Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday Money Tips: Well Spent Edition

Each Thursday, Ms. Moneypenny posts 5 money-related tips. Have a tip you'd like to share? Add it to the comments, and I'll add it to the cue of possibilities for a later edition of Thursday Money Tips.

I talk a lot about how not to spend, or how to save. That's one of the major goals of a personal finance blog, after all. But sometimes the money we spend is really worth it, so this week I thought I'd focus on 5 things that were worth the money to us - because some purchases are worth every penny.

1. A long weekend away
I have blogged a fair amount about being a little (or a lot) burned out and out of balance. We booked a long weekend away this month, even though it wasn't in the budget, and it will be worth every penny. I think 'time off' is a worthy expenditure.

2. Fertility Treatments
So we're lucky - the bulk of the costs are covered by insurance. But it's still pretty pricey to spend a few hundred dollars on prescriptions each month. Is it worth it (along with all the inconvenience, medication, future college bills, etc)? You had better believe it.

3. Stone for the border of our garden beds
Sure, we tried to glean stone from our property. But there wasn't enough, it was all either too big or too small, not with in the just right category. So we bought some. Unlike wooden beds, it will never have to be replaced, never rot, and can be configured however we want.

4. New Oil Tanks
This fell into the category of something I really didn't want to spend $2k on. I mean, oil tanks? Joy. But such is the price tag of homeownership, and it was far better than spending $50,000.00 on cleaning up a spill from a leaking tank, and having the EPA fine us. But then again, most things are better than that.

5. A CSA farm share
In addition to our garden this year, we invested in a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm share. For $525.00, from June 22nd through the end of October, we receive whatever produce is in season, a week's supply, plus unlimited pick-your-own herbs and flowers. That works out to $29.16 a week for 18 weeks. The farm share, in addition to our garden, and a few days of labor in the kitchen, will hopefully provide us enough pasta sauce, pesto (okay, we're not growing the parmesan cheese), pickles, and canned and frozen veggies to last us well into the winter. If we're lucky, maybe some homemade salsa as well.

We're thinking of adding a fruit share when they become available, and my sister the farmer is raising us 10 chickens, plus the 3 chickens and a turkey we'll receive from our CSA. Not only have we invested in our local economy, we've done it pretty cheaply.

Sometimes it's good to save. But spending on the things that provide you the most value is the essence of frugality. It's good to occasional sit down and figure out what was a 'good spend'.


Kelly said...

I love reading your blog!I also live on the North Shore and am very interested in the CSA. Would you mind giving me the contact info?


Ms.Moneypenny said...

Hi Kelly;

Thanks! I'm so glad to hear it. We are members of Green Meadows Farm, which is full for the season. But I believe that there are a few CSAs still open for membership. You might call the New Meadows Market in Topsfield - the last time I was there, a few weeks ago, they had a sign that a local CSA was still accepting new members. I can't recall the name of it (New light farm? Morning light farm? Something like that).

I hope this helps.

On a shameless plug front, Green Meadow's farm has a wonderful farmstand, does winter shares for their CSA, and has a co-op where for a 15% markup over wholesale you can order a ton of things. I think it's $50 a year to join, and there's no limit on members.

I hope this helps!