Friday, April 1, 2011

Secret Spending Vices

No, not the big expenses. Not the laptop computer you decided you had to have. Not the credit card kept hidden from one's spouse. Not even the desire to dine out at a gourmet restaurant at least once a week.

What I'm talking about are the inexpensive but irresistable 'gotta-haves' that bring us joy.

Imelda had shoes.

Grace has books and notebooks.

Back in my college days, when my dormitory was in walking distance of a number of great thrift stores, I was seduced by used books. I arbitrarily set a spending limit that I honor to this day: the book or notebook must not cost me more than a dollar.

Of course, this rule would work better if I didn't find such great deals: the last time I went to a Friends of the Library Book Sale, I came across 27 such bargains!

I also love blank notebooks. I've kept a diary since 4th grade. Lately, I've branched out into 'subject specific' diaries, which is why I have a financial journal, a journal for each of my children, and, most recently, a journal in which I explore the patterns that have shown up in my life's journey.

But that still leaves me with a pile of unused blank books.

There's a great charity locally that would take donations--they run writing workshops for disadvantaged people such as the mentally ill, folks in domestic violence shelters, and the homeless. But I have such a hard time letting go of my treasures.

The dollar limit is seductive as well--after all, it's just a dollar. I can usually dig one of those up.

And it does save on home decorating costs--put up a bookshelf, cover the wall.

So, am I the only one with a secret spending vice?


Roberta Warshaw said...

Mine are books, sketchbooks, and craft supplies.

I really need to disable Amazon's One Click button. That is my downfall.

Anonymous said...

McDonald's!! But you already knew that ;)

Funny enough, when 2010 was ending I was going NUTS looking for a blank book to start my 2011 journal in and just could not find anything that was reasonably priced. In the end, I just bought a giant regular notebook. And I've hardly written in it at all this year! I wonder if I'm just resistant since it reminds me of school.

Anonymous said...

Grace, you could have far worse vices! We love books and reading at our house too. Your spending limit is certainly reasonable.

Grace. said...

MSM--I buy at library sales, rummage sales and garage sales. Or I buy composition books when they are on sale for the start of school--lots of them have great graphic covers. As for McDonald's--I really get it about their fries. That's why I let the grandkids choose where to eat when I have them!

Lisa said...

Oh nooo..... you are not alone Grace. I love Jadeite Fire King dishes.... and retro Pryex.

Anonymous said...

Also books. But it isn't a vice, it is a virtue.

Donna Freedman said...

I love McDonald's fries. There. I've said it.
Travel has become a not-so-secret vice; I was home only three months in 2010. Even though I travel very frugally, it *does* cost. I cut everywhere I can to make up for it.
But not McDonald's. I still wind up there a couple of times a month.
Hint: Buy discounted McDonald's gift cards at gift card resale sites. I bought one today; it was only 3% off, but I'll take what I can get.
For extra karma points, buy them from the Plastic Jungle or Cardpool widgets at my daughter's site! It's
And if you resist such blatant stage-momism? Go to and look for McD's cards there. :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with nicoleandmaggie's comments - books, while they can be pricey, are definitely a virtue!

Diane said...

AAAACK! When I hit "Edit" everything disappeared (bucks, not buckis). Is it in moderation Is it too late to correct?