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How to Splurge Responsibly

On mornings when I feel particularly proud of myself, I walk into my local coffee shop and get the works. I order a large iced frothy drink with extra whipped cream, plus an egg sandwich for breakfast, a granola bar as a mid-morning snack, and a pack of mints for later. Fast forward a week to when my coffee fund (a tin can full of spare change and singles) has all but run out, and I have to resort to digging around the crevices of my car for extra quarters. Or worse, I end up  pushing the envelope on the “leave a penny, take a penny” policy at the register.

Find out now: Does it make sense for me to go to school?

This, my friends, is a prime example of the results of irresponsible splurging. My unfortunate habits aside, there is a way to indulge yourself without feeling like you’ve wasted your money. For any naysayers, or disbelieving penny pinchers, let me preface this with a controversial bit of information: splurging is actually good for you.

According to the Wall Street Journal, studies have proven that people tend to regret not spending on luxury items or vacations more than people who did spend the dough. If you follow these guidelines to spending on big expenses, you won’t remember the dent in your wallet, but rather, the positive impacts of indulgence on your mental health.

Define “Splurge”

Before you begin to indulge yourself, think about what indulgence means to you. It should give you satisfaction and a sense of reward for an accomplishment, or hard work. For some, a splurge might mean spending $50 on dinner, but for others it could mean spending a week on a cruise ship. Figure out what type of investment would make you happiest, and work out the specifics from there.

Budgeting is always a good place to start. Designate money for necessities and payments first, so you don’t end up in the red by the end of the month, and figure out just how much you can afford to spend on yourself.

Think Time

How to Splurge Responsibly

There’s a difference between a splurge and an impulse buy. An impulse buy is made on the spot with no special occasion in mind. That quesadilla maker you bought on a whim and haven’t used once? That’s exactly the type of irresponsible splurging you should avoid.

In order to make the most out of your purchase, know exact the product you are looking to buy. Use the internet to compare prices and shop online before you even leave the house. This way, you won’t overpay and you can resist the temptation of an impulse buy when the wrong product is right in front of you.

Buy Timeless Pieces for Your Wardrobe

If clothing is your vice, it is easy to become infatuated with the newest fashion trends,  especially when designer brands make them so appealing. If you have a taste for the finer things in life – think simply. Skip loud patterns in favor of solid colors, and only purchase what you can see yourself wearing. It may seem a little obvious, but do you really need that  $400 Ralph Lauren jacket when something like this $185 Carhartt jacket is more up your alley?

Before putting out any cash, make sure what you’re buying fits your lifestyle. Additionally, it’s a good idea to splurge on staple items, like a classic black dress or good ol’ blue jeans. If you want an accent piece, try hitting up stores that sell designer items for less- like TJ Maxx or Marshalls, or seek out a sample sale at a casual street vendor.

Consider the Resale Value

Ask yourself: will this investment be more valuable in the future? For example, if the Some of the most tangible financial benefits come when you splurge on your home, like a renovation. Don’t skimp on materials just to come in under budget. Remodeling your kitchen can be especially valuable.

Homeowners typically get back 72% of what they put into a minor kitchen renovation when they sell, which makes the initial investment well worth the hassle. They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but I’m willing to be my whole tin can Coffee Fund that treating yourself – responsibly, that is – will. Photo Credit: Zürich | Zurich | Zurigo, mutsmuts

Emma Giebler
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