When to NOT to Splurge
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“If I splurge on anything, it’s cologne. I love smelling good.” Zac Efron
This quote suggests that Zac Efron, the wealthy movie star sensation from High School Musical and many more projects, is so financially savvy that his one indulgence is cologne. If that’s his lone indulgence, then this guy is on a path of financial strength.
Personal disclosure: I have never met nor spoken to Zac Efron. (Although I wouldn’t turn down an invitation to meet him!)
MAIN TOPIC: I am ALL FOR SPLURGING
I carefully plan my our family splurges:
- El carino (my hubby) indulges in his hobby of collecting sports memorabilia.
- I go out to work at a coffee shop once or twice a week and buy a coffee.
- Special occasions find me at the COACH outlet for a nice bag.
- Travel is planned and a big priority for our family. This week-end it’s a quick family get away to Atlantic City! (No gambling for us!)
I do not covet expensive jewelry, cars, fine dining (my birthday dinner was at Applebee’s this year). In fact, when el carino wants to tease me, he goads me with the offer to buy me jewelry (because he KNOWS I don’t value spending our money on expensive jewelry). In fact, I totally don’t get the women who want a huge diamond (bought on credit). Give me the cash any day to stick in the investment account.
Please don’t think this is a condemnation of cars, jewelry, or fine dining; it’s not. It is a recommendation to spend on those activities that YOU value, not what your neighbors, TV, or society tells you to value.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: When not to Splurge
Do not splurge if these are your reasons:
- I really really want it
- I deserve it
- I owe it to myself
- I feel like getting it
- Why not, you only live once
- It will make me happy or important
These reasons to splurge are usually justifications to overspend; just thinly veiled self deceptions.
Look, if you can afford it, pay for it this month, and it’s in your budget, then why not.
But, if you just “WANT IT” but don’t have the cash to pay for it, even if you work hard….. you will regret the IMPULSE PURCHASE.
The August 2010 issue of Money magazine includes 7 Secrets of Super Savers. And although some of the strategies were a bit over the top, many included quite a few luxuries. Delay purchases over a certain amount was a sensible option. After all, the Elovitz family didn’t say “NO” to any purchase, but just to think about it and delay. Another family did not buy anything until they could pay for it in cash. No credit for them. Live below your means is a “no brainer;” but what about living on one spouse’s salary and banking the other?
On the flip side….it is IMPORTANT TO SPLURGE ONCE IN A WHILE. After all, if all you do in life is restrict yourself, you will feel deprived and be more likely to go on a spending binge.
How to make the decision to SPLURGE? Plan a splurge and consider your own personal splurging guidelines.
These are the FRIEDBERG SPLURGE GUIDELINES:
- Plan , the purchase, not an impulse buy.
- It is something we will enjoy for a while; either thinking about, watching, remembering, or using. Vacations and Broadway shows fit this category. For our splurge, el carino and I budget in trips to NYC to see Broadway Shows (frequently purchasing half price tickets).
- Never buy on credit.
- Consider whether it is worth the cost, TO US. On a recent trip to visit my parents, my mom offered to take us to a really fancy restaurant to celebrate my birthday. Even though my parents were treating, the cost of an extravagant restaurant is not worth the expense. I value eating out, in fact, I love to eat out…. But really upscale restaurants are not of value for me. I chose a nice seafood restaurant; healthy and tasty!!!
- Pays lasting dividends: Education!
Splurging is important! Who wants to live a life of total deprivation? Wealth in life is actually more important than wealth in money. Of course, the irony is that you need a certain amount of financial wealth in order to splurge without debt. Although, a bubble bath is a great (cheap) splurge, it isn’t the same as a trip to Puerto Rico! Choose your splurges to fit into your own budget!
Get a notebook and label it: “(your name) Personal Finance” and keep it by the computer. Use it to keep all of your personal finance goals, thoughts, activities, and plans.
Write out a list of your personal SPLURGE GUIDELINES.
What do you splurge on? How do you plan for it?
Check out what other personal finance bloggers are saying about Splurges.
Cool to be Frugal asks: Is it ok to Splurge when you are in Debt?
Well Heeled Blog wonders if Abnormal Penny Pinching Justifies Splurges?
Money Reasons discusses Losing Control to Lifestyle Inflation
Mea Culpa, I just Spent $1,450 at Apple said the Financial Samurai
Money Funk bemoans her Emotional Spending
Ramit Sethi at I Will Teach you to be Rich shares The Money Diaries of a 25 year old Single Mom who Writes Bad Checks
Image credit: Swamibu