Good Morning Internet!
Dreary Monday mornings got me thinking of a post from a fellow blogger- danoah.com– about 10 things you need to splurge on when money is tight and you’re barely getting by.
I- like Dan and most of my reader’s- have pinched penny’s and not known what I was going to eat for dinner that night or had to get wet wipes for the dollar store to shower because I was late for the water bill a time or two. I have also been in a place when I went out to eat 5 nights a weeks and bought myself what ever books my heart wanted on amazon. But I tend to stay somewhere in the middle of affording to go out and have fun and being too poor to fully enjoy life.
Personally, I feel like I skim the line of a-little-poorer-that-I-would-like-to-admit a lot more than I would like. A friend of Dan’s mentions that they force themselves to splurge on things so they don’t forget what they are working towards. And it got me thinking… maybe it’s not about the actual act of splurging and spending a little (or a lot) more than we would normally spend on something, but its about showing ourselves that even when times are tough- we can invest in ourselves.
I made my own list and though I haven’t finished it I promised myself I would do whatever I needed to to get my list done- even if it’s odd jobs like mowing lawns or washing cars. I though I should share it with you in hopes for you to start your own list.
Things I Will Force Myself to Splurge on Once This Year:
1. A Fifty Dollar Pair of Jeans. If you’re like me you just run down to Wally World and buy yourself the $15 worth of fabric that was sewn together and called jeans. Normally, these can last me anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 months before I have to go back and get another pair. The extra cash to go out and find yourself a pair of jeans that won’t shrink after a few washes or rip after a few wears is reason in itself. But to find a pair of jeans that fit and hug you in all the right places and just make you feel sexy as hell is far more worth it to me.
2. A Nice Meal. For some this could be steak or lobster and this meal could be $100 per person. But for others, much like me, $20 a person is more than enough. I’m the type that walks into TGI Fridays and orders the cheapest thing on the menu, and I shy far away from the items that say $21.50 etc. So here is for that meal because in my house when money is tight food is what usually gets the first cut back. This is for the meal that is needed after the repeated nights of Top Ramen and sandwiches.
3. A Starbucks Coffee. Now this is a small guilty pleasure of mine- yours might be a sports car or a movie night out of the house- but whatever it is do it. Get it. Enjoy it. The Vanilla Bean Frap with toffee nut is for my inner diva that dreams of one day being able to enjoy this little drink on a daily basis.
4. A Mani/Pedi. This is also partially for that inner diva, who dreams the high life. But let’s face it this one can be for everybody- men included. I know you may think it’s girly and over-rated but being waited on and pampered for not a whole lotta money can really help you reset when life brings you down.
5. A Maid. It doesn’t matter who you are- a parent, couple, single man with semi gross habits- you know that despite your best efforts, sometimes the house gets so dirty and so out of control that you want to leave and never return. Personally, i can find a good deep cleaning very soothing and relaxing. But sometimes it’s nice to leave your house a wreak and come back later to a spotless pad. I don’t know what it was about it, but a clean house can give you the oomph to jump back into everything else at full speed again.
6. An Epic Dessert. This little number is straight from Dan himself because I couldn’t have said it any better. “When I say epic, I mean epic. And you can’t get this the same night as your steak. In fact, you shouldn’t do any of these on the same days you do the other things. The entire purpose of the list is to give you a mental break at least every five weeks. So don’t cheat. For the dessert, pick a really fancy restaurant. Go sit at the bar. Don’t order any other food at all. And then pick the best, most delicious looking dessert on the menu. It’ll probably cost you $10-$20. Who cares. You know that in real life you’re never going to order that kind of thing with your $10 Wednesday night special, so go do it all by itself on a night that you need a win.”
7. Nice Shampoo. Now this one is something I think everyone can relate to. If your hair is greasy and oily and rough then you’re not gonna feel your best. Its like that moment you get out of a salon and feel refreshed can dominate anything? They use the good stuff on your hair. So go out a spend a little extra on shampoo instead of the $1-$8 bottle. You use less because you hair feels clean for longer.
8.A nice pair of underwear. Have you ever spent $15-$30 on a single pair of underwear? You’re missing out. Yes that is expensive, but its worth the way you don’t sweat and stink in them. Or the way you feel cool and fresh all day? You need only one really nice pair because you don’t need a really nice pair every day. Make them your special occasion underwear and wear them when you need them. Wear them on the days when you need good things to happen. Most ladies I know have this for bras but don’t forget the down stairs either. Men as well.
9. A Vacation. When money is tight it seems like a vacation should be the last thing on your mind, and don’t get me wrong I don’t want you to go all out and blow everything you have been working so hard for. But sometimes you just need to get away from the craziness of kids, and work, and life. A mini va-cay trip to the hotel across town and pretend to be tourists can work too. If you have a little more in your pocket maybe a trip to another town or state.. any where that is just a little away from the norm will help pull you away and then you’ll come back rejuvenated.
10. A good laugh. Unnecessary entertainment is also one of the first things to go when money gets really tight. But you have to get out once in a while and laugh. It makes life so much more bearable and fun. Now Dan recommends to buy tickets to a stand-up comedy show at a well-known place that you know will deliver the laughs. I haven’t done this yet. But I believe that laughter has a powerful effect and can transform us from our worst to our best, almost immediately. Life need a good laugh- one good enough to leave your sides hurting.
That’s my list. Silly as it doing a few so far really has made all the difference. Allowing yourself to branch out and keep yourself and your life from being nothing but stressful. As a fellow person struggling I know how hard it can be to even imagine spending the extra cash on some of these things.. but if you really don’t want to mow lawns or any of that other stuff just putting it up on your wall and reminding yourself can somehow make it happen.
Which is why, if you’re struggling with money, I would challenge you and encourage you to make a list of your own. And keep it, no matter what you have to do to make it happen.
Except murder for hire or dealing drugs or anything like that. Don’t do that. It never ends well for anyone.
PS. Comments, please! What’d you think of the things on my list?
What would you add to your list if you were to make one?