Splurging: Personal Finance Advice

Splurging happens. You might have the best intentions of getting your debt paid down or building up your savings account to respectable levels, but every once in a while – if you’re human – you get the impulse to splurge on something that you may not need but you would sure like to have. You might have a closet that is already packed with great clothes, but when you walk past your favorite clothing store you start to think about how much fun it might be to drop a few hundred dollars even though it’s not in your budget and you don’t even have a discount coupon in your hand. Don’t immediately dismiss the desire . . . once in a while you do have to treat yourself to something nice. You should always allow for some splurging in your budget, but the trick is to make sure that it is a once in a while occurrence. You can’t really call something “splurging” if you do it all the time. A true splurge is, by definition, something that happens infrequently as is contrary to your usual spending behavior. In other words, buying a new pair of shoes every week is not splurging. It’s a habit.

Here are the things you should keep in mind when you decide to splurge:


1. Budget for the splurge. Just because you’re splurging doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for the expense beforehand. Set some money aside for your splurge, whether you know exactly what you’re going to buy or if you simply intend on wandering around your favorite store until you find something irresistible. A splurge doesn’t have to be an impulse buy, but if it is on impulse it helps if you have the money already set aside so you can pay your electric bill at the end of the month.

2. Don’t avoid splurging forever. If you never allow yourself the opportunity to splurge on anything then pretty soon you’re going to feel as though it’s all work and no play when it comes to your finances. This is certainly not to say that you should spend money with reckless abandon in an attempt to make yourself feel good about your finances, but instead is an attempt to permission to those readers who need a green light before spending money on something they don’t really need. It’s your money . . . you need to enjoy it once in a while.

3. Don’t get splurge-happy. Don’t misinterpret this advice as saying that it’s okay to spend tons of money on the things you want. You should still follow a written budget, and you should also look for the best deals you can find the majority of the time. A splurge once in a while is one thing, but it’s another thing entirely to lose control of your finances because you’re constantly treating yourself to shopping trips regardless of the cost.

4. Splurging doesn’t have to be expensive. A true Budget Fashionista knows that a splurge doesn’t have to break the bank to be fabulous and enjoyable. Buying a fantastic belt from a clearance rack qualifies as a splurge even if it is 75% off the original price, and that’s because you hadn’t intended on making the purchase. More importantly, the belt is a treat for you. What’s better than a fantastic treat? One that’s 75% off, of course!

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  1. annaraven says

    This is a great article. The whole “all or nothing” mentality is what tends to sabotage our best efforts, whether it’s efforts to exercise, improve our eating habits, or live on a budget. Budgeting for a splurge is a great way to avoid letting a splurge knock us off the “budget wagon”. Thanks for reminding me of this.

  2. Budget Babe says

    #2 really rings true for me. as annaraven said above, thanks for reminding us extreme budgeters that balance is key. gotta treat yourself every once in a while!

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