Money Well Spent
Fairfield County locals share their top splurges.
Cat D5 Bulldozer
From small-scale luxuries to high-ticket investments money is no object when the urge to splurge strikes.
A great pair of classic shoes! I think high quality shoes are always worth the investment. I’ve told my daughter who just entered the working world always buy the best shoe your budget will allow. You won’t be taken seriously in a ratty pair of shoes! —Donna Craft, Community Volunteer
Either my Cat D5 Bulldozer (pictured above) or my John Deer 220 Excavator. Silly to own these things but handy when you really want to mess up your yard or just need to lift the barn off it’s foundation and then drag it somewhere… my wife calls my farm my sandbox. I’ve built three miles of roads there that I can drive my street car on and more than twice that for the pickup truck to use, all with my trusty heavy equipment. In figuring the value, I look at them as twelve ton Ferraris: I get a lot for my money! —Terry Betteridge, CEO Betteridge Jewelers
I picked up the BMW 4 Series Coupé 435xi. After moving into a new place with my girlfriend and getting a little bulldog in 2013, I felt lucky enough this year that I could get away with buying something just for me. The new 4 Series drives like a rocket ship, and the technology package is light years ahead of its predecessors. It’s a lot of fun! —Win Betteridge, Director of Business Development Betteridge Jewelers
Our biggest and most extravagant purchase was undoubtedly the house we built (pictured above). We wanted to live by the beach, but with six children couldn’t find anything to fit, and ended up falling in love with a piece of land for sale on a hill, away from the madding crowd and with occasional water views. Our biggest surprise was how much we loved the process, particularly the design and decorating. Thrilled with how it came out, of course we’re now itching to do the whole thing over again... —Jane Green, NY Times best-selling author
“I’ve found the most unbelievable line of skin care, Natura Bisse. Each product is a small fortune in and of itself, and of course, when you HAVE to purchase every part of every regimen, well, you can find yourself taking out a loan when it’s time to stock up!” —Melissa Lindsay, Designer and co-owner Pimlico
“We just bought a new house and I couldn’t resist going overboard in the living room. I found an incredibly luxurious cashmere from Holland and Sherry and plan to recover a pair of boring old chairs. Not only will these be the showstoppers in the room, but once I cozy into them, I may never leave my living room again!” —Jill Saunders, Designer and co-owner Pimlico
My YSL Tribute Platform Pumps in black pebbled leather and nude patent leather. I don’t know what I wore before them. They take me everywhere and are incredibly comfortable in spite of the fact that they’re stupidly high. —Cristin Marandino, editor Greenwich magazine
My Hartman Luggage. It’s made of Canadian belted leather, sturdy and durable, it will last 20-30 years. The Valise is my go-to weekend bag. —Pete Michalsky, Chief Revenue Officer, Moffly Media
In July of 2008 we paid off the mortgage on our house. That October, to celebrate our staggering achievement, we splurged on a trip to the Turquoise Coast. We booked a gulat in the Aegean Sea for an eight day sail through the Greek & Turkish islands. We flew from Istanbul to Bodrum on October 6. When we landed, the market had crashed and dropped 800 points. Since we were unable to react to this fiasco, we turned off our cell phones and sailed the Aegean. It was the type of trip one dreams about. Clear turquoise waters, hidden coves and islets, wonderful weather and clear, smooth sailing. We were eight passengers waited on by a crew of 10.
In the end, our stocks rebounded since we had not sold any of them. And today we have fabulous memories of time (and dollars) well spent. We have never regretted it for a moment. —Arlene Carpenter and Gerard Pampalone, Avid travelers