Splurging Is OK

I had to go to a theme park today. When I say I “had to go,” I mean that my son and I received two free passes to go to the park so that his football team could celebrate its season and participate in the filming of a commercial. We had a great time and it will always be a special memory for us.

Although our passes were free (a $150 value), I had to pay for parking ($12), lunch ($23), and a couple of sodas ($5), so my free passes still ended up costing me about $40. Normally, I hate to pay for parking and hate to spend theme park prices for food and drink. Today, I did not care, and it was not because I had “saved” so much money by not paying for admission. It wa


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16 Responses to Splurging Is OK

  1. Miranda says:

    Splurging on occasion is fun. But you still have to do it within your means. When my husband and I visit his family in New York, and we go to see a Yankees game, I take $60 to splurge on food. For me, that’s part of the fun of the experience. If you never splurge a little, what’s the point of the money? Just to sit there for use later, when you can no longer enjoy it?

  2. Myrna Garren says:

    I allow myself to splurge within my means once in a while. If I didn’t I would spend more or go off the budget because I felt deprived. Saving money is important but there has to be a balance.

  3. Monkey Mama says:

    The thing about splurging is that what you should splurge on is highly individual. But yeah, I have way too many way extreme frugal friends who would never splurge on anything. So it’s a good reminder, for sure.

  4. Broken Arrow says:

    I think every budget should have some kind of “fun money” and that’s the money you can use to splurge on.

    That way, you can have fun and yet not break the budget.

  5. getfo says:

    If I ever go to a place, where I have to stay a whole day, I make sure, I bring a bottle of drink, and some snack like crackers or even sandwiches. Or at least I make sure, there is a fast food place nearby that has a $1 items, but I still bring my own drink.

    It’s ok to splurge $5 or $10, but no way I would splurge $60 for something that I can’t even use the next day or next week.

  6. tom says:

    Budgeting money’s like dieting–if you deny yourself all the time, you end up oversplurging/overeating down the line. Be strict and responsible, sure, but leave a little room for a day a movie and some popcorn.

  7. Ann says:

    So long as you’re not going into debt or skipping paying “necessary” bills, splurging occasionally is fine… and the memories are definitely worth it!

    For years, I remembered going to Seaworld as a very little girl, not because the memories were so clear (I was REALLY little!) but because my parents bought me a stuffed animal whale. His name was Sammy and, when I played with him, I could almost remember parts of the show that he was in. What I remembered was doing something fun with my family and that sea creatures were beautiful and fantastic…. hmmm. Wonder whether that’s part of the reason why to this day I’m fascinated with marine critters? I don’t have Sammy any more but I do still have Smokey the Bear, who I tend to associate with a visit to Pike’s Peak at a similarly young age and I remember the duck boats at Wisconsin Dells and driving to visit my grandparents in Orlando, picking oranges fresh from the tree, chameleons and baskets of orchids hanging from tree limbs. :-) Visiting family half a continent away took a lot of time and expense in the 50’s and was really special.

    Splurging occasionally is a great opportunity to create and share memories with family, which I think is important. Yes, I remember being read to, going to my brother’s little league games, stopping on the way back from a Neiman Masrcus shopping spree to pick wild concord grapes and making jam, eating warm tomatoes fresh from the vine with my mom and sitting on the front porch waiting for my dad to come home, but some of the trips are what bring back special smiles and even laughter.

    On a day-to-day basis, though I generally wait for a movie to come out on dvd, there are some that you just HAVE to go to the theater and see on the big screen! There are some books and authors that have to be closer than the library, so they reside on my bookshelves. Some tools that you may not use frequently are so handy when you do use them that it’s worth it to save up and buy them to have in your workshop/garden shed.

    Depending on what’s going on in my life, splurging can be anything from visiting a fabulous bakery and picking up a special dessert to buying a special tool to planning a trip to a stone supplier in Canada so I can personally pick out stone for my inventory to planning a trip to Scotland to visit a friend of mine. I won’t do it, if I can’t afford to pay cash for it, but it’s definitely worth the splurge!

  8. Emily says:

    Ditto from me also – set goals for budgeting and set goals for enjoying. We don’t live as close to the last dollar in our pockets anymore because life happens. Or someone calls with a fun idea and we been through some drought times so we say yes – let’s get together and have fun and memories. Balance is key. Good ideas.

  9. Victor says:

    Excellently written article by someone who understands the concept of self control. They are in control of their finances and are able to accept the times when they need to spend more than normal. Life is not static and being able to adapt and maintain control of the situation (ie. spending money), is a mark of maturity.

    As some would say: They were frugal; not cheap.

  10. Beth says:

    I also agree that a family can have fun without “breaking the bank” by being creative – maybe you splurge on a good meal at the event or spend the money at something to take home with you or a cool photo – whatever makes the experience memorable. Our kids know we are cognizant about costs and I think they appreciate our approach. At their ages, the time we spend together is “priceless” to them – no matter what we spend.

  11. Diane says:

    Sometimes you really should go with making the memories – especially with your kids, and it can cost a bit.

    You had the free tickets – that was great. Once you decide to go, you may as well make the day a great one – $40 is not a high price to pay for that, if its a special event.

    I agree that there’s no way to enjoy a day like that when you’re both hungry & thirsty – that would spoil a wonderful opportunity for a great day together.

    Special events with my kids are a high priority for me, and that’s not always free or cheap.Sometimes it really IS okay to spend money, be frivolous and enjoy yourself!

  12. Matthew says:

    I suppose this story illustrates the need for balance and brings home that at the end of the day, what we are really trying to do is be financially responsible.

  13. Michelle says:

    Very good article … I think sometimes people recklessly splurge out of guilt. I see it in my own family sometimes – they don’t have a lot of time to spend with family members, so they substitute that with gifts. I’m aware of this and hope to avoid this when I have my own kids.

  14. Persephone says:

    I splurge on books(within my means, of course!).

  15. Dave Barend says:

    I have just printed this post and taped it to my fridge with a picture of a flat screen TV. I hope my wife gets the message. Odds are she’ll replace the picture of the TV with a brochure for StoryLand.

    Great blog.

  16. spicoli says:

    If I am spending my money on something I really want, I do not think I am wasting it. I do not want to be buried with all of my money so I don’t think that spending is foolish, as long as I think about it first.

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