The recession is technically over, and has been for some time, but many of us still feel the pinch of an economy recovering at a snail’s pace — and many of us are concerned about a double-dip recession. At the same time, though, it can be difficult to keep on pinching those pennies. If you are getting a little frugal fatigue, you might consider treating yourself with a little spending splurge, just to take the edge off. Here are some suggestions.
Small Splurges that Can Mean Big Pleasure
It has been said that the little things in life are most rewarding. This can be true of a splurge as well. Taking the time to provide yourself with a small treat, something out of the ordinary, can have an amazing effect on your mood. Think about what you enjoy, and what might provide a pick-me-up. Some of my favorite small splurges include:
- Buying a new book
- Ordering a decadent dessert at the restaurant.
- Staying an extra night on vacation.
- Having a pedicure.
- Buying really good cheese.
- Stopping at the pastry shop for something tasty.
- Going to the movies.
- Purchasing a new item of clothing (even better if it’s on sale).
These small purchases may not be in the regular budget, but we usually have a little left each month that can be saved up toward a splurge. My husband also uses his opportunities to splurge on purchases like video games, sports history DVDs, collectible action figures and donuts. Buying something we don’t really need, but something that is fun, adds some zest to life, and keeps us from feeling as though a frugal lifestyle is financially confining.
Enjoy Yourself Without Spending Money
Of course, there are plenty of frugal living experts that will point out that you don’t need to spend money in order to enjoy yourself, and that splurging for enjoyment is rather materialistic. And, while I enjoy spending money on occasion, I also know that my well-being and worth as a person have very little to do with the things and experiences I can buy.
Recognizing what you do have, and enjoying yourself without spending money, are two very important aspects of a well-rounded and healthy frugal lifestyle, and I do enjoy doing things without spending extra. Some activities that I enjoy that doesn’t require spending extra money include (this is my list, but you might get some ideas from this too):
- Going for a walk (especially during the autumn months).
- Riding bikes with my sons.
- Popping corn on the stove top to watch a movie with my family.
- Visiting the local zoo (we do make a small donation).
- Taking my son to the playground.
- Playing a board game as a family.
- Going to the lake.
- Having a picnic.
- Window shopping in the downtown historical district.
If you look around your town, chances are that you can find a few activities that can be done for free. Tours of historical buildings, special exhibits and local parks all offer chances to get out and about — without spending money. And, of course, there are plenty of fun things you can do around the house as a family. There is no reason to feel deprived when you aren’t spending money.
However, as fulfilling and enjoyable as these activities are, sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy a splurge. And, as long as we have the money to do it without going into debt, I see nothing wrong with that.
So, enough about me. What’s your favorite splurge?
Editor's Note: Did you know about the service called $5 meal plans? For $5 a month, they send you recipes of delicious, healthy, yet cheap food that costs just $5 a meal.
Several of my friends signed up and they are able to eat at home more because the instructions are easy to follow, making everything convenient. The deal also comes with grocery shopping lists, which saves them so much time. Check it out yourself by clicking here and you too may be able to save more and become healthier at the same time.