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Fed Up Being So Practical

(56 Posts)
Berylsgranny Wed 31-Mar-21 17:11:49

This is just a moan - sorry! All my life when I purchase items for the house, garden etc I always find myself buying practical things which I like but never allowing myself to buy things which aren't as practical which I really like and I am fed up of myself for doing so. For instance, we recently spent over £30,000 on some renovations in our home and thought as usual to put laminate wood down which is nice enough instead of engineered wood which I really liked. We did this as we thought it would be more practical if things got dropped on the floor etc and wanted to keep it looking good. Every day I look at the laminate floor and I really do regret not going with my heart for engineered wood and going with my head and choosing the laminate. I know some of you will probably think with everything that is happening at the moment this is rather inconsequential but I am really disheartened that I feel like this once again. I just never learn. sad

Calendargirl Wed 31-Mar-21 17:54:42

It sounds to me as though you would often like the more expensive option, but then go for the cheaper, equally serviceable one, feeling it is ‘wrong’ to go for the more luxury item. Is your husband the same, or is it he who wants to be more economical?

If you both feel the same, and can afford the dearer things, you need to either ‘go for it’ or ‘not’ as the case may be.

The ball is in your court, but pointless regretting things afterwards.

eazybee Wed 31-Mar-21 17:57:03

My mother always said, you never regret an extravagance.

Gingster Wed 31-Mar-21 18:05:46

My DH would always go for the cheaper option. In the past I have battled for the more expensive and have won, if I really think it’s worth it and he’s always been pleased afterwards

Polarbear2 Wed 31-Mar-21 18:13:53

I feel your pain. I think it’s generational maybe. We were taught to be frugal. Or I was! My mum disapproved heartily if I bought anything remotely extravagant. ❤️

Kim19 Wed 31-Mar-21 18:19:26

If you can afford it, always indulge your whims. I do when I can. Never regretted a purchase thus far and usually mentally luxuriate for a long time.

NotSpaghetti Wed 31-Mar-21 18:53:50

I always seem to like the most expensive option. It just turns out that way... BUT I can't afford it.

...So with something where several items are involved - like our new kitchen for example - we reused our perfectly good enough oven and mostly bought serviceable items (cupboard doors, washing machine etc) - but then splashed out on some beautiful cupboard handles. I love them. They are hand made and truly beautiful.

I think there is often a compromise. If you can bear it I'd allow yourself one extravagant purchase and you will look past the servicable compromises at the one that gives you joy!

And yes. We are indeed very lucky to be able to make any kind of choice at all.

Tizliz Wed 31-Mar-21 18:59:53

Engineered wood is hard work, you need to polish it frequently . I can’t do it any more and with three dogs it is looking sad

Sara1954 Wed 31-Mar-21 19:09:24

I have a talent for always choosing the most expensive option, and if we can afford it we go with it. If I bought second choice I’d never be happy with it.

When I was a child there was nothing in our house which wasn’t functional, depressing way to live in my opinion.

Of course we’ve had our time of only being able to buy the cheapest option, so I buy what I want now, within reason of course.

Aveline Wed 31-Mar-21 19:49:28

Go on. You're worth it!

Greeneyedgirl Wed 31-Mar-21 19:53:52

I can sympathise 100% with you. I still agree with the old adage buy cheap, buy twice. To my mind best IS the practical option!

Jaxjacky Wed 31-Mar-21 20:07:44

I’ve been the same, usually because finances dictated the cheaper options, but even on the rare occasion when I could’ve afforded the more expensive, old habits die hard. Until last year, I inherited a substantial amount of money, so, sorry NotSpaghetti, our new kitchen has had some expensive parts. Other stuff I’ve bought since the windfall has been middle range.

Polarbear2 Wed 31-Mar-21 20:20:40

My OH takes pride in being a ‘skip rat’. He comes home with the most awful trash thinking it’s great. I long to buy something new but he always wants second hand or scavenged. We’re not poor by any stretch. He takes irrational pride in paying as little as possible for stuff 🙄. Drives me bats.

BrightandBreezy Wed 31-Mar-21 20:32:00

I'm exactly the same Berylsgranny. I do get enormous please being extravagant with the dgc and buying things for them I could never have afforded for dd when she was young.

However, when it comes to things for myself, dh or the house I always feel the need to shop around. Comes from being really broke when we were young but could definitely afford to treat ourselves a bit more now.

The only areas where I tend to go for something a bit extravagant, but still within budget are holidays. I will go for the balcony cabin or the sea view room because I do feel that at our age we want comfort and pleasure not economy when we travel. After lockdown I'm going to try to be like this in other areas of our lives. I think the lockdown has made me realize how precious time is and how quickly it is passing.

BrightandBreezy Wed 31-Mar-21 20:32:35

pleasure ...not please grin

BlueSky Wed 31-Mar-21 20:48:51

We always go for the cheaper option, well almost always, I wonder why? I can understand it when you are younger with a young family, but now? Agree with what you say BrightandBreezy!

Berylsgranny Thu 01-Apr-21 08:26:52

Thank you all so much for your comments, they makes sense. I also think Polarbear2 it stems back to my childhood when my DM did not have any spare cash in her pocket, it was only her and I, we struggled. Her dearest wish was to go down to the 'High Street" with £100 in her pocket just to spend on her. She never did it not even after she re-married and could afford to do so. I never want to feel like that. In this case it wasn't the expense of an engineered wood floor it def was because of practicality, didn't want our DGS's dropping toys on it and it getting damaged. However the damage is done now and I shall have to live with the laminate. However for purchases to come I will def go with my heart and not my head. Lesson learnt. smile

Lucca Thu 01-Apr-21 09:11:06


Engineered wood is hard work, you need to polish it frequently . I can’t do it any more and with three dogs it is looking sad

I Have engineered wood in my hall and living room but went to laminate in the bedrooms . Wish I’d gone for broke and done all in wood. Have never polished it ?! Surely that would make it slippery? I Hoover it ...end of story, damp mop if absolutely necessary.

Mapleleaf Thu 01-Apr-21 09:24:16

I agree with Lucca on this point. We’ve had wooden flooring in our lounge and hallway and never polished it. Once a year it gets a clean with the special cleaning fluid that was provided on purchase, but in between times a brush and/or vacuum keeps it pristine, and occasional cleaning with a damp, not wet, mop, then drying it as necessary. I would think that polishing it would be dangerous, making it slippy to walk on?

Polarbear2 Thu 01-Apr-21 10:04:59

Re reading this. Your mention of children dropping toys on it. Whenever I think in that way - and I do - I’m reminded of my mum sobbing as she cleaned my little brothers fingerprints off her door. He’d died the week before. She’d have given anything to have more fingerprints to clean. It reminds me there are more important things than a few dents and scratches. ❤️ (I still grumble tho 🥴)

Berylsgranny Thu 01-Apr-21 10:08:58

Polarbear2 - so true flowers

Juicylucy Thu 01-Apr-21 10:50:41

I do think it’s generational my fil in his 80s very comfortable financially will spend hours on his computer sourcing an item until he gets it cheaper.

Applegran Thu 01-Apr-21 11:04:22

I had lots of work done on my house many years ago and in retrospect lots of my decisions were ones I wouldn't take now. But I don't really care! Its still a house I like to live in and, to adapt a well known phrase: "No on on their death bed ever said they wished they'd spent more on their flooring!" It may be more about your allowing yourself to believe that you are ok and as deserving as anyone of good things - which you surely are. Be kind to yourself and accept the floor you chose, if you can.

Paperbackwriter Thu 01-Apr-21 11:19:47


Engineered wood is hard work, you need to polish it frequently . I can’t do it any more and with three dogs it is looking sad

I never polish mine! It still looks great!

Azalea99 Thu 01-Apr-21 11:20:26

I’ve found a way of combining practical & extravagant. Although I do still raise some plants from seed, I now spend much more on the garden. Recently, for instance, I realised that a new rhododendron would be just right for the far end. So I just went online and ordered it! The only thing which prevented me from ordering a larger one was the fact that I don’t think I could have dug a larger hole myself. In the past I would have waited, tried to raise from cuttings etc or bought a tiny one. I even have a tree on order, but practicality ruled my head with that, because I’d rather plant it myself than risk the damage a team of men might wreak on the border.
We all have our decorating regrets, but you’re quite right that we need to take our pleasures when and where we can. For now don’t look back, look forward. Enjoy your life.