How We Splurge: Men vs. Women - Live Like a Mensch
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How We Splurge: Men vs. Women


Recently, J received his annual bonus from work. While he has the money mostly earmarked for various responsible purposes, he also took the opportunity of being super flush to purchase something ridiculous.

If for some reason you weren't able to click on the link, basically J spent $300 of his bonus money on a high-tech video game steering wheel/accelerator, clutch, and brake combo so that he can better recreate the experience of driving a racecar while playing Forza Motorsport.

This is not a decision I would make, if only partially because I don't play video games. (Don't get me wrong--I don't have any issue with J making such a purchase, provided the video game equipment does not take up permanent residence in our living room. When he assured me that it folds flat to be stored under the sofa, I was perfectly happy with his decision. I just don't personally get it.)

J and I were discussing our methods of spending splurge money after he ordered his glorified joy stick. He pointed out that I tend to make smaller splurges over time--a DVD here, a purse there, some sort of ridiculous office organization product or school supply many times throughout the year.

He, on the other hand, doesn't buy anything for himself for months at a time. But when he does spend his fun money, he drops $300 all at once, instead of my $20 and $30 dribs and drabs.

Apparently, several of his (male) co-workers have also observed this dynamic with their wives, and I recall having a conversation about this with a girlfriend whose husband is a similar once-in-a-while big spender while she's a small-things-more-often type.

It got me to wondering if this some sort of general rule about how men and women spend money, or if this has something to do with engineers vs. non-engineers, since the sample size I'm using also seems to break down along engineering/gender lines.

So, in the interest of scientific(ish) research, I'm curious about how you spend fun money compared to the men/women in your life. Are you more likely to save up for a big splurge, or do you tend to buy little things for yourself throughout the year? Does your method of splurging ever make your significant other shake hizzer head?



haverwench said:

Hmm. Thinking about this, I had a hard time at first thinking of any items that either I or my husband had splurged on recently. But after a minute, I realized that I had made a few small-scale splurges just in the past couple of weeks: a new book, a computer game, a carton of frozen yogurt. It's just that they were all really small, like under $10. So I guess that makes me an extreme example of the small-but-frequent splurge type. But the thing is, my husband is too. When he found out that he'd been hired for his current job, he called me up and announced that we were going out for sushi. That was his idea of a big indulgence. I can't think of one single case in which he has spent more than, say, $10 on anything just for fun. In fact, whenever he does want to make a big purchase, even if it's something practical, he usually needs me to tell him, "Yes, you should definitely spend the money on this" before he's willing to do it.

So, yeah, I think maybe it has less to do with gender than with your tastes and interests. Both my husband and I lean more toward smaller items, like books, board games, edible goodies, or concert tickets. Neither of us has as much interest in the big-ticket items, like travel or electronics or designer clothes. (I once heard a folksinger admit that, though he's been sober for decades, what he really needs is a support group for the compulsion to spend a lot of money on new musical instruments. "Just for today, I will not buy another Gibson....")

March 20, 2013 3:24 PM

Live Like a Mensch said:

"I just can't stay mad at you..." Whenever you have two distinct personalities living together

October 15, 2013 11:29 AM

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