Hi everyone! For your frugal inspiration today, please welcome guest writer Rishon Roberts to Color Me Frugal! She’s going to share with us some excellent ways to splurge without breaking the bank.
It’s challenging to save money when we live in a consumer-centric society where we’re constantly bombarded by advertisements designed to make us want more things. You work hard, you earned it – we totally get it! But when you splurge on a big-ticket item (or even a small-ticket one in many cases) you could seriously damage your budget. Later on, you could be haunted by the icky feelings of buyer’s remorse, which is never fun.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to splurge without breaking the bank. The key is to get rid of the thought that “splurging” means spending money that you shouldn’t be (i.e., going outside the bounds of your budget). Here are some ideas we love…
Ways to Splurge Without Breaking the Bank
When You Want That Designer Bag
The first thing that comes to many people’s minds when they hear the word “splurge” is shopping. Who doesn’t love the sight of beautiful new clothes in their closet? As a frugal and savvy shopper, you should know that your first stop should never be a full-price retail store. Avoid the mall and check out secondhand and consignment stores with a current, trendy focus. Think shops like Crossroads Trading Co. and Buffalo Exchange, or do a quick google search for local stores with similar ideas in your area. If you’re more into the online shopping, look into ThredUp, Poshmark, or even Ebay!
Bonus: If you have clothes you want to get rid of, but don’t want to throw away or donate, try bringing them to the same stores. Many will offer you close to 50% back in store credit!
When You Want to be Wined and Dined
We have two tips for this category – and they’re both delicious! If you’re just itching to get out on the town for a night out with your spouse or besties, check out local daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial for coupons you can exchange to save big on a fancy meal out. Coupon Sherpa can also help you find all kinds of restaurant coupons along with any discounts being offered currently. Just don’t forget to budget for the tip, which should be calculated on the full price of the meal!
The second option is to host a small dinner party or potluck at home. You can make the main course, and ask everyone you invite to bring a dish and BYOB. When you cook at home, you save a ton of the cost of food, and because of this, you can probably afford to buy the nicer cut of meat, or the fancier cheese because you’re not paying a premium on it like you would at a restaurant. But let’s be real – the real splurge here is the decadence of lounging around. How often do you really get to spend extended quality time with your loved ones!?
When You Want a Home Makeover
You probably just got sucked down a Pinterest rabbit hole, didn’t you? We’ve been there, too. We all want our homes to be beautiful – and they totally can be, but that doesn’t mean spending thousands of dollars on contractors and designers. Instead, look for DIYs you can do that achieve the same results. There are so many DIY hacks nowadays that will give you drool-worthy professional results without the huge invoice. You will feel so much more accomplished and proud when you show off your stylish new digs to friends knowing you put in the work yourself. Need a few power tools or odds and ends to get your project done? You can save up to 75% on DIY essentials, for example, if you know where to look online.
When You Want to Go on Vacation
Trips are expensive, no doubt, but they don’t have to break the bank! This is a matter of planning ahead and monitoring flight prices with tools and sites like Google Flights, Kayak, and AirfareWatchdog. Strike when the price is right! It might also be a good idea to take a trip on the off-season (i.e., tropical vacations in the summer) and use a home-sharing service like AirBnb instead of a pricey hotel. This will free up funds for more activities and lets you do some of the cooking yourself rather than having to eat out at every meal. Check out these tips for traveling on a budget (it’s not as painful as you think!)
When You Want to be Pampered
Four words: at-home spa day. If your employer’s vacation plan allows for it, you could even take a day off to feel extra luxurious and splurge-y. Run a hot bath and throw in some epsom salts and bubble bath. Give yourself a pedicure, do a face mask or hair treatment – whatever you want! With so many recipes for at-home beauty treatments online, you’ll find that feeling pampered and like you “splurged” on yourself, is just a matter of time and mixing together a few ingredients you probably already have on hand!
When You Want a New Outfit for a Special Event
Have a wedding or big gala to attend? Don’t even think about buying a new dress off the rack. Not even at a discount store! Here’s our reasoning: cost per wear. Even if you find a great deal on a new dress at a discount store, we really only wear fancy dresses 2-3 times (because how often do we actually have fancy events to attend?). It’s probably more cost effective to rent a dress from somewhere like Rent The Runway, where you can filter based on price and have a ton of options laid out in front of you. Bonus: no dry cleaning bill to worry about.
When You Want to be Decadent
Splurging on yummy sweets is a delicious idea, but with all these fancy bakeries and ice cream parlors, you could be looking at steep price tag for a few minutes of bliss – especially if you’re buying for the whole family or a group of friends you’re having over. Our advice is to ditch the $48 for-a-dozen cupcakes and make it at home! Check the grocery store for items that are on sale, and if it involves fruit – buy seasonal produce. Be creative and enjoy your delicious results.
So, are you feeling inspired to splurge and stay frugal now? Good! See how easy it is to treat yourself, and splurge without breaking the bank? It’s all about your mindset.
Did we miss any tips? How do you find ways to splurge without breaking the bank?
About the Author:
Rishon is a millennial to the core, enjoying the spoils of modern life & documenting it on social media. Never one to be suckered into paying full price, Rishon is skilled in hunting down a deal. If only she could reconcile the satisfaction of saving with her tendency toward impulsivity (she’s an Aries)! When not at BLINQ HQ, Rishon can be found watching live music in DC.
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Photo credit: Bathing in the Sun, via creative commons (license), 8/22/15, with changes
Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life says
I’m all about treating myself and enjoying life but it does get to be super expensive sometimes! One of my favorite things to do with a friend is do a dessert only get together. We will bring desserts over along with a bottle or two of wine and spend the evening away. It allows me to save a lot of money on the food bill ( eat leftovers beforehand) and there are so many great wines under $10!
Dee S says
Love it! What a fun and frugal way to get together with friends!
Mr. Budgets @MrandMrsBudgets says
Great post and interesting suggestions. Everyone should look into Mystery Shopping as a GREAT alternative “When You Want to be Wined and Dined”. We have a few post on our blog in regards to this if you want to check it out. It’s well worth it but then again I’m not doing the back end side of having to fill out the questionnaire. Mrs. Budgets handles that!
Dee S says
That would be another frugal way to eat out! I hadn’t thought of that, but as long as you’ve got a mystery shop job for a restaurant you want to go to, that’s a great way to score a nice meal!
Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says
Great tips! We love hosting potlucks and making awesome food from scratch to serve – same with sweet treats. We’ll find some delightful dessert recipe on Food Network and make it at home. Elegant dining without extravagant cost!
Dee S says
I love potlucks! A few years ago we lived in a different town and had awesome neighbors, and we were constantly having potluck dinners. It was a cheap and fun way to get together with friends!
Potlucks! So delicious! Always sooo much good food too! Def. a good way to eat like a king for cheap.
Jason @ Phroogal says
Couple massages where the two give each other the massages. It’s relaxing. No strangers required.
Very helpful post! I have all of these needs and it’s hard to save money while indulging! LOVE airbnb it helps me travel and save. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for stopping by!