Discretionary Spending

What is discretionary spending? Looking it up I just found there is quite a difference between disposable income and discretionary income. I always thought it was the same. I like learning new things..

Anyway, I think discretionary spending is kind of a flexible term. What counts as a necessity probably differs a lot between different people.

To us, it’s personal spending, that’s how we do our books at the moment. What each of us spends after we have paid rent, energy, water, petrol and food and stuff like that. The real basics.

I think once you set yourself up, with homewares and kitchen crap, clothes, shoes and furniture you don’t have to buy much stuff. I mean, what do you need?! If you don’t replace items just for a different style or for the sake of Keeping up with the Joneses and the latest gadgets, you just need to replace items if they are broken or become irrelevant. And you really don’t have to spend that much.

So now we are doing our spending diary, we can really see what we are spending exactly. We were never big on shopping and spending money on a whole lot of crap, but it’s really interesting to see what’s happening. I hardly spend any money on extras.

I got shoes, I got bags and I make my own clothes, not all of them, but it helps. I don’t buy shitty cosmetics. We hardly ever go out to fancy events, we are better at creating them for ourselves. Now that we are moving, we stopped buying homewares. But considering we are doing the minimalist thing, we would have done that anyways.

So yeah, I’m thinking hard, but I can’t come up with anything else people would “need to buy for fun”. I know some people have hobbies or like going out and that’s cool. What I’m saying is, you don’t always need the latest things or new things and you can have great experiences without spending a whole lot of money on them.

What do you spend your “extra money” on? Do you really need the treats you buy for yourself?

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5 responses to “Discretionary Spending

  1. Thought I’d surprise you and answer one of your questions LOL. Mainly because it’s an easy one – I spend our money on pretty much the same as you, and for similar/the same reasons. It really racks me off that things break or break down and it costs more to repair than buy new. I’m using my mother’s fridge and it’s 30 years old – so why don’t they make things to last 30 years any more? Well, I know the answer but it’s still annoying. I think the nearest thing to a non-essential I buy is colour cartridges for the printer, but that’s to print our own business cards, so I think that is allowable. No doubt when I’ve posted this, I’ll think of something frivolous and useless that I’ve bought.

    • Hey, you broke your own rule! I’m proud of myself now. I knew, to get you to answer my questions, I’d just have to ask BETTER ones!:D

      I think business stuff and printer cartridges are very acceptable. And yeah, it bugs me too, that shit is made so cheaply and ugly nowadays and it doesn’t last like it used to. All this ugly plastic crap! Yikes!

  2. I have been accumulating materials for painting/drawing– besides those art materials, I can fit my possessions in one, standard-sized tote.
    Since my ‘job’ is to garden, I keep practical clothes (5 PLAIN shirts from Goodwill, 2 pairs of pants for dress-up and 2 pairs of pants for garden work).
    I spend money on fruit (40 lb of bananas) and grow most of my food. Even up until now (mid-November in a cold climate) I am still harvesting my lettuce –which I’ve been eating out of every day for 3 months.
    I don’t buy shampoo, body wash, or any hygiene products; I don’t buy frivolous items like other people that buy on impulse.
    When you’re vegan, you see the world completely different– you begin to see what is necessity, what is harmful, what is unsustainable, …

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