Did you know that today (June 18th) is National Splurge Day? While mine is a frugal living site, I thought it would be fun to share some of the things that I do splurge on. My philosophy can be pretty much boiled down to this: “save on the things that don’t really matter, so you can spend on the things that do.”
Here are a few of those items that I like to splurge on:
#1 Disney Vacations
I’ve said it before, but the best way to save money on a Disney vacation is to simply not go at all! Disney is not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination. But, Disney is one of those places that is just magical for me and I’ve built so many fond memories there. We’ve learned to do some things for less (for instance, leveraging air miles to fly for free/cheap), but other things we’ve decided we’d like to save and splurge on (such as the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon that I did in 2015 and just signed up to do again in 2016)!
While I appreciate all the posts on “how to do Disney for stupid cheap” out there, this is not how I like to do Disney. I like to enjoy myself there, visiting the parks as much as I can, building in down days, eating at Disney dining establishments and yes, even occasionally staying on property when everyone knows darn well it’s cheaper to stay off.
#2 Running Shoes
While running can be a cheap sport, the one non-negotiable for me is running shoes. My goal as an avid runner is to run injury-free for years to come. I’ve been running in the same Asics GT-2000 shoes (or a similar version of them) for years now. As in, over 10 years! They’ve seen me cross the finish lines of many races, 5Ks through full marathons.
I usually end up paying over $100 per pair and go through 2-3 pairs per year. However, I was tickled to find them on Amazon for about $70. Still a lot of money to pay for a pair of shoes, I know, but I figure, a good investment in the long-term success of my running!
#3 My Son’s Soccer Club
My son only plays one sport: soccer. He started in Micros at age 5 and continued up through U9 at a rec league. My husband had been coaching, but we both started to sense that my son was in need of a place that could continue to grow him as a soccer player. After some research, we ended up putting him in at a competitive league at the U10 level in our area.
The fees, uniforms, costs, and commitment are all higher (it’s a year-round program), but we feel it’s a good place for my son to grow in his ability. If he was interested in playing additional sports, I’d probably say “skip it!” However, his years of playing at the rec league lead us to believe this would be a good step for him. On the upside, he’s getting a lot of exercise and learning how to dedicate himself to something that requires a higher level of commitment.
#4 Tide Detergent
Kind of a weird segue, I know… but I do love Tide detergent. (And no, they aren’t paying me to say that!) As a couponer, I discovered it was really easy to get detergent for super cheap. But I wasn’t often wowed by the results of the cheaper detergent. After finding a sale once on Tide, I was hooked. I just feel like it gets my clothes cleaner and smelling better. (Which isn’t to say you can never find a good deal on Tide – you can! – it’s just not often as cheap of a deal as other brands. Keep an eye on our Amazon Subscribe and Save list updated each Thursday. We often report on Tide deals there.)
Can you relate to preferring a particular name-brand product over cheaper or generic counterparts?
#5 Dining Out (Occasionally)
Oh man, I love me a good dinner out! If given the choice, I’d prefer one nice dinner out than several fast food or chain restaurant meals. We don’t eat out at nice restaurants often, but when we do, we tend to get the works: drinks, appetizers, maybe even dessert.
The picture here is of a particularly memorable meal I had: Gordon Ramsay’s signature Beef Wellington at the Paris hotel, Las Vegas. It was about $56, so not something you’d eat every day! I like to call such meals “bittersweet meals:” sweet because they are simply amazing, bitter because who knows when I’ll be able to enjoy that meal again!
#6 Book Club Books
This last one might totally surprise you, but hear me out. As some of you know, I’ve been a part of an amazing book club (we call ourselves Bibliotherapy) for over 7 years now. I often just buy our monthly book selections (sometimes in paperbook format, but usually on my Kindle). “Why would you do that, Angela, when you can just check them out at the library?” Good question. My answer: “Convenience.”
The thing is I often forget to check the library until mid-month, and by then, time’s a-tickin’. Often, the selections will have waitlists and I can’t even be certain I’ll get the book in time. Sometimes, I’ll look into checking out the e-book form, but this doesn’t always work out either. My feeling is this: $5-10 is a small price to pay to participate in a monthly girls’ night that brings me joy. It’s also a small price to pay for the convenience of having my book now versus waiting to get it at the library and then trying to cram reading hundreds of pages the day of the book club.
(Interestingly enough, I did remember to place a hold in time this month and just checked – my library has the book ready as of today! So for at least this month, I’ll pocket that $5-10!)
Maybe my example here doesn’t resonate with you, but perhaps you can think of a time that convenience won over getting the best deal? For instance, paying to park in a lot close to an event as opposed to finding street parking blocks away? Or paying to have someone give your kid a haircut when you could technically do it yourself? Maybe you could think of some others.
Now it’s your turn: do you share some of the same items on my list? Have others? Sound off in the comments below!