Things An Uber-Frugal Buys When Their Income Doubles

I recently accepted a new job. And, just like that, my income doubled. The fine print: I took a significant pay cut to enter a new industry three years ago, so I should have been on this trajectory all along. Regardless, with a large PTO payout from my last job, fast-approaching first big paycheck from my new job, and a six-months until I can begin contributing to my 401k, I’m rolling in dough!

What have I purchased?, you ask. Well, let me tell you. Here are the six exciting things fulfilled from this frugal gal’s wish list.

  1. A toilet that flushes the first time! For years, the inner-working of out toilet tank were MacGyver’ed together with plastic bits and rubber bands. We dropped $450 on a Toto. It flushes! No regrets.
  2. A hairbrush that doesn’t rip my hair out! I’ve had the same cheapo hairbrush for almost 20 years. The plastic bristles scraped my head, the handle has been glued back on multiple times, and I was too cheap and lazy to replace it. I spent $320 on a buy-it-for-life Mason Pearson boar hair bristle hairbrush. Not only does it not rip my hair out, it feels like a daily scalp massage. Thumbs up!
  3. A backup set of sheets! Every Saturday, I do laundry and, inevitably, my better half will decide to take a nap while the sheets are in the washing machine. A few years ago, we upgraded to luxurious linen sheets. This month, we spent $200 on a backup set. They’re on their way from Latvia, but I’m already bursting with excitement.
  4. A used serging machine! I have been sewing on-and-off since I was a child. I have fond memories of sewing up a lettuce hem sleeve on a bright pink rib knit shirt with my sewing techer’s serging machine. I hated pink, but loved the lettuce hem! I’ve been lusting after a serger for years, but the low-end $225 model still felt too pricey. I found a barely-used, high-end machine on Craigslist for $170. It feels like I won the jackpot.
  5. Cancer screening! My boyfriend has a significant family of lung cancer, so has always been a little worried. We have been following the Grail Galleri for years, and now that the early cancer detection screen is available, we spent $750 to ease his mind. No cancer, totally worth the fee.
  6. A ironing board that doesn’t burn my hands! I picked up a tiny, plywood ironing board at the thrift store several years ago when I started sewing again. The steam would bounce off the wood and scorch the outer edge of my hand. I didn’t replace it because, I already have an ironing board. Ha! I picked up a larger, metal mesh ironing board for $15 at Costco and dropped off that naughty, old ironing board at the same place I bought it. Good riddance!

So, there you have it! This is my list of “we’ve made it!” and “let’s go all out!” purchases. For under $2,000, all of my biggest dreams have come true. Cheers!

16 thoughts on “Things An Uber-Frugal Buys When Their Income Doubles

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  1. Having long hair for the first time in my life, I’m trying to find a brush/comb that doesn’t rip out my hair. I’m all for recommendations — though I’m not quite willing to commit to a $300+ brush yet, as I don’t know if I’ll keep my hair long.

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    1. Nice, what an adventure! Yeah, the price is quite steep. I also considered Creative and Wet brand brushes, which seem to be highly rated and in the $25 range, so a bit less painful for the wallet.

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  2. Amazing! Congrats again on the new job! I was exactly the same way when I got a new (higher paying job), I was still thrifty with my spending in order to maximize spending.. But any little amount I spent felt exhilarating!!! Enjoy it!! 🙂

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    1. Thank you!! Yes, exhilarating is the perfect way to describe it!!! 🙂 We now have the wiggle room for some of those little extras that felt unnecessary, and it’s almost humorous how exciting the tiny upgrades are. No need for designer handbags or trip abroad, no sir, I’ve got a functional toilet LOL!

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    1. Yes, I agree completely. Frugality leads to a very thoughtful and intentional approach to spending, and allows for the opportunity to decide *not* to spend. I think the shortsightedness that comes with seeking instant gratification is going to spell trouble, on a global scale in every arena.

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    1. Yes, I’m perhaps a bit *too* excited!!

      America fun fact: 11.7% of my total outgoing expenses in 2020 went to one minor but medically necessary surgery (straighten bone between my nostrils so I can breathe)… this is after my “really good” insurance paid their portion. Ugh, I’m so used to it, I forget how terrible medicine is here. But yes, yay for no cancer.

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