When you’re saving money, “splurge” is a bad word. Splurges are often perceived as impulse purchases made outside the confines of a household budget—and that’s something savers are told they should avoid.
Not every splurge is bad, however. There are times when it makes sense to spend a little more than you would like. The key to a successful splurge is to handle it as part of a plan, rather than to engage in truly impulsive spending behavior.
You may want to consider splurging in order to:
Purchase a high-quality item. In some cases, you may want to pay a little more for a big step up in quality—especially for items you use every day, such as cookware, or items you’ll use repeatedly over time, such as tools.
For example, after going through two cheap hand-mixers in a period of two years, my husband and I finally bought a more expensive, higher-quality version. The more expensive version cost three times what the cheap version cost (we set aside money in our household budget every month to save for the item), but it’s been five years and we haven’t had to replace it. It’s already paid for itself because we haven’t had to buy a new mixer every year.
There are plenty of items like that out there. From shoes to clothing to snow shovels, if you pay a little extra for things that last, you can save in the long run.
Buy in bulk. Sure, you probably don’t want to spend $100 for canned goods in one shopping trip. But if buying in bulk means you save 30 percent on each can, it might be worth it.
My husband and I often splurge to buy paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, and tissues) in bulk when they are on sale. It’s a little nerve-racking to spend so much at once, but the per-unit price is lower when we buy in bulk, and we don’t have to buy those particular items for another seven or eight months.
Consider how often you use certain items. If you can get a decent discount by buying in bulk, and the items (or food) are things that you use regularly, you will save money over time by spending a little more up front.
Make more money. If you can make money off of a particular item, it makes sense to pay more for it. This type of splurge gets a little tricky because in order to justify the purchase you have to be able to see true returns. For example, my business is conducted online, and I don’t want my wireless router failing on me while I’m in the middle of a video meeting from my kitchen table, so I splurge on high-quality communications equipment.
When you start a business (even if it’s just a side hustle), it makes sense to consider splurging on high-quality equipment or paying for high-quality team members that can help you accomplish your goals. Just make sure that you are spending the money on something with true potential and that you aren’t just making an excuse to get something you want but don’t need.
Save time. You may also want to consider splurging when it can save you valuable time. If you can pay someone else to do a mundane task for you while you work on something that can earn you money or that is a better use of your time, it can be worth the splurge. We pay someone in the neighborhood $25 a week to mow our lawn and trim the edges. That’s an hour and a half that can be used to accomplish other tasks that usually more than pay for the money spent.
What do you think? What makes a splurge worth the cost?
Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in personal finance, family finance and business topics. She writes for several online and offline publications. Miranda is the author of Confessions of a Professional Blogger: How I Make Money as an Online Writer and the writer behind PlantingMoneySeeds.com.