I love breakfast sandwiches. They are delicious. There is a place near my house called Big Dave’s Deli and Meats that has the worlds greatest breakfast sandwich. I’m not exaggerating. It will change your view on breakfast sandwiches. Predictably, the sandwich is called Big Dave’s Breakfast Sandwich. Here’s the problem: I’m pretty sure that if I were to eat one more than once per month, my heart would stop beating. Let’s just say that Jared from Subway and Apollo Anton Ohno won’t be discussing this sandwich on TV. Therefore, I need to indulge with caution. There are consequences if I don’t masticate responsibly.
The same can be said for your financial life. Sometimes it’s okay to splurge. Sometimes it’s okay to buy yourself something somewhat ridiculous. But setting ground rules for the splurge will prevent the splurge from turning into a disaster.
- Don’t splurge in order to make yourself feel better about a bad financial situation- I eat ’cause I’m sad, and I’m sad because I eat. Splurging in the midst of financial struggles is a bad idea. Because once the high wears off from the splurge, reality will be all up in your grill. A good way to splurge when you are broke, is to splurge with another resource: time. Take the day to yourself. Go to a park and walk around. Go walk around the mall (don’t splurge). Just collect your thoughts, and enjoy the silence. (It’s quite obvious at this point that I have a toddler, isn’t it?)
- Plan your splurges- Yes, I know that I’m taking a bit of the fun out of it. That’s just what I do, dog. Splurge once per quarter (every three months). And better yet, plan your splurges by reducing spending in other categories heading up to the big splurge.
- Don’t be a moron- Yep, that’s the type of hard-hitting advice you can only get at PeteThePlanner.com. Splurging on a car is a bad idea. Splurging on a timeshare is a bad idea. Splurge on dinner. Splurge on a sweater. Splurge on flowers for your wife or girlfriend (just don’t mix up the cards).
Life isn’t all about restriction. Your ability to splurge responsibly will serve you well. Yes, planning your splurge is the right thing to do. Don’t make this the worst advice that I have ever giving you. Splurge responsibly.
Jared, you got a little something on your lip. Just sayin’.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.