There’s nothing wrong with splurging every now and then… how else would we celebrate holidays like National Ice Cream Day and National Bey Day? As adults, it’s practically our obligation to use our hard-earned cash to make a few purchases that would otherwise feel unreasonable.
Even financial pros agree that there’s nothing inherently wrong with splurging, as long as it’s done responsibly. “Controlled splurging is a good thing!” says Dani Pascarella, certified financial planner and founder of millennial wealth coaching firm Invibed. “You work hard, and you deserve to spend a portion of your paycheck on whatever you want without feeling guilty about it.”
So, when is it most appropriate to splurge? Lynne Somerman — who describes herself as “a money and budget coach for fiery, focused women” (sign us up!) — and Coupon Sherpa savings expert Kendal Perez note these nine specific splurge-worthy essentials.
1. Good Shoes: If you’ve been eying a pair of high-quality pumps that are just perfect for the office, or a gorgeous heeled sandal that you just know you’ll wear to every wedding from now until 2030, the price tag may be well worth it. Good shoes are made to last, and investing in them may actually save you money in the long run, since you won’t need to continuously buy replacement pairs.
2. Athletic Shoes: Footwear made to help you get — and stay — active is a category unto itself. “A quality pair of athletic shoes is pricey, but is definitely worth the splurge, since they can protect you from both discomfort and the potential for injury,” Perez says. Avoid those aches and pains and stay motivated in your fitness goals by purchasing a fresh pair of sneaks!
3. Date Night: Don’t cheap out on QT with your S.O. “Keeping your relationship healthy will keep your finances healthy,” Somerman says. And when’s the most important time to splurge on a fun night out? After you’ve had a tough, totally un-romantic budget talk with bae. “I’m a big advocate of holding monthly budget check-ins, accompanied by drinks and/or ice cream,” Somerman adds. As long as there’s ice cream involved, we can definitely get behind that.
4. Great-Fitting Jeans: The struggle is so real when it comes to buying denim, so when you find a pair that hugs you in all the right places and gives you the confidence to take on the world, you better not walk away from them. Perez has an expert tip that may make you feel slightly better about this splurge. “Limit the number of pairs [of jeans] you own,” she says. “One or two pairs that are comfortable and flattering will likely be your go-tos, anyway, so owning a dozen pairs of jeans doesn’t make much sense.”
5. Your City’s Signature Food or Activity: Living on a budget shouldn’t mean that you have to miss out on all the special things your town has to offer — especially in the summertime, when those treats tend to be most enticing. “I live in Portland, Maine, so I make a point of splurging on the best lobster rolls in Maine at least once a summer, as well as a few boat trips!” Somerman says, by way of example. The same rule applies when you’re visiting a new city. If you skip beignets while you’re in New Orleans, we have no words for you.
6. Quality Luggage: While you’re enjoying the signature tastes and sights of all the cities on your travel itinerary this summer, savings experts recommend you bring a decent suitcase along for the ride. “If you travel frequently, a high-quality piece of luggage or luggage set is an acceptable splurge,” Perez says. “Travel is stressful, and a cheap bag that doesn’t roll well or falls apart quickly will just add to the stress!”
7. Skincare: “Your skin absorbs the products you put on it, so buying quality skincare items is important!” Perez says. The truth is that you really do only get one “set of skin” (Mom was right on that one!), so taking good care of it is crucial. Instead of focusing on products with fancy designer names, figure out what kind of skincare works best for you, then keep your eyes open for opportunities to buy those items on sale.
8. Kitchen Knives: Home chefs worldwide know that there is nothing more frustrating in the kitchen than trying to chop something with a dull knife — which is, not to mention, pretty dangerous. Save yourself a lot of headache and potential injuries by investing in one or two high-quality knives that will make meal prep easier. Perez suggests saying no to the classic 12-knife block, and instead purchasing a utility and/or chef’s knife.
9. Dates With Yourself: Somerman doesn’t believe that being smart about your finances means you can’t be a little extra kind to yourself now and then. Even as a financial coach, she encourages splurges on the occasional “brunch and mimosas, mini spa day, taking yourself to the movies,” as long as none of these activities are going to totally blow your budget.
When do you give yourself permission to splurge? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)