You work hard, so why can’t you have a little fun with your money? Many money experts preach the importance of financial responsibility, but this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the occasional splurge.
There’s nothing wrong with spoiling yourself — if you know the right ways to spend your money. Understandably, if you’re trying to pay off debt or save for another goal, you might deposit all your disposable income into a savings account and commit to a life of only buying what’s necessary. This helps you hit financial goals sooner, but it also takes the joy out of life.
See also: 5 Signs You Should Be Spending More
The next time you get am employee bonus check, a tax refund or stumble upon other free money, rather than shrug off the idea of spoiling yourself, here are five ways to splurge responsibly.
1. Know What You’re Working With
There’s nothing irresponsible about splurging, but it is irresponsible to spend money you don’t have. Splurging is supposed to be a release or a reward. But it can have the opposite effect if you regret a purchase or end up short on cash. Before buying anything, take a look at your bank account, review your budget, and determine how much you can realistically spend on yourself. Moderation is the key to smart splurging. There’s no rule that says you have to spend a crazy amount to spoil yourself.
2. Plan Splurges in Advance
If you feel the need to splurge every few months, why not start a splurge budget and set cash aside? Decide how much you can deposit into a splurge fund each paycheck. It can be as little as $20 or $30 a pay period or less. Over the course of a couple of months, you might save $50 to $100, depending on how much you’re able to set aside. This way, you can splurge without feeling guilty.
See also: How to Keep Track of Personal Spending
3. Don’t Splurge Your Way into Debt
No matter what, don’t splurge with a credit card. A credit card is a useful tool if you want to earn reward points, and if you’re committed to paying off a charge in full. But if you get into a habit of splurging with a credit card, and you put off paying balances and carry this debt from month to month, interest charges can add up over the course of months. Even if a splurge doesn’t have a high price tag, you’ll end up paying more once you factor in the interest charges.
4. Redeem Your Credit Card Rewards
This might be an option you haven’t considered. If you prefer using a credit card because it’s easier to track your spending, or because you feel it’s safer than paying with cash, make sure you’re using a credit card with the rewards program. If you use a rewards credit card to buy gas and groceries or pay for entertainment, you can earn one point (or more) for every dollar you spend. The more points you have, the sooner you can redeem these points for a variety of things, such as gift cards, merchandise or cash. You can splurge without paying a dime of your own money.
5. Shop Alone
It’s fun to shop with friends, but if you’re trying to stay within budget, it might be best to hit the stores alone. Depending on the type of friends you have, you may feel pressure to spend more than you have. Your peers may use their credit cards, buy impulsively, and then encourage you to do the same. And if the pressure to keep up is too much, you might give in and exceed your splurge budget.
Everyone should enjoy a good splurge from time to time, but like most people, you may have limited cash flow. However, if you get creative and plan ahead, you can squeeze splurging into your budget and spoil yourself without going broke.
How do you splurge on a budget?