Ms. Montana from Montana Money Adventures is on the blog today sharing her take on the best money spent series. Last week, a good money test was spending in ways that gets you more bang for your buck. This week, Ms. Montana has a new way to determine your best money spent: the 2x test.
Two months ago, we spent $1200 on groceries vs our normal $600. I almost had a panic attack, which I am embarrassed to admit. But this is why we track our spending. Not to induce panic attacks, but so I know if the money spend was 1. A good value and 2. If we could somehow get the same value but spend less cash. September’s food was NOT $600 better.
Best Money Spent – 2x Test
As I look back over the years, there are some things I would happily buy again. Shoot, I would spend 2x a much on them if offered another chance. That is the true test of an amazing value; would you buy it again, or even spend more for the item 5 years later.
10 years ago, my best friend and I took a month long road trip coast to coast together. The total coast for both of us was $1456. It was an incredible trip! I’m so glad we took it while we had the chance. She runs a non-profit now and I have 5 little kids, so the season of life where we can road trip for a month has passed us by. Actually, on that trip, we mostly ate instant oatmeal, microwave popcorn and slept on the frozen ground. I’m too old for that now. I’m more like Danny Glover in the classic Lethal Weapon movies. I enjoy a bit of mattress under me, and eating vegetables. I would have gladly paid 2x that much to have those memories.
A Time For Kindness
While we lived in Europe, we had the chance to bring Christmas gifts to children in an orphanage in Hungary. A group I was part of (Moms of Preschoolers) put together a gift for every child, and my family drove them from Germany, where we were living. We would spend a full week at the orphanage organizing festivities. It probably was $500 out of pocket for us. I would pay 2x that amount for that experience. During the 2 years we, I became friends with some of the kids there. There were two teenage girls that became good friends of mine. 6 years later, and we still keep in touch. They are adults now, married and finding their way in the world. I am so happy to be a small part of their journey.
Priceless Cheesy Photos
I once spent $180 on subpar Walmart portraits. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. Both sets of our parents, our niece, our nephew, and our 2 boys were finally in the same place. So we went crazy with pictures. I think I ordered 10 different poses. I had no idea it would be the last time we were all together. My oldest son passed away 2 years later without any warning. And those crappy Walmart pictures became precious to us.
No Money Regrets, No Memory Regrets
Finding value isn’t the same as getting a great deal on something. If I look back 5 years after buying something and wish I could have my money back, even if it was on sale, it wasn’t a good value. So sometimes we spend a fair amount of cash. We take trips with friends. We travel to visit family. We took our 5 little kids on a 6-week road trip this summer ($2989 total cost.) We are taking a year off of work.
And we spend a lot of family photos. It’s kind of pricey. And a total hassle to get everyone dressed, hair combed and smiling. No matter what the future holds, they will only be this age once.
And I want to embrace this season in our life before it rolls into the next season. The money spent seeing my 3-year-old’s pure, unbridled joy about the geysers in Yellowstone is a purchase I will never regret. Not in 5 years, and absolutely not in 25 years.
So Tell Us…What do you think of the 2x test? What have you purchased that you would buy again?
Note: If you’d like to join in this series whether you are a blogger or a reader, drop me a note in the comments or connect with me at shepicksuppennies (at) gmail (dot) com.
Check out the rest of the Best Money Spent series here.