When you create a budget, there is always the BIG question: “To splurge or not to splurge?” I mean, what should you spend money on?
Maybe it is a new shirt or night out on the town and let’s face it, budgeting can at times make you feel confined and limited! If we are being honest, budgeting can be a tad depressing!
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It all comes down to the numbers and I’m happy to report, you ARE allowed to spend money on a splurge every once in a while.
If we don’t treat ourselves now and then life would get mundane. Living your best life would feel out of reach. If you are always confined to a budget it is more likely that you will give up and drive yourself further into debt.
Yet, what I’m asking here is to splurge with care. If “planned splurging” is a thing, then that is exactly what you will do!
But wait…Instead of going out and charging yourself into a whirlwind of debt, proceed with caution. Proceed with EXTRA caution.
It would be SO easy to take your plastic piece of fun – a.k.a your credit card – and do some damage. However, this may have been what got you into debt in the first place.
Now that you are on a budget track, keep it up! But you can add a splurge to your budget once in a while using the tips listed below.
What to Spend Money On – 5 Splurge Hacks
1. Use Patience
Often we use spending to relieve stress or because of boredom. Because of this, we end up with endless mounds of clutter and are left wondering how to declutter and gain perspective.
If you don’t believe me check your closet. How many of those new shirts still have tags on them? You may have bought them on a whim, put them away, and never looked at your items again. It is time to take those splurges back to the store.
If you really want something, wait a few days. If the urge is still there and it is within your budget, go for it. However, if it is WAY out of the budget, start a sinking fund and save up for it. It is very gratifying to buy something for yourself, knowing you have the money and your purchase is not going to increase your debt.
If you buy something on a whim and you are feeling guilty later, save the receipt. You may want to return the item and wait for something you really want or wait until you can afford it. As it is the case with many things in life, patience and discipline are important factors in budgeting and handling money.
Pro Tip: Sometimes I add an extra $5 to my shopping budget and buy myself a small treat until I am able to afford the big item. I can buy a new shade of nail polish or lipstick, a scented lotion, or a pretty smelling candle to hold me over. In this way, I do not feel deprived.
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2. Make it special
If it IS something you are going to spend money on, make sure you splurge is worth it, something meaningful, and not just something you would do every day.
Try to spend your extra money on experiences instead of buying “things.” Think of how much entertainment, learning, and fun your family will have if you splurge on a local yearly zoo pass, instead of one more pair of nice shoes you will only wear twice a year. What will make it worth it for you?
Ideas for your special splurge:
- zoo pass
- museum pass
- craft class with the family
- cooking class
- one night’s stay at a water park with the kids
- an evening out at your favorite nice restaurant
3. What is your return on investment
You must ask yourself a few things before you spend your hard-earned money. What are you getting out of this? If you have trained yourself to reward your stress cue with shopping, it is time to review your habits. However, if you are going to be extremely happy with your purchase or it benefits you in a positive way, it may be worth the money.
Idea: Once I paid off my student loan I decided I was going to reward myself with a new iPhone. Now keep in mind, that was back when iPhones were $200. I paid my student loan off close to my birthday, so I used my birthday money to help pay for this splurge.
It was SO worth it! I felt like it was a bargain at the time because I was getting a mini-computer, GPS, and camera all in one for $200. After you pay off your debt, reward yourself for your accomplishments within reason.
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4. Budget your splurge
Although we are calling this a splurge because it is a want and not a need, we can still fit it into our budgets. Remember, we are only splurging if we have money at the end of our monthly budget. And by that I mean you have paid off your credit card debt, have six to nine months saved for an emergency fund, and you are saving for retirement.
Of course, if you have money at the end of the month you can treat yourself, but do not spend it all. A reasonable amount would be 20% of your cash.
For example, if you have an extra $1000 at the end of your monthly budget, it would be fine to spend $200 of that. You would still have $800 to save or invest. This splurge will not break the bank by using 20% of that money.
If you are in a deficit, then it is best to put your money toward your goal of debt repayment and pay your needed items before considering a splurge.
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5. After the fix, close your wallet
Do not let this one-time thing become a habit. It is so easy to splurge once and after your brain reward system does its thing, you want to continue that good feeling!
Splurging, like budgeting takes self-discipline. Do whatever it takes to stop your spending. Buy your item and leave the store! Do not take time to look around, because you will end up wanting five more items.
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What Should I Spend Money On Conclusion
It is tempting to blow your budget on unneeded items; however, if you are on track with savings, an emergency fund, retirement and are debt-free I see no reason not to splurge! Remember to make it a special treat! You will be so happy you can afford this with no guilt. Also, you will still have money left to bulk up your investments and savings! Keep up the great work!
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Take care – Sarah
What is something you are willing to spend money on? Please leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you.