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How to Choose Your Splurges in Life

  September 9

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How To Choose Your Splurges In Life I think we can all agree that a splurge every now and then is really nice. What I find interesting is that my idea of a splurge has really, really changed over time.

Just a few years ago, I had the opportunity to live in the Caribbean on the island of Grenada for 3 years while my husband was in medical school down there. Living there taught me a lot about minimalism, being at peace without a lot of stuff, and being happy with the beauty and experiences around me.

However, I am human and a girly girl. I love a beautiful Kate Spade bag and a mani/pedi. I love to travel. I love sparkly, pretty things. However, I’ve learned over time that I have to choose my splurges in life. Like my friend Paula says, you can afford anything, just not everything.

Choose Your Splurges

These days, an amazing splurge is buying a bottle of $4 wine and having peace and quiet late at night to sit in the tub, read a magazine, and drink a glass of said bottle of wine.

I also love to travel or plan little side trips. This past weekend, my husband and I went to visit the oldest winery in America. It was a 50 minute drive, and it was so, so beautiful. The dinner was a little expensive, and we had to pay a babysitter to watch our twins, but it was very worth it to splurge and have a little time together.

Then, the next day, we drove the kids to NYC, found free street parking since it was a Sunday, and we walked around Central Park. The most expensive part of that trip was paying for the toll to drive over the bridge and of course buying a little fruit cup for the twins to split. Next time, I will bring more snacks for them and for us!

It’s All About Balance

Before I had kids, back when my husband and I were both working (and he was not a student) we had far more splurges than we do now. We’d go out to dinner several times a week, walk around the mall just for fun and buy clothes, and as someone who loves design and decor, I was always buying little things to decorate our house.

We went on more trips than we do now and my husband had a much nicer, newer car than he has now. However, I look back at that time with a bit more wisdom and wish we had chosen our splurges a bit more wisely. If we had, we’d surely have more in savings now and we wouldn’t have gotten into credit card debt and then back out of it.

There’s Nothing Wrong With a Splurge

That said, there’s nothing wrong with a splurge here or there as long as you can afford it. I think many times, personal finance bloggers give a vibe that if you like nice things, designer duds, or expensive experiences, there’s something wrong with you. I don’t think that way at all. In fact, I look forward to being able to afford more nice things and experiences in the future.

It’s just that right now my “big splurges” are really small bits of happiness like a piece of chocolate, a bottle of wine, and a dinner out. Maybe one day when we have paid off our student loan debt and are making far more money than we do now, we can travel more, give more, and choose splurges that we could only dream of now.

How To Choose Your Splurges In Life

What do you splurge on?

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17 responses to “How to Choose Your Splurges in Life

  1. The little splurges in life really help you from experiences frugal burn out. A bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate are two my my favorite splurges as well. Living within your budget doesn’t mean that you don’t ever get to have any fun. It’s just about being mindful and intentional with your purchases.

  2. I think it’s really nice (and actually good for your budget!) if you make room for the occasional splurge. I do think it’s important to make sure you can afford the things you’re splurging on, but if you’ve planned for them in your budget, it should feel twice as good because you get to splurge AND you know it’s not going to hinder your bigger goals.

    I’ve been married for (almost) ten years, and I can say for sure that my husband and I often have very different ideas of what we should splurge on. One way we get past that is to have spending money (we call it an allowance) each month that we can use for whatever we want individually. That way, if I want to get a mani and he wants to buy a new tool, neither person feels like it’s unfair to the other. Thanks for a fun read!

  3. Small splurges are what keep me going towards my larger debt repayment goals. If I never gave myself a treat, I would begin to resent what I was trying to do and feel like I was being punished and I would lose focus.

  4. In the frugality, save as much as you can so you can retire early driven personal finance blogosphere, it gets lost sometimes that we are actually supposed to enjoy life. Yeah, I can strip down my life and survive on very little money, but do I really want to? No, and hell no. I could whip up a pot of beans for Saturday nigh dinner made from the 80 pound bulk sack purchased from Costco, supplemented with home grown lettuce for a side salad dressed with just a little generic vinegar……but what I really want to do is fire up my smoker and spend the day throwing back cold ones and smoking a 15 pound brisket.

  5. So excited to have found this blog on the budget mama!! I am a surgical residents wife with a business degree (I am also blonde!) and there are not many resources that I have found, other than a physician only financial planner, for us. It is such a unique situation I am excited to read more!

  6. This reminds me of Ramit’s “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” spending plan explanation in his book. It’s about being intentional with your money. If you can afford it and you want to splurge on XYZ, then do it! Don’t feel bad about it. Just be sure you’re intentional and have a plan with your money that promotes your financial success.

  7. It is good to know that you learned from those previous experiences. Yea, it’s good to splurge on something once in a while especially when there’s something good happened such as getting a raise or being promoted. I think those days when you splurge on expensive things are all gone and you now find happiness in small bits of happiness. Congrats!

  8. Well said! I look forward to being able to afford more nice things and experiences in the future, too. My husband and I like to splurge on occasional travel. For the most part, since he’s in school and I’m busy paying off our debts, we lead a pretty minimalist lifestyle. But once we have two incomes and our debts are paid off, I’m definitely looking forward to travelling more.

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