Is It OK To Splurge On One Income?

For my 32nd birthday last week, my husband surprised me with a new camera – but not just any new camera, Randy bought me an awesome Digital SLR (DSLR) camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T3. We’ve been setting aside $50 a paycheck for a while now to save up for this very nice, but very expensive camera. I didn’t anticipate having a DSLR until Christmas time later this year. It’s such a big-ticket item, I figured it would only be acceptable to purchase during the holidays.

GRATITUDE OR GUILT

When I opened the box and discovered that it was a DSLR camera, of course I was so happy and excited, but a large part of me also felt deeply guilty. I felt guilty that he spent so much money on my birthday present.

I asked Randy how he came to the decision to buy the camera now, rather than waiting until the holidays as we initially planned. He responded, “Actually, I kept going back and forth on whether I should buy it or not. But on the morning of your birthday, I asked myself as soon as I woke up, ‘Should I get Khristine the camera for her birthday?’ and I told myself, ‘Life is too short, I’m gonna buy it for my wife!”

He then further explained to me, “Baby, I know that we don’t have a lot right now. We have a small place, we only have one car, we don’t buy much for ourselves, but I thought that buying this camera to capture our family memories can be one of the few ways to treat ourselves.”

Although I was thankful, Randy could tell that I was worried about what such a large and unplanned purchase would do to our finances. Randy reassured me and told me not to worry. He reminded me that using up such a large chunk of our savings to purchase this camera would be worth it because it’s an investment for our family.

SENTIMENT OVER SAVINGS

Having to make ends meet on one income for our family, I was naturally inclined to feel nervous about such an expensive purchase. But after taking the first few photos with our new camera, I felt instantly relieved. I saw how beautiful the photos turned out and I knew that the DSLR camera was a worthy investment. Even if we have to tighten our belts (more) in the upcoming months, seeing these high-quality photos of my son converted me into knowing that such a large expense was definitely justified.

The photos captured by our new DSLR camera are simply STUNNING. Compared to our regular point and shoot camera, the DSLR images have more depth, are clearer, brighter, crisper and more vibrant.  We’ve already made great use of our new camera this past weekend by taking wonderful pictures at our Grandmother’s 105th birthday luncheon and our nephew’s baptism. The DSLR images we took really look like professional photos!

So to answer my own question, is it ok to splurge on one income? I now realize that it is absolutely acceptable to splurge on one income, if it’s truly within your means and especially if it’s in the interest of celebrating your family’s memories. The value of that kind of sentimental investment will prove to be worth the expense over and over again.

Yes, our new DSLR camera cost us a lot of money… and for a family surviving on one humble income, such a hefty purchase definitely made a huge dent in our family savings. But what we have gained in capturing our family memories with such beautiful photos has far exceeded the monetary cost in immeasurable ways.

You can’t put a price on preserving family memories.

DISCUSSION:

  • What do you think are acceptable splurge items?
  • How do you “treat” your family even when your finances are restricted?

Share your story, your story matters.