I have lived a variety of lifestyles, living and traveling both in the US and overseas. I’d never say I’m frugal but I certainly wouldn’t call myself extravagant either. I live a good lifestyle, living in a beautiful rental home with a yard for my dog. I rent a long term car, I travel on some of my vacations and I work on being debt free.
I was on a local bus a few months ago talking to two colleagues. We were talking about how much Starbucks costs in Hungary and I mentioned how much I love Starbucks Chai Tea Lattes. I continued with the fact that I usually visit Starbucks once a week and always get my favorite drink. One colleague looked at me in horror. She went on to say she thought that was extravagant when there are many cheaper places to get a coffee in Budapest.
Starbucks VS Coach Purses
I don’t drink coffee, and Chai Tea Lattes are difficult to come by in Hungary. Even if they were plentiful, I found the comment surprising. Spending $4.80 US a week was extravagant in someones eyes? If I was buying Coach purses reguarly, costing $200-$400 US as some of my friends in the US did I would agree that was extravagant, but a weekly Starbucks? Later I sat down and did the math. One grande Chai Tea Latte every week for a year at 1,150 ft = $4.80 US totals $249.60 a year. Yes, there are many things to do with $249 US, but what is the point of working hard if you can’t enjoy your life?
It’s All in Your Perspective
In my eyes a visit to Starbucks is a small pleasure. It’s a half hour where I can wind down after a long week. It’s a familiar piece of HOME. It’s a place I love, no matter how commerical and western that sounds. To me, comfort and small pleasures are not extravagant, they are necessary. Life overseas is challenging.
, When you are learning how to live in another country it’s time consuming and at times tiring. It’s nice to know there is a little piece of home at the end of a week. What are your little pleasures? How do you define extravagant?