What is your anti-frugal guilty pleasure?

Our anti-frugal guilty pleasure

Here in A Journey We Love, we aim to be frugal, but not so extremely that we can’t enjoy the little things in life. We refuse to deprive ourselves of experiences that we like (i.e. travel), nor would we deprive ourselves by not buying our own home. However, we are sometimes a bit anti-frugal in a sense that we also indulge in our personal guilty pleasures. It may not happen often, but sometimes we spend on a few things that most frugal people would cringe just thinking about spending money on.

Ready for a deep dive on our anti-frugal guilty pleasures? Join in and answer in the comments below:

What is your anti-frugal guilty pleasure?

Let me first start off, then Peter can chime in on the latter part of the post. I have a few guilty pleasures, which I will list below, and will explain why I justify on spending on these and why they make me happy. Please do not be judgmental on our guilty pleasures – we all have them and there is no right or wrong answer to reaching FI early.


1. Concerts

Not just any concerts, but boyband concerts. I grew up with boybands, so the fact that I now have the means to buy tickets to watch them means a lot to me. I tend to try to watch a specific concert twice if possible, but I normally watch alone. I’d rather enjoy the concert myself than paying for an extra ticket for Peter, because it won’t give him the same level of happiness that it does to me.

I don’t buy overpriced merchandise or eat inside the concert venue. Everything inside the venue will be overpriced: and some venues have water fountains where you can drink from. The experience of watching my favorite bands is enough.

If there are shows within driving (or bus/train) distance from our house and it’s a weekend, I’ll definitely go. Unfortunately, it may mean additional travel costs (like gas or other transportation), AirBnB, food, etc, but it’s all in the budget.

If you guys are curious, I’ll only watch the following concerts: 98 Degrees, New Kids on the Block (NKOTB), Backstreet Boys (BSB), Boyzone, Take That, with a few others (but rarely). You can watch some of my videos on our YouTube Channel (@ajourneywelove).

2. Disney (or Cartoons)

I am a huge Disney fan – to an extent where my outfits (T-shirts, bags, shoes) are Disney-themed. I love going to the theme parks, and I believe it is one of the happiest places on earth. Don’t worry, we don’t spend that much on this category. We usually buy something from the outlets, so we won’t overpay for retail prices of Disney (they normally command a bit of cash).

 3. Video Games

This is a new thing for us. However, lately, when we’ve been staying in more and more, we find ourselves being entertained and transported into new worlds by playing video games. It also helped us in the long run because it is helping us generate a bit of extra income on the side which we are then using for travel (can’t really post how we do it just yet, but maybe when we hone our craft even more). We just paid the initial startup cost of the consoles and utilize deals and promotions to actually make the most of this category.

For the record, we have Nintendo consoles (and handhelds), and a Playstation 4, and a retro Sega Genesis. No Xbox!

Dungeness Mansion in Cumberland Island, Georgia
Dungeness Mansion in Cumberland Island

4. Travel

The biggest thing in our anti-frugal budget. We’re trying to become FI even with a substantial amount of our income going to the travel bucket. Travel makes us happier people. We get to explore, and get thrown out of our comfort zone.

You guys probably know that by now since more than half our posts are travel related!

There is no doubt that travel eats up a lot more of our budget than what we want to be. However, we still plan to become financially independent even if we both love to travel. By cutting out some things that don’t make us happy and putting the extra money into what matters to us, and trying to earn more money while saving more, then we’re slowly making our way there. For those of you who are interested, we have a post that specifies how we fund and afford our travels.

5. Eating Out (Peter’s)

Even though we mostly eat at home, Peter occasionally likes to eat out, especially when we travel. He likes to try out new things here and there and the local cuisine of a specific destination that we are in. After all, there is joy in opening yourself up to new things, right?

While we try to eat out at least once when we travel, when we’re at home, we would like to treat ourselves every now and again but we don’t want to pay a premium for it. Now what?

Enter mystery shopping. I swear, this has been a godsend to us ever since we discovered it. The premise of it is you sign up to be a mystery shopper, you pick assignments, you get instructions or a questionnaire, you dine in, follow instructions, answer all the survey questions truthfully and wait to be approved and reimbursed for your shop.

Some mystery shopping websites reimburse your full meal, others give you a small stipend/fee for your time. Not only will this help lower your grocery/food bills, this can also help with earning a bit of pocket cash for other things. Peter and I have done a few of them, and we can’t be happier with our experience.

We Traveled to Rio De Janeiro in 2014 to watch the World Cup
We Traveled to Rio De Janeiro in 2014 to watch the World Cup

6. Football (the European one, aka soccer)

We don’t really spend that much on this category, but when these European teams go to America for an exhibition game, then you’ll bet that Peter will want to watch one of these games. And so, we’ll have to spend on tickets, and parking (maybe), transportation, accommodations, and the like, if the game is not in our city.

We have traveled because of football-related events, like going to Europe in 2016 to watch the Euros, and in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2014 to watch the World Cup.

Peter also does a little bit of fantasy football or betting on the side (but rarely). During the 2014 World Cup, he even won his money back (and a bit extra) to help pay for our GoPro. It actually pays off (sometimes). Couple this with our travel guilty pleasure, and tadah! It makes sense.

7. Entertainment (i.e. the movie/tv watching kind)

Even though most people think that this is a waste of time, we actually do it minimally in a sense that we only do it while we’re eating. We do this as a form of decompression – after a long day of work, we set aside around 30 minutes of TV/movie viewing.

We don’t pay much for movies or TV. We use Netflix (which we offset using credit card cash back rewards), and borrow the latest DVDs from the library. We just pay for the electricity (which hopefully is minimal). It can make for a great date night as well.

We included this category in the anti-frugal guilty pleasure because some people actually prefer to collect DVDs/Blu-Rays of shows and movies, or they go to the movie theatres (like Peter and I do sometimes).

If Guilty Pleasures Make You Happy Without Breaking the Bank: Go for it

Being Financially Independent should not mean that you will be a miser and stop spending your money. You should just become more mindful of your money, and learn what you’re spending on and assess if it does make you happy.

While we don’t overindulge ourselves fully in these guilty pleasures, we like having them as little treats for ourselves in order not to feel deprived, and also, to experience the little luxuries that the world has on offer.

While none of our guilty pleasures involve much physical things and more on experiences, we do not judge. Now that we’ve told everybody our guilty pleasures: what’s yours? Feel free to share in the comments below.




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  1. J. Money

    Cool you went to the World Cup!! What an experience!!

    For me it’s collecting old and rare’ish coins. I suppose technically it could be some sort of “investment,” but it’s really just an expensive hobby and way for me to learn history in a more fun way 🙂

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      Ruby Escalona

      It was definitely a great experience – but something that we planned for a few months. It was hard trying to find something cheap (or decently affordable) during these big events, so by researching and being ahead of everybody else in terms of booking rooms and flights, we save in the long run.

      Coin collecting is definitely an art! I do collect stuffed animals too, won’t pay off in the end, but something that makes me happy. In the end, it’s all about what makes us happy, right? 🙂

      What’s money there for but for us to enjoy it?

  2. Miguel (The Rich Miser)

    I did not know many of those boy bands still toured! 🙂 For my wife and I, eating out with friends (even if to expensive restaurants) is a guilty pleasure. When it’s just the two of us, we tend to go to mid-priced, family-type restaurants. But if with friends, we won’t say no to the new, trendy places.

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      Ruby Escalona

      LOL that’s the same question Peter asked me when I told him these bands were touring. He was a supportive at the very start, and now when they go on tour he just asks – alright, are they coming to Florida or are we traveling?

      Peter has a few go-to restaurants that he won’t mind going back to. He already said no to the big, fancy, expensive sit downs (like Brazilian steakhouses and Ruth Chris Steakhouse for one). If he likes a meal from when we eat out, he tried to replicate it at home.
      Win-win for the frugal folks 🙂

  3. Dave

    Like you, we send money on plays, concerts, and sporting events. We also enjoy traveling. I do feel guilty spending money. However, we only spend the money that is surplus after we fund our investment accounts.

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  4. Sarah (Smile & Conquer)

    Concerts and hockey games would be the big ones for me. I don’t live on a really restrictive budget so I’m not as concerned with small expenses (like fancy coffee now and again), but I do try to limit my spending on material items so I can splurge on events.
    PS. It’s nice to read a post about splurging instead of always saving 😉

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      Ruby Escalona

      That’s one reason why we wrote this post 🙂 we always find other people tend to blog about saving and if they see someone spend $300 for a ticket to travel they get all upset. Life is meant to be enjoyed so little treats like our guilty pleasures help keep us sane 🙂

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