I love reading about what people do and don’t splurge on, and why. Inspired by recent posts by my friends The Frugal Girl and Money Saving Mom, today I’m sharing 7 things I’m choosing to splurge on in this season.
Will and I are both savers by nature: we’re more likely to hold off buying necessities than go on a spending spree. And there have been many years where we have chosen not to splurge on much of anything, either because we were drowning in medical bills or—more happily—throwing all our cash at a big goal.
Our “splurge list” varies with the seasons of our lives; these are the things I think it’s worth splurging on right now.
1. FRESH FLOWERS.
Flowers are unnecessary and highly perishable but they make me so happy. During the winter months, I made a conscious decision to pick up a $4 bouquet every week when I was at Trader Joe’s. Now that flowers are blooming all over our yard, we can cut our own bouquets some of the time, but we’ll still pick up the occasional bouquet from TJ’s and more frequent ones from the farmer’s market.
We’ll also be splurging on pretty flowers for the front door and back patio, as soon as I can decide what kind to get. They’re not cheap, but we’ll enjoy them every day for months.
Some of the best fashion advice I ever heard was spend to your weakness: allocate a little extra money in your budget for whatever part of your body is hard to fit, or that you’re self-conscious about. I have huge feet (seriously) and very few brands actually fit me well. I also spend a lot of time on my feet. If I find a cute pair of shoes that fits, especially a cute pair on sale, I buy it. I adore my Target sandals, but they’re the exception—most of my shoes are spendier than I’d care to admit, and this is why.
Will and I are both coffee geeks: we appreciate good coffee, and we pay more for it than we have to. We buy locally roasted, ethically sourced beans for our daily brew, and we love to try new varieties as well. We also love to visit coffee shops—both here in town and when we travel—and often come home with whole beans.
We don’t have a $500 espresso machine or anything, but we did just buy a second V-60, which is completely unnecessary but will let us brew our coffee faster in the morning: a worthwhile splurge.
This year one of my fuzzy goals was to cultivate a spirit of generosity. I landed on a concrete way to further this goal: I decided I would be a generous tipper this year. I spent six months waitressing right after college, and that experience tends to make you a big tipper for life, but I wanted to be conscious about tipping more not only to my restaurant servers, but also my baristas, my hair stylist, my mail carrier, our garbage collectors.
This has been a simple, straightforward way to give where it’s not strictly necessary—to practice generosity. Whenever I catch myself thinking does my barista really need a dollar for getting me a cup of coffee? I remind myself that I’m a generous tipper and that’s the end of it. Now I’m more likely to catch myself wondering how it feels to be one of those people who leave $100 tips for a cup of coffee or fast casual dinner.
5. YARD WORK.
Will and I aren’t “yard people.” We enjoy spreading a few bags of mulch, and I’ve come to appreciate the therapeutic effect of light weeding in our new, smaller backyard. But last year we finally decided to hire out the bigger, seasonal projects, like mucking out the flower beds, digging in a new edge, and spreading dozens of bags of mulch. And the best $40 I spent last year, hands-down, was to the pro who eradicated the poison ivy we discovered (the hard way) at the new house.
It’s such a relief to not have to spend all those hours in the spring and fall focusing on the yard, and it feels like an even better deal because keeping my face out of the grass helps me avoid what used to be my annual allergy-induced spring sinus infection.
I love pens, I always have, and I spend more than I strictly need to for the sheer pleasure of a good pen. I have my reliable stand-bys (these are my favorites lately, and our family loves G-2s so much we buy the 20-packs at Costco), and I love trying new-to-me pens. (This is our favorite recent find.) I work with words, so you could call this a smart expenditure instead of a splurge, but I definitely take my pen fixation further than is strictly necessary.
7. BEAUTIFUL BOOKS.
This may surprise you, but I don’t buy many books. I’m a saver by nature, I hate clutter, and I used to live next door to a wonderful library. But just in the past year I’ve started buying classics just because they were beautiful. (The Puffin in Bloom collection was my gateway drug.)
I’ve gotten so much pleasure out of my purchases, because they’re beautiful, and also because owning these books has inspired me to finally read classics I’ve been putting off for years: Heidi, The Secret Garden, Little Women.
I also buy quite a few of these from indie bookstores, even though they’re more expensive there.
That’s what I’m splurging on right now. How about you?