible with tango); went to Ireland and hired my best friend from elementary school’s son to put together a week-long hiking trip along the Kerry Way (paid all his expenses +$500); Hamilton with 3 friends in NYC; Jacob’s Pillow and 4 days at Kripalu this summer; 2 trips back to Tucson for hiking and hugging and drinking wine with friends. I realized I needed a real holiday present for myself so at the last minute successfully bid on Ebay and am now the proud and warm owner of a 1950s floor length Blackgama mink that someone’s mother had treasured and her daughter had taken meticulous care of for all these years. LOVE it in the cold and I do wear it when walking the dog. But I am on a no-buy-matierial-things for 2018. Hiking the Appalachian Trail has been a goal, so perhaps a segment of that will be my indulgence for 2018. Thank you for all the ideas!!!
I’m with you, I bought an unlimited membership to the local yoga studio – it brought me not only the meditation/exercise part, but also had me thinking of what I bring to the world. My outlook is now to bring JOY to all those I interact with each day. Some days are harder than others, but overall I’m a better person by working towards this daily goal:)
Any and all travel is money well-spent for me. That had been a constant.
Travel aside, my best “non-essential ” buy this past year has been painting classes taught by a neighbor. I won two sessions at a fundraiser last summer, and have been going almost weekly ever since. I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush in a decade or more, and now I can’t imagine *not* painting. And as a side benefit, I’ve gotten to know more of my neighbors. (New Englanders aren’t exactly known for being outgoing).
Speaking of New England: a new, functional water heater has also enhanced my family’s life. Can’t take that for granted!
I bought a new sofa this year (big splurge) and spent al of money on wonderful yarn. I knit and it’s the most soothing and therapeutic thing for me to do and totally worth it.
A 10 pack of tower pilates classes for $100 (I know!). It has made me commit to practicing and I just love it.
I love Tower classes– they’re my favorite kind of Pilates!
I stopped going to my favorite Tower place in the fall because it was so expensive, but my body misses it, and I’m thinking it is maybe an investment in myself worth making.
I don’t begrudge any money spent on travelling this year..and I did a lot of trips. …but probably the best spending I did was on an Osteopath who has sorted out my back and hips for me!
I hired a guy to help shop for my wardrobe. I live in a small town with limited shopping options, and I found myself returning 80% of what I bought online (including StitchFix). A couple of afternoons with him and I had many more outfits. Plus, he found the bargains I had no patience to seek out. This year I plan to use what I’ve got and buy no clothes.
Lisa, how does it work to ‘hire a guy to help shop for your wardrobe’? how do you find someone like that?
After being downsized at the start of last year :(, my friend/Pilates instructor persuaded me to sign up for a Pilates teacher training course – since I had some time on my hands! It was the best thing I could have done for myself and worth every penny – an investment really.
While I’m still looking for a full time gig – I’m happily teaching clients and classes at said friend’s studio. It’s been great to have something to focus on besides my job search and gain a side hustle.
I also took a couple of trips (NOLA jazz fest and a summer rental with my kids) which both felt like extravagances at the time but were well worth it – travel + mind + body!
Travel- always travel.
I bought a latex topper and new linens for our bed and now my husband and me AND the cat can’t stay out of it. It’s embarassing–we go up to bed these days around 7pm just to be in it and read until we fall asleep, with the cat blissed out on the blanket at the foot of the bed.
Linen duvet cover and pillow slips from Parachute Home were totally worth it, apparently.
Bought, gutted and renovated our 3BR condo overlooking the Hudson River. Best part is that it’s designed by my youngest son (Syracuse school of architecture class of 2020, ok maybe 2021 lol)
Two things: 1-I upped my retirement contributions considerably, and that’s bought me tremendous peace of mind; and 2-I bought some at-home fitness equipment (adjustable dumbbells and a Kurt Kinetic bike trainer) and work out much more regularly as a result.
Our trip to Vietnam.
$119 per year for unlimited Peapod grocery deliveries. I live in a third-floor walk-up and don’t have a car, so trying to haul heavy items like cat litter on the bus was always a big struggle. Now that I’m older and am having more issues with my back and knee, I could end up seriously hurting myself. I get a delivery every week, so that’s $2.28 per delivery, which is cheaper than round-trip bus fare to the nearest decent grocery store, and it saves me a ton of time.
Travel is at the top of my list as well. I decided to splurge on really nice Airbnbs for two separate family trips – Kauai and Fire Island. Treating ourselves (instead of cramming in hotels) made all the difference. Wonderful memories!
I bought my first home (a 1br condo) and everything that goes with it: sofa, TV, mattress, plants, cutlery, etc. It made a huge dent in my savings and I’ll be in debt for what seems like forever, but I know walk to and from work (from sitting in traffic 2-3 hrs a day!) and that alone makes it worth it!
I’m really enjoying reading the comments! I bought several pairs of really good jeans. Dark wash, Imogene and Willie, made in US of Cone Mill denim (RIP), fit really well, hemmed just for me. Two different sizes, because, let’s be honest, I vary. And raw denim — I am absolutely a convert. Having jeans that I always feel great in is a game changer.
I would have said my wedding, but I was proud to spend very little on that — in our backyard, small, potluck, and my parents gifted us photos.
Thank you! 🙂
LOVE that you did a small wedding! SO smart to not spend money on a wedding…
Luckily my daughter and son already know how I feel about that!
Applying the “they go low, we go high” approach to travel, we took a midwinter, mid-term college break to Iceland with our son. While other people basked on beaches, we stomped around in snow boots and parkas. Still, it was warmer than at home. We didn’t see the Auroras, but that’s okay because we used to see them from the comfort of previous northerly home.
Best of all, there’s nothing like soaking in one of the outdoor geothermal pools on a winter’s day. As for the mad dash to the airport before a storm shut down the roads? Part of the adventure!
Travel to the East Coast to spend time with my elderly mother. I flew there and rented a car six times during 2017, and I wish I’d gone even more.
I’m glad you got to go as much as you did.
It wasn’t a lot of money, but the most rewarding expenditure in 2017 went on the care and feeding of a cat and her 5 kittens. I found the mom, pregnant, outside a Target store on August 6. No collar, no chip, so took her home while I called rescues. I put her in my guest bathroom, went down to get water, and returned to find 2 newborn kittens!! Holy crap. 5 more followed in the next few hours. 2 died very early, but the remaining 5 flourished. All rescues were full (it was just after Hurricane Harvey), so I because an accidental foster for 10 weeks. I pimped them like crazy on social media (e.g. https://www.facebook.com/targetkittens/) and all kittens and mom found amazing new homes. It was a huge investment of time, and a little money, but an amazing experience.
Six fosters! I have two 8 week old feral kittens living in my guest room at this very moment. They were found just before the cold really hit, and if they weren’t in my house, they would have certainly frozen to death.
They’re adorable, roly-poly, and are slowly, slowly warming up to people. Social media pimping is one of the best parts of kitten fostering!
Good luck finding homes! I had never fostered before, but might do it for a smaller brood…..when my cranky old cat is gone. She hates all animals, so I had to keep this litter in my garage.
A 1969 Ford Ranchero!!
That is badass
Do you love it? I’m seriously considering one, but they’re so expensive.
I suppose I should say stuff like our family vacation, new dishwasher or my son’s braces. But I’m not. I spent some serious coin on a pair of OTK Stuart Weitzman’s, Mulberry Bayswater bag, and a delicate gold/diamond necklace for myself (which I haven’t taken off). They make me EXTREMELY happy!
a pair of big diamond stud earrings, as a reward for losing nearly 50lbs. I wear them all the time and they are reminders of what I have done, will do and can do, which is anything. This is the source of my mona lisa smile…
One year of hot Pilates
A new (to us) house. No more landlady across the driveway and hiding how many dogs we have!! Said new house is old enough to have some fairly major issues that we’ll have to throw money at before we can make it “pretty,” but its ours (and the bank’s – sigh) and its home!
Long walks with my digs, messages and a trip to Italy. Also, what NY (Manhattan or Brooklyn) yoga studio do you recommend?
A trip to the podiatrist and orthotics for my running shoes. I’ve had all sorts of aches and pains disappear — well worth the expense!
$80.00 lifetime subscription to the Breethe app for my iphone, used to be called OMG I can meditate. Daily meditation is life changing, and boy did I need it in 2017. Hylamide SubQ anti-age & acupuncture.Self care is the greatest gift!
I took off a month of unpaid leave at the end of the summer to travel, my ‘gift’ to myself for finishing my PhD in May at age 40.
Fleece-lined Birkenstocks. So happy this is a judgment-free zone.
Ha–I’ve been eyeing those!
Are you kidding? They are SO cool…I have two pair and am getting the black clog ones next…get some!
Oh, I love my fleece-y Birks! They worked so well in on a trip to Scotland (the fleece felt right at home). I almost bought another pair lined in bright blue, but that seemed too decadent…
Airfare to see my Mom…home for her birthday in the height of tourist season, Passover, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving, and once this fall to help her go thru and determine what would move with her into assisted living, and then back in Dec for the actual move.
Spanish classes. I can’t wait to travel to Mexico and have more than the basic phrases on hand, and the classes have been a blast.
Two new couches. A life-changer. What we had before was just one couch that was 14 years old and had been totally ravaged by 3 kids and two cats. Only a lit match could improve it. 😉 An interior designer here said he had a fabric that cats would ignore. I took the plunge and my two hideously destructive by loveable cats totally ignore it! It’s so amazing to have non-humiliating furniture…
While I don’t have two cats, I do have three kids (boys) that were born to destroy. We are living with two hideous couches and a sectional that we are desperate to toss. We posted them on Craigs List – perhaps we were overly confident – because they are still sitting in our house.
Excited (and a bit jealous) of your new non-humilating furniture!
I urgently need to know what the fabric is. I have two hairy labs that have rendered my furniture, and thus my living room, a complete embarrassment.
Kim, I love when you ask these questions because I get to “know” something of the cool women who read you each day.
2017 big purchases for me: new A/C unit (installed just as we had a stretch of very hot days here in Portland), new dishwasher (the old one died and I put off the new purchase for 8 months – dishpan hands are really a thing), the trip to a dear friend’s wedding.
I’d like to commit to travel in 2018, but am lining up a kitchen remodel instead. I’m so tempted to sell the house, quit my job, and roam the world instead. Is that what happens when you’re in your early 50s?
I hired a lawyer and legally changed my son’s name and gender marker and obtained a birth certificate that reflects who he really is.
We also remodeled what was one of the ugliest master baths I’ve ever seen. It has brought me a great deal of joy.
What you did for your son is a gift of life. I’m so moved by your graciousness.
I teared up reading this–So glad your son has you!
That is just fantastic.
That’s lovely — congrats to you both.
Those are two wonderful accomplishments!
rather than wait for someone to take me or just come with me, I paid A LOT to see Dear Evan Hansen (original cast) on Broadway. It was heart opening and an emotional check-in for me. It was my first solo show and extravagant but so worth it. For me. 2018: $ will be spent on travel and bathroom renovation (not necessarily in the order).
Family music classes for my three-year-old daughter, my husband and me – with a bunch of other kids and parents, we sing songs, explore rhythm and harmony, dance and act silly, and laugh SO much.
I also started taking French classes. 🙂
A thick, cozy oversized cardigan/coat/dress from Vince. I bought it at Nordstrom after they announced they would stop carrying Ivanka Trumnp’s fashion line. I went in looking to spend some money as a form of support and after much searching, I saw the sweater. It has become an integral part of my fall/winter/spring wardrobe (I live in MN) and I wear it about once a week, usually with faux-leather leggings. A bit spendy and impulsive, but so me, it’s perfect.
Vince makes the warmest, coziest sweaters. They cost a lot but last forever. I love Nordstrom.
Trips back to NYC for shows, family, friends, sanity. It’s been an intense year here in not-so-small businessville, and I desperately needed to be back home a few times.
I bought a new house – nearly doubling my monthly mortgage payment. But doing so reduced my daily commute from at least 60 minutes to 20 or less and I’m closer to friends, shopping, and dining. Worth every penny – and then some!
Yay! Our response is almost exactly the same! It’s such a life changer, moving closer to work, especially when you came from losing 2 hours of your life to traffic/traveling.
My divorce. Followed by moving my furniture from Texas to Colorado.
A strand of cabochon garnets from an estate sale that I wear everyday now. Who knew.
Adding a 2nd Sonos speaker for my bedroom. It was a bit too much money, but had a weekend of good food in Vegas with my SO and friends.
Also splurged on a great personal trainer, who’s super worth it!
A trip to Maine for a challenging (for me) hike up Cadillac Mtn. Amazing views and good quality time with my husband.
Love that area!
I’m a little embarrassed to post this, but: eyelash extensions. I fill every two weeks. I’m not coloring my hair anymore, nor cutting it as often, so I had money freed up in the self-care section, and it went toward this. In second place, I also started rotating in microneedling sessions with my regular, every six weeks dermabrasion sessions, which has pretty much made my pigment and texture issues a bad memory.
It makes such a difference in my personal outlook to wake up in the morning already looking pretty. I’m now on a wash – moisturize – lip tint – go morning routine. Small things, but lifechanging.
BRACES! at 64! Or our trip to Provence. It’s a tie.
Hooray Linda! Awesome to hear! I got braces in early 2016 (age 49) and just them removed in December. 17 months went quickly! I only regret not doing it sooner.
We downsized to a smaller, updated apt (after twenty years in our old apt) at the end of 2016. Most of my expenses this year have been upgrading our furnishings with an eye to reflecting the life we actually live, not the one we thought we wanted to live.
I, too, love the responses to this question. Some are past memories of my own (orthodontics, music lessons, family experiences), and some are things I have yet to do (adapting living circumstances to aging in place, accepting life as it is and will be). Some are those self-care things that help a person change the way she takes her place in the world. And hey, we all can use a little boost to the self-confidence, whatever form that takes.
This is such a reflective question, much better than the idea of resolutions. Thank you.
(And one of my baby steps into the future was realizing that a bottom-freezer fridge was a necessity, due to my inability to crawl on the floor digging for food on the bottom shelf of my previous behemoth fridge. Now I don’t have to do that, and life is better.)
Like Zoe I bought perfume. The bottle giving me the purest jolt of happiness was 4160 Tuesdays “Who Knew?” A rose for rose-haters, supposedly.
Neither of these things are new, but they help keep me sane and well. First, my horse. Talk about spending every bit of my ‘disposable’ income, but what she gives me in peace and exercise is worth every penny. Second is my weekly Pilates sessions, which have strengthened my core, balanced my body, and added flexibility (and helps a lot with my riding).
I’m so inspired reading these comments! I may steal some ideas for my 2018 goals. My biggest splurge was skincare, which seems superficial by comparison. I figure looking in the mirror every morning sets the tone for my day, and if what I see makes me happier it has an impact on everything else I do. I started seeing a new dermatologist who prescribed creams (Tazorac for retinol and Aczone for pimples) and a pill to suppress hormonal acne. I splurged on a couple fillers and added La Mer soft moisturizing cream to my routine. I turn 40 this year and I feel like I’ve never looked better. That, my friends, is priceless.
We took our 8th grade kids out of school in early December– everyone tells us its hard to miss high school — and visited friends in Hong Kong, Myanmar/Burma and Australia for a month. We camped half of the time and I was offline for most of the trip. It was an eye-opening, thought-provoking, invigorating and relaxing month. I returned yesterday feeling clearer about how I want to spend the hours in my day in 2018: less social media and fewer news feeds. More physical activity and focus on my writing project. My return revealed how much time I spend worrying about details: work, kids, house projects, etc. The month offered me a glimpse of life beyond turning things over and over in my mind and THAT was worth every penny.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
It’s absolutely changing my life for the better. Finally found a therapist that’s perfect for me, after many bad fits.
Great question and great responses, thank you for asking! And for this blog.
My best money spent was a number of nice dresses for book tour events. Some of them were pricey, the ones I wore the most were less, but knowing I could grab a dress and feel pretty was priceless. Next time maybe I should splurge on a stylist. I look at some of the photos and cringe, but at least in the moment I felt good.
A dark teal chaise longue from Interior Define, if we’re talking things. Otherwise, supporting my kids, eating out, and yoga classes.
Oh wait, I’m wrong. It was two pieces of art. One a still life by Kathy Leeds, the other a gothic realist family by Ian Gallagher. Art. Definitely art.
I had a closet wall designed and made in a spare bedroom. Now, all my shoes, jackets, dresses and more are organized and visible. My New Year’s resolution (one and done) is to see how long I can go without purchasing an article of clothing, jewelry or makeup and having this closet wall helps, as I can “shop it” when I feel the need for something different.
The tuition for the review course, the cost to travel to and stay in NYC for the 5 day program and the cost for the test, but now I’m board certified in my medical specialty.
Twice weekly Pilates lessons on the reformer, shoes in my hard to find size, and petite sized clothing. The Pilates lessons have helped with my body alignment, breathing, and desire to live a healthier lifestyle. Buying new shoes in my size 9.5 or 10 wide has been amazing. They are more expensive than what I can find when I impulsively shop at Nordstrom Rack since I have to order them online, but my feet are so much happier. The same applies to my petite sized clothing for my upper body. My petite sized coats and sweaters feel so much better and I don’t hate wearing a winter coat anymore. Like with the shoes it takes more intention and patience but it’s been worth the effort and expense.
Hello fellow petite person! Care to share sources? (Yay to finding your size!)
i love reading these comments. my best purchase was a photo album (Mixtbook) i finally organized 4 years after a family trip to paris with my parents. i had put it off forever, finally sat down & committed a day. my parents have been flipping through this 70 page book everyday since they got it. i should have done it years ago but at least I’m motivated now to knock out another one.
My motorcycle! I love it, it’s so freeing, and it has opened up a whole new community of wonderful moto ladies all over the city.
Two things. First, after 11 years of living in it, we remodeled our 1930’s home. It is wonderful and I never want to leave. Second, I went trekking in Peru to Machu Piccu. It was an incredible experience.
For Christmas, we bought a trip to my old hometown of Hilo, Hawaii to visit dad (first time for my family visit the island where I grew up).
About 2 years ago I gave up weekly therapy and applied that money to working out with a trainer 1/2 hour twice a week, and to dance classes. Therapy was great – but being physically strong makes me feel confident and really healthy. My mom is in her 80s – has had a hip and knee replacement and is beginning to hunch due to osteoporosis – which makes me all the more determined to lift weights and stay in shape. I’ve avoided working out because i just hate it – but the trainer keeps me motivated and has built my strength training slowly over the past two years so that I have avoided injury (a problem in the past) and also boredom (can’t bear to do the same thing over and over). Best money I’ve ever spent. In 2017 I invested in better workout clothes (as opposed to Old Navy…) I love being strong!
Unlimited Pure Barre classes. I have always exercised regularly, but there is something about Pure Barre that makes me feel better than anything I have done before and its all I do (besides a lot of walking). And I am trying to quiet the voices in my head that ask “Well, what about intense cardio?” “What about mixing it up?”
The best thing I spent money on in 2017 is TRAVEL… I always think it’s the best way to spend my money. After that, probably “smart home” products.
My trip to DC for the Women’s March last January. I met up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. The March was amazing, especially with a dear friend by my side. We spent the next few days catching up and reconnecting and it seemed like no time had passed. I’m so grateful for that experience because she passed away unexpectedly last week.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing this story. It’s a great reminder to take the opportunities to reconnect while they’re still around.
Renting our neighborhood bar/restaurant to throw a party to celebrate getting married. Just close friends and select family. I think I will always prefer an experience over a thing.
Ok, I shelled out big money for a new metal roof for a cottage I own. It is, ah, very satisfying to know that the roof won’t leak, and I never have to do it again.
But actually, the best thing I got was fillers for my face. For me. I know it sounds self-serving but I had a long depressing period when my husband was very sick, had a bone marrow transplant, and eventually recovered. I took care of him for three years. I did everything for three years, (except I forgot to pay the car insurance and that turned into an expesive mess.) Things are fine, but it sucked while it was happening.
After all that, you deserve to have the face of an angel 😉
Got an incredible eye lift. I’m 52 and I feel better about my look. Best money for my husband was a Pelaton. He has lost 25 lbs and less stress for me as his weight was becoming a health issue.
2 week vacation to London and Paris w/ our teenage son. Best vacation ever. . . Also seeing Hamilton, pricey but worth it (I am not a theater or “musical theater” person but it was stunning). Every concert we went to in 2017. Live music is soul-restoring, especially in these times.
The one thing I took to heart this year was it’s worth paying for great experiences/memories, not so much for things. . .
I also saw Hamilton last year, but bought the tickets in 2016 so didn’t include it. It is worth every penny. I was very doubtful that it would live up to the insane hype, but it definitely did.
Self-indulgent splurge was a three-week trip to Australia, which was amazing.
But I also decided to invest in the less fun, but far more important future of my country and make regular, generous donations to political candidates running to defeat hate and intolerance.
Traveling to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Hollywood Bowl in September. I am a big fan and had the Bowl on my venue wish list for quite some time. I sat 7th row center on a beautiful night with a wonderful friend and will always have the memory of one perfect night.
Our Christmas riverboat cruise from Vienna spending Christmas and my birthday At Hotel Imperial in Vienna couldn’t have been better.
Christmas in Thailand with my dude (‘boyfriend’ doesn’t sound right when we’re both adults) and his children. It was a wonderful vacation and the perfect introduction to the kids, hopefully my future stepchildren.
We live clear across the country from our family and this summer we took three weeks, drove there and just hung out with people. My son got to be around his aunts and uncles and grandparents and it was great.
I subscribed myself to a monthly massage appointment at the local spa – now instead of feeling like a splurge, it is lined up in my calendar and ready for me every month!
We landscaped our yard with drought tolerant plants and stone and gravel…. and a tiny bit of grass. It is so clean and a pleasure to sit outside!
1. A second trip to one of my favorite places on earth: Caneel Bay in Saint John USVI, which was destroyed by the hurricanes.
2. Paddleboards! My husband and I had countless adventures on the water in landlocked Colorado this year and even traveled with them.
3. Monthly donations to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NPR, and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (for Elephants!)
4. Taking my aging parents to Santa Fe for a Christmas that reminded me of the magic of Christmas.
I bought a little $7 egg pan from Walmart and it is THE BEST $7 I’ve ever spent in my life. I can even manage an omelette in it, which I have NEVER been able to accomplish before. LOL!
I love this! Congrats!
Every $ spent on a lift ticket or lesson for my kids. Skiing with them has been without a doubt the most fun I’ve had as a parent!
Lots of travel – keeps me sane. Along with private instruction on a Pilates reformer to rehab my back.
A lovely, quiet week in the Adirondacks with my husband.
the best thing i spent money on in 2017 was a housekeeper. she comes every 2 weeks and cleans my house. and i don’t have to think about it or worry that it isn’t good enough. or dread the weekend because i have to clean. or worry about people dropping by. i hate cleaning and i’m bad at it.