Yes, you read that right!
Splurging – a word so decadent that just the thought of it is followed by strong guilt.
When you are brought up in a middle class household, the money mindset you have picked up – whether consciously or unconsciously – forbids you to think of splurging.
You will be looked down upon, judged, frowned on and lectured if you even think of extravagance.
But that doesn’t have to be the case.
We all have our guilty pleasures – the ones where the cost doesn’t seem to matter. Comic books, shoes, clothes, perfumes, pens, alcohol, watches, knife set, desserts, markers, belts, purses, socks, jewelry, art, memorabilia – the list is endless.
If splurging is making you unhappy or guilty, you are probably doing it wrong. When done wisely, splurging improves our relationship with money. Intelligent splurging is all about being aware of what’s most important to you and your happiness.
For example – I never feel bad when I spend thousands on buying books. There is no guilt about spending money eating healthy or paying for a gym membership/personal trainer. Of course, there is a ceiling based on what I earn – because let’s be honest, if I cannot afford it, it will be followed by guilt.
Here are some ways you can splurge money wisely.
Instruments Of Your Trade
One right way to splurge is on the tools you need for work. If buying two LED monitors helps you with your productivity, then don’t hold back. If you are going to be working from home, then it is better to invest in a good ergonomic chair and a 2-in-1 standing desk, to allow you the flexibility of standing and working. If you are an athlete, splurging wisely on tools of your trade will mean buying good equipment you need for the sport you are an athlete in.
More than once, I have regretted buying cheap earphones and pinching dollars on a laptop, only to regret it later. Not investing in a comfortable chair, when my work involved sitting and working proved more costly for my back.
Wherever you can, try and go for quality because these are tools you will use on a daily basis and probably even multiple times in a single day!
Necessities Of Your Life
Splurging on necessities that you can use in the long run saves you a lot of frustration and time. Buying a good pair of knives or proper machines to help you in the kitchen can be a huge time saver and enhance the taste of your food.
Similarly, investing in a good mattress is like investing in your quality of sleep. Good sleep, on most days, is the difference between a good or a bad day.
The stuff you consider a necessity is the stuff you use a lot and regularly so might as well buy a durable one which can stand the test of time.
Milestones are important. Celebrating adds a special zest which makes them memorable. And making them memorable often has a cost attached to it.
As the days pass by, you will not remember what it cost but you will surely remember the memories that the day brings, which makes splurging on them a very wise decision.
The ones you remember are the ones you celebrated, so splurge on those celebrations a bit without feeling guilty about it.
I want you to look back to the times you were sick. How well did you perform? How much work were you able to get done? Let me guess – not much!
A healthy brain and a healthy body are your two most important assets. For you to go out and achieve your dreams, you need to have a brain that can think and a body which is healthy and free of diseases.
Sickness is inevitable but splurging on our health – gym memberships, personal training, diet, medical tests – will ensure we minimize such days. It will enable us to be in top shape when opportunity arrives at our door and, in the long run, will pay off manifolds.
I love this one because I have firsthand seen the effects of this! The delight on the face of the recipient is priceless and it gives both of us memories of a lifetime!
Research shows that an unexpected present or being surprised is a real booster for people. This is equivalent to you finding a thank you note left on your desk by some grateful colleague or you discovering some money in pockets of an old pair of pants!
More importantly, these are the moments and the stories people tell wherever they go.
One example of this – a friend I know loves using planners. I feel they are a waste of money. Yet, I ended up spending a considerable amount to buy her a planner she had been eyeing! And it’s been worth every penny!
Buying back time
You already know your time on this earth is limited so why not buy back some of it?
We all have our nagging task list – a leaky tap, a lawn which needs landscaping, roof full of dead leaves, an AC that needs to be serviced. How much of it can you really keep up with? Most of the time, it is not about the money but about your mental health. If money can help ease the stress by having someone take care of something for you, what is the harm?
If you can afford it, pay the extra couple of hundred dollars so you can take a direct flight and spend the night in your own bed. Paying someone to cook and clean in the house means you get a couple of hours in a day back – time which can be spent catching up with a loved one or strengthening existing relationships or just catching up on your nagging tasks – which let’s be honest – you wouldn’t otherwise have time for.
Not living like a CEO when you are a sandwich artist
To splurge wisely, you have to do it within your budget and frequently. As Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of GirlBoss says,
“You cannot live like a CEO if you are a sandwich artist!”
The key is modesty – doing it in limited quantity and under the umbrella of your income. Splurge small and frequently. You get to decide what it means to you.
The people who are happy with their mansions and luxury cars are the people who can actually afford them. Going into heavy debt to splurge is exactly how not to do it!
Even when you splurge on the stuff mentioned above, you have to do it keeping in mind your income. In college, I spent 4 years with a cheap netbook just because it is all I could afford. Until I got my first paycheck, I slept on an air mattress and when I finally bought one, it was a spring mattress for $80 because I still couldn’t afford a mattress costing thousands.
Splurge lavishly and cut ruthlessly.