The Vodka Champagne Conundrum

The Vodka Champagne Conundrum

The Vodka Champagne Conundrum | brokeGIRLrich

I was catching up on some personal finance blog reading recently and stumbled on 20 Things Rich People Do To Become Rich and Stay Rich by Chris Peach over at Money Peach.

I like lists like these because I am not rich and I would like to be rich.

And it’s a solid list.

#7 got me thinking a little bit though. This tip is bargain shopping. Chris writes:

Believe it or not, the extremely wealthy are also some of the greatest bargain shoppers. According to the Millionaire Next Door, they like to shop at factory outlets, they buy cheap vodka, and their favorite make and model is the Ford F-150. Although we may see television shows depicting the wealthy only buying Gucci purses, sipping grey goose, and driving Mercedes Benz, the majority of wealthy are actually focused on getting a deal.

This got my wheels turning a little.

Ok. Let’s be real. It was the vodka that got my wheels turning a little.

And the offense that I took because I like Grey Goose and cheap vodka is foul.

I think that life is a little more nuanced than just being a bargain shopper, especially once you make it to being “rich.”

As a matter of fact, it seems to me (from my wildly limited interactions with the “rich”), that the real trick to money is prioritizing and knowing what’s worth it.

The funny thing about that post is that if Chris has used pretty much any other drink, I don’t think it would’ve stuck in my head like an earworm.

Take champagne.

The bubbly stuff is fine – and fun to use for celebrating weddings or graduations or Tuesdays.

However, I don’t especially love champagne and if you give me a bottle of $6.99 pink prosecco or $500 bottle of Dom Perignon, I wouldn’t even know the difference.

I’d be wasting $493.

That being said, if I am comfortably affluent and love champagne and can taste all the colors of the rainbow and every tree within 5,000 feet of the grapes that were grown in soil filled with the dung of unicorn beetles or some crap like that because wine is my thang y’all – that might be $500 well spent on the life experience moment that I get out of that glass of champagne.

On a smaller scale, if I really love champagne and can actually taste a difference, dropping $50 for a bottle on the semi-regular versus $10 is totally worth it and kind of even why we put all this effort into making money in the first place.

Personally, I like vodka a lot. I worked on a cruise ship for half of my 20s and spent a fair bit of that time pretty inebriated on vodka. I used to edit PowerPoints for several of the travel guides that worked onboard and they would pay me in bottles of vodka – high end stuff from the onboard shops and local finds from all over the world.

Guys, I have opinions on vodka. And why anyone would drink the bottom shelf stuff is beyond me (the hangovers alone, man, ugh). For me, spending $8 on a jug of Popov vodka is repulsive.

Spending $40 on Grey Goose – totally fine. My personal favorite is a middle of the road Stoli. And if we’re going budget, Smirnoff is fine.

Do not buy anything less than Smirnoff.

**Stepping off my vodka soap box.**

The point of all this is that I think a key personal finance skill is to master the Vodka Champagne Conundrum.

You’re still going to get ahead and make good choices if you have something you like to splurge on as long as you don’t splurge on everything, especially if it doesn’t really matter to you (as in that magic 80-90% rule that I think is probably the most perfect rule in personal finance… or, at least 80% perfect ;o).

Although going back to Chris’s list, fact #15 is my favorite. Fingers crossed that Siberian ancestry and resting bitch-face genetics give me an extra boost to that millionaire finish line.

11 thoughts on “The Vodka Champagne Conundrum

  1. Personal finance is definitely personal, and if it makes a difference to you, and you can afford it, then why not? I’m not a big drinker, so vodka probably doesn’t fall into this category for me. In fact, the price and the label/bottle design are the two big factors in selecting my alcohol! But if it’s a food item and I can taste the difference between generic and brand, or if it’s a pair of shoes that I want to last, I’ll happily spend a bit more.
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…Yard Sale 2017 or How I Cleaned Out the Closets…Again!My Profile

      • Ooh, I love a nice bottle of red wine. I tried reading a book called ‘all you need to know about wine’… Turn out, I prefer drinking it to reading about it. I’m not overly knowledgable, but know a few grape varieties that seem to produce good wine reliably, or failing that, something described as ‘peppery’ or ‘spicy’ usually floats my boat, though I couldn’t pick out the peppery or spicy element.

        I’ve bought cheap wine, but I would rather have fewer bottles but have something nice. If you’re going to treat yourself, do it properly!

  2. Vodka’s not my jam, but I have some definite bourbon preferences. And I have been phasing out the three Buck Chuck in favor of $10 a bottle vintages, at least when dinner deserves it. That said, we buy so many generics and store brands in our house, it’s ridiculous. But why pay more for milk unless you’re going for the organic/no antibiotics used stuff?

    But yes, splurge on some things…just not everything.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…State of the Blog April 2017My Profile

  3. You’ve just done a great job of summarizing personal finance–spend the money where it matters to you and tell the rest of the world to go climb a tree if they thing you should pay “too much” for things that don’t matter to you. We are taking a theme park vacation later this month and will be staying in a nearby VRBO condo–three bedrooms and two baths for less than the cost of an onsite hotel room. No fancy theming, but plenty of space for my four adult one teen family. We bought what was important to us, even though we could have afforded to stay onsite.
    RAnn recently posted…Not Me!My Profile

    • That’s awesome. Finding the balance in where you want to spend and saving when something just isn’t important to you make a massive difference overall. I think part of learning to be thrifty is really just discovering how many things really don’t matter as much as we think they do – while realizing there are a few things that, to each of us at least, really are worth every penny.

  4. In our #yearofno, the answer is most likely no vodka or champagne. (That doesn’t stop me from grabbing a cheap bottle of wine occasionally, though!) But once we’re debt free, this is something we’ll have to ponder. Maybe it’s easier going from buying little to no extras and letting on the best things slip back in to our spending habits. Interesting! Thanks for sharing this.
    Jamie @ Medium Sized Family recently posted…5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 75My Profile

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