As I’m standing on the verge of taking a big lifestyle decision, namely, applying for a new rental apartment which is not quite double the size of our current place but costs 3 times more… I am asking myself:
When is it worth to splurge and when to be frugal and minimalist?
I look back at all the expenses that stretched me and I will evaluate my decision from the perspective of time.
👍 A two-way ticket Berlin – Honolulu Hawaii (1480Euro)
It was 2014. My boyfriend and I are freshly in love, a couple of years in our relationship, a household with 2 incomes, no kids.
Travel is one of our biggest expenses.
Still, 4 weeks in Hawaii is a stretch. Especially the flight ticket. I’ve never paid so much for a flight. I could get a good Macbook for this amount.
Still, I buy the ticket. With some uneasy but exciting feeling. It turns out to be one of the few unforgettable trips of my life (the whole cost at around 5k).
Now, could I have invested this money and made a huge long-time profit? Probably… But in this case, the unique experience was much more valuable to me.
From the perspective of today, with a toddler and another baby on the way, in the midst of the 3rdpandemic year, and war not so far away, no traveling whatsoever – I’m glad we did it when we could.
Since then no flight ticket feels expensive anymore. I don’t have the doubt or the hesitation. If I need to go somewhere, I just pay the cost.
I successfully transformed the uneasy feeling (fear) into expanded possibilities (love) and created freedom as a result. #fear2love
👍 Macbook Pro (1370Euro)
It’s 2011. My employer offers a pretty good set of equipment so I use my work laptop for personal matters as well.
As my sabbatical at the beginning of 2017 approached, I still chose to keep my company laptop. It was only in Sept 2017 when I decided to purchase a personal laptop.
I bought a good one, which I use still today and I’m very happy with it. I was still able to save a couple of hundred euros by buying it from a discounted website. It was bought, never used, and eventually returned, so it was offered with a nice discount.
Needless to say, it was an investment in my independence, in the psychological process of dissolving my identification with the company I worked for.
Although it might sound insignificant, it had a huge positive effect.
👍 Coaching education (3600Euro)
Coaching has moved mountains for me. I wanted to learn the skill to coach myself someday. In 2020 in the middle of my maternity leave, an opportunity presented itself: the training was held online for the first time, and they offered a 19% discount due to Covid-19.
To be honest, I didn’t even think of the cost – I wanted to do it so much! It was the easiest sale.
In retrospect, it was not only a high-quality training that taught me couching, but it also connected me to incredible peers and coaching clients, made me a better parent, it nudged me out of my comfort zone multiple times and hence it deepened and accelerated my evolution as a human being.
It also brought me closer to my goal of living a life I don’t need a vacation from giving me an opportunity for flexibly making an income as a coach while enjoying tremendously what I do.
In retrospect – it was worth it.
👎 1 year-long coaching with a Results Oriented Tony Robbins coach (5000Euro)
Now, as I was in my coaching euphoria at the beginning of 2021, I took it a bit too far.
I wanted to invest in a program that will keep me accountable for a long time (1 year) so that I could build a ‘coaching business’.
Who else could have done that if not the ‘father of coaching’ himself – Tony Robbins, and a coach trained by him specifically?! It came at a price, though – 5000Euro for weekly 30min sessions. On top, there was a hefty penalty fee of 1000Eur for canceling my contract at any time during the 1 year period.
This is it, new level, new hights, new stretching – I thought.
I hadn’t researched much, apart from watching the Netflix movie on Tony Robbins and a video or two on Youtube. A friend of mine also signed up (for 6 months only) and she was happy with her first couple of sessions, so it was enough for me. I signed the contract without much thinking.
It turns out Tony Robbins is really, really good at marketing, sales, and making a big show. Not so good with deep internal work as I was expecting. Since the beginning, I was lacking the depth, the ‘results’. It was a lot of “Fake it till you make it” and methods and frameworks the coaches were trying to install on me, without getting to the core of what I wanted.
I was stubborn, so after a couple of months of fruitless sessions with the first coach, I asked for a second. He was a bit better, but still, not what I expected.
It was at the beginning of May 2021 when I had enough of it and I decided to bite the bullet and cancel the contract.
Overall, the whole experience brought me some learnings, but in general – it was not worth the money, time, and attention investment I put in.
❓The “new” apartment (3000Euro a month)
Now, we come to the situation at hand. We really like the apartment we live in with two ‘small’ things missing:
- 5th floor without an elevator
- lack of a home office space (a separate room to just sit and work)
The kindergarden and office are only 5min away – a huge life quality booster. So, we’re looking for an apartment in a close proximity.
On one side, I am true and firm on my minimalistic values, and I see the potential in the limitations. The lack of elevator has provided extra excercise, and in genereal doesn’t bother me much unless in the last months of pregnancy… And the office space – yes, it’s tight, but it nudges me to find creative, non-controversial solutions such as waking up at 5am to gain some needed quiet time.
On the other side, a bigger apartment would be nice: 2 bathrooms to avoid the morning collisions, spacier and fancier kitchen, floor heating, a rooftop terrace, a private dedicated home office space…
I leave it here. What would you do in my place?
I can only speak from my own experience:
Avoid lifestyle creep if possible! (I haven’t – and it’s costing me dearly right now 😛 )
I would look for a place that would satisfy your needs – not your wants 🙂
Going 3x your expenses seems like a big leap. Is there maybe a way to land somewhere around 2x? :-p
Best of luck in making the decision!