Splurges. Impulsive buys. Last-minute add-ons to our cart. We’ve all been there. And why not? We’re on the grind. We’re hustling around the clock to maintain balance in our professional and personal lives. We feel we deserve a treat (a splurge even) now and then to add a little fun to our otherwise hectic, hardworking routines. But it’s possible to enjoy the occasional large purchase without completely blowing your budget. Here are some ways to indulge without derailing your savings.
1. Look for free (or lower cost) alternatives. Trying new restaurants can be a real hoot. A new outfit can make you feel runway ready. But consider inviting friends over for a home-cooked meal rather than going out. Double down on the fun and have a clothing swap while you trade recipes instead of hitting the mall or giving into that “one-day only” online sale. Try your hand at DIY projects — not only will your home get a facelift, you’ll get the satisfaction of creating something yourself. Once you stop thinking that you need to spend to enjoy yourself, you’ll soon find that it’s totally possible to have a fulfilling (and yes, treat-filled) life without impulse shopping.
2. Scope the sales. A planned approach to large purchases can help prevent you from spending more than you meant to (or had budgeted). A lot of retailers and establishments offer special discounts and deals around different holidays throughout the year. Apps like ShopSavvy can help you compare prices for the same product across different sellers to help you get the best deal and avoid outrageous markups. Track airfare on Google Flights to secure lower fares. Plan trips as far out as possible to allow yourself time to save up a vacation fund. When you stop impulse buying, you’ll start saving money instead of making a spontaneous purchase you didn’t really want — or need.
3. Prioritize and strike a balance. Before spending money on things you don’t need, be sure to cover things like rent or a mortgage payment, utilities, car loan payments and other recurring bills. You shouldn’t feel guilty about a salon haircut, but don’t opt for a blowout over covering your electricity for the month. It also helps to limit your indulgent purchases to one or two a month. Would you rather have a new pair of shoes or a weekend getaway? A fancy dinner or a cool gadget? Not only will each large purchase feel more special if it’s not an everyday thing, it will keep your budget healthy. Not to mention, you’ll become savvy at finding cost-effective ways to unwind and treat yourself.
Remember, it’s possible to avoid budget-busting buys, even on National #SplurgeDay! Staying focused on your long-term savings and financial goals is even sweeter than something flashy bought on a whim!