isn’t always the right answer when you’re looking to retire by 45. As I think about it though, there is one thing that I am always careful to maintain in my pursuit of financial independence. That one thing, as hard as it can be, is balance. So while I keep an obsessive eye on my savings and account balances, I thought I’d pause for a second and look at things from another perspective. That is, over the last thirty days, what have been my best spends.

It didn’t

surprise me that as I looked at the things I spent money on over the last month, the best spends were all things for my kiddos. Before I jump into what those things were, I want to mention that I did end up buying a new laptop for my business (exciting because I’m a bit of a technology nerd too) and booked a weekend getaway with the Mrs.. While those things are arguably good spends, they still didn’t make it into the top three. The reason…the top three things made my kids happy which is worth more than just about anything I can think of.

The top three

best spends in the last thirty days were:

  • Ballet lessons for my nine year old
  • Swim lessons for my nine and three year old
  • Orthodontics for my nine year old


The top

two probably don’t surprise you. I mean what little girl doesn’t like to be in a pool or dancing around? The third one on the list though is a bit unusual. As we approached the expander and braces phase, my daughter expressed (no surprise) hesitation. As it turns out, going through the process has given her a bit of confidence. She has a long way to go but she’s embracing the change and feels like she’s part of a club with a few of the kids in her class. Now, when she talks about her expander, it’s no big deal. I can’t tell you how much of a relief that is for me!

When we tally the one month spend up for the list above, we’re looking at $650 ($200 ortho payment, $250 for ballet, and $200 for swim). It’s an expensive month for sure but we’re fortunate to be able to do these things for our girls. As I pursue FIRE, these types of spends (and the smiles they bring) will always be part of the balance!

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