Save. Spend. Splurge.

Ask Sherry: Revealing my Grocery Budget sort of…

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

You can ask any question using the form here.

If groceries are still a harder category to control, would you be (mad?) happy enough to share the shopping list and get advice from your readers?

Okay so the shopping list is not under my domain. This is my partner doing all the shopping because he is the one who cooks.

Generally speaking I know where the extra money goes and am sort of not willing to give it up.

A good hunk of the Budget goes to buying things that are fancy like smoked candied salmon, or berries by the bushel (yes we eat them like we are rich or something), and everything is basically organic or made by hippie elves.

We also pay for and buy things that are $$$$ the normal price because of quality. Yoghurt in glass jars for instance costs $5 per jar versus if we bought little tubs of non-organic, plastic tub stuff for cheaper at $2.

Another example is tuna.

We paid recently $16 for a small jar of tuna in glass jars flown in from Spain. Could we have taken tuna from a can instead like Chicken of the Sea for $4? Yes. But we didn’t and we tried the fancy stuff (whether it remains as something we keep buying is another story altogether.)

It is like this for everything including jars of wildflower honey from Greece at $15 instead of $3, or that I have a steady diet of Bio-K now that I’m seeing actual, positive effects of on my immune system.

Even milk is like this — $5 for some glass jarred milk instead of $3.50…

In short, we are not frugal for food and I’m okay with that. Groceries are fine being what they are because we will never buy the mainstream stuff or substitute in other brands or products.

If you had a mortgage of 250k , with an interest rate of 4% and a business loan of 250k, with an interest rate of 4.45% (I have converted the interest rate into post-tax rate for it to be comparable with the mortgage rate), which one would you repay first, if you could pay off in 3 years?

I am more inclined towards paying the mortgage first, just for emotional reasons.

I am interested in what you think.

— An Australian reader.

The one with the higher interest rate.

I don’t like paying more than I should (obviously, I didn’t even take a mortgage at interest rates below 5% for my house).

Emotionally though, I get it — feeling like you OWN your house is something really satisfying, more so than a loan for a business that can feel less personal.

In the end, .45% is peanuts over 3 years in the grand scheme of things it is only about $3375 in total, so if you feel better and more accomplished in clearing your mortgage — go for that.

(Although think of all the things you could do with that money instead like travel…)

Saying you truly OWN your home is something to be proud of, without a doubt.You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.


  • raluca

    Regarding the loan repayment, I would also take into account the risks involved. This depends on your loans and the laws in your country, but I would also consider the impact of defaults on those loans. A default on your business loan might mean you lose your business, but not the rest of your assets – depending of course on how your business is structured and what the loan is secured on (your personal belongings or just the business assets). On the other hand, if you default on your loan, your house might be gone, which would leave your family without a place to sleep. In this case, I would pay the house first, no matter what the interest is, because it has a bigger impact for your personal risk.
    I would also take into account if any of those loans have a fixed or adjustable rate. The interest rates are going to keep rising for at least 2 years in my opinion (based on what the Fed and other central banks are announcing), so maybe pay the loan with the adjustable interest rate first.

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