Life is for Living

by Kevin on October 27, 2008

As I mentioned on Saturday morning, we went to the Tennessee / Alabama game at Neyland Stadium this weekend.

Bottom line: it was freaking awesome (even though we lost).

Bottom line #2: we spent some money to do it.

At first glance, you might think a personal finance blogger would say “Wow, what a stupid waste of money. We didn’t even win and it cost us money. Money that could be saved for retirement, or a new car, or paying down our mortgage.”

Originally, this is how I felt. But then I remembered…

My wife is awesome

You see I had no plans to go to the Alabama game before the football season. I was hoping Tennessee would be good, but had plans to watch all of the games from the comfort of my home. Sitting on my couch, with a Sam Adams or Amber Boch.

Fortunately for me, my wife is amazing. She surprised me with the idea of going, but needed help in tracking down some tickets. We ended up buying season tickets and selling all but the Alabama game. We made money on the rest of the tickets and brought our total cost for tickets to the Alabama game to about $50 total. Compare that cost to the face value ($70 each so $140) or what they were going for on eBay before the season ($300-400) and we got a hands down steal.

Breakdown of our trip costs

Here’s a quick breakdown of what the trip cost us:

  • Tickets ~$50
  • Hotel room ~$100
  • Fast food meals (no stadium prices for us) ~$25 for the entire trip
  • Sweatshirt for my wife, gloves for my wife, and two Vols shakers ~$30
  • Two half tanks of gas: ~$55
  • Total cost: Approximately $260

So for the two of us to go up to Knoxville for two days/one night, go to our first football game together, have a blast, and get to spend some quality time together (without the dog for once!) only cost $130 per person. (And gas was $2.49 at the station we stopped at both times — woohoo!)

Not half bad if you ask me.

Don’t forget to live

I’ve said this before on this blog: you can’t forget to live your life. All the money socked away in your retirement account doesn’t do you much good if you die tomorrow. Now you can’t sensibly live your entire life that way lest you end up at 65 and without any savings. In the meantime you can afford to splurge (if you can call $260 for the first trip we’ve taken in a long time a splurge) and enjoy life.

Hats off to my wife. She is really trying to get into football and she was screaming louder and crazier than I was at the stadium. That’s what I call money well spent.


[email protected] October 27, 2008 at 2:53 pm

I agree, and my last blog post was about blowing some money on something my husband and I both really enjoyed. It’s important to live life, as well as save for the future. I think it’s always easy to point at things other people spend money on and criticize, especially if it’s something we would never spend on because we wouldn’t enjoy it. Football games – I’d never spend on. My pleasures lie elsewhere. The important thing is to have clear priorities and goals, and arrange our finances to serve those things. Living a frugal life allows these occasional splurges without jeopardizing our future.

Jennifer November 4, 2008 at 11:18 am

I stumbled upon your site from No Debt Plan – Thanks for the post – it was really what I needed to hear as I plan my next vacation about six months away. I’m always saying – you gotta take time to smell the roses, enjoy the fruit of your labor, see the sights, enjoy the world around you. I agree that if you have planned ahead, you can have guilt free fun – trips, gifts, experiences. It is all in how you allocate your time and money. It doesn’t do anyone any good if you live a miserly life with no fun and become some grouchy old coot with lots of money no one wants to talk to or enjoy spending time with.

Comments on this entry are closed.