You may be a saver or you may be a spender, but either way, splurges are part of life. Whether it’s a new car, a big vacation, or a really fancy pair of shoes, the occasional spending spree can bring joy. Obviously if you’ve prepped for the purchase, you’re much better positioned to continue to be joyful.
Those who splurge haphazardly and without much thought are often overcome with guilt and anxiety. And nobody wants that side effect after finally getting something they’ve dreamed and wished for!
This isn’t to say that you should never spend money or that you should feel guilty when you do so thoughtfully. Using your well-earned money for enjoyment purposes is the reason that you work so hard in the first place. Fortunately, there are habits you can start today to help you put your mind at ease the next time you splurge. Putting in the work and saving now can give you some hefty benefits later. Read on for six saving strategies you can use now so you can splurge later.
1. Stash Cash Without Thinking About It
Loose change can be so annoying, and yet there is worth in those pennies squirreled away in your coat pocket! Keep an eye on loose change floating around your house in the dryer, purses, and even in your couch cushions. Be sure to stash away leftover change from cash purchases so you don’t spend it. Keep a jar on the kitchen counter to collect your coins!
You can also take advantage of new, opportune tools and platforms that help you save up without thinking about it. For instance, there are now debit cards that will round up to the nearest dollar after you make a purchase. These extra cents are then automatically transferred to your savings account. Talk about convenience!
2. Create a Splurge Fund
That’s right: We’re telling you to create a designated account for a big splurge. This is essentially a nest for you to squirrel away extra funds for future big purchases. Think about what an appropriate goal is so you can spend without guilt.
Each month, set aside a specific percentage or dollar amount of your income so you will have it in the future. If you set this up automatically, you’re less likely to even realize it is happening in the first place. For extra incentive, name your splurge fund what you are saving up for, like “Dream Home” or “Hawaii Trip.”
3. Pocket Away Bonuses
From time to time, extra money falls into your lap. It’s an unexpected but welcome little pick-me-up that can be spent as quickly as it arrived if you’re not careful. So before you even have the chance to use that money, add it to your splurge fund in one big chunk.
You should set aside money that comes from bonuses, tax refunds, inheritances, and even contest prizes or winnings. Your future self will thank you when you take a peek at how much is in your splurge fund.
4. Use Free Entertainment
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how to be savvy with staying put. In order to save for a future splurge, try to limit what types of entertainment you need now. Last-minute tickets to an event or even just online browsing or window shopping can lead to unexpected expenses. There are lots of ways to scratch your entertainment itch without spending much (or any) money.
Use resources such as your local library to borrow books and movies, or host a dinner party instead of dining out. Want to travel? Take a virtual tour or immerse yourself in a free language program. These types of free entertainment can bring you even more joy knowing that you aren’t spending on something you’ll regret later.
5. Buy Items When They Are on Sale
Of course, you are going to need to spend money weekly for groceries, transportation, gas, and other necessities. That said, when you do need to purchase something, try to do so when it’s on sale. As long as it’s not perishable, you should be in the clear to use it later.
This may mean buying something when you don’t exactly need it now but will soon. If you see a bulk bag of dog food on sale, for instance, buy it today even if Fido doesn’t need it immediately. Thinking ahead can help you save more in the long run and lead you to a bigger splurge later.
6. Make Your Contributions Early
If you have an IRA (individual retirement account) or SEP (simplified employee pension), make your full contributions early. It can be easy to wait until tax time in April, but you aren’t giving your accounts time to grow. The longer your money is in one of these funds, the longer it will have to grow.
Remember, contributing to these accounts is essentially paying yourself for your future needs once you are retired. And lastly, you don’t have to contribute all at once. Do so in increments throughout the year for a balanced fund.
All in all, splurges are going to happen. And that’s quite alright! The best way to prepare for them is to prep your bank account now. Saving up for future splurges can put your mind at ease and your wallet, too. When you do decide to splurge on a worthy item or experience, know that your money has worked hard for you.
Saving now can look like rounding up on payments to pocketing away bonuses to buying necessities when they are on sale. These tactics are just a few of the easiest ways for you to see the cash in your bank account climb. When you start saving, you’ll see even more ways to add just a little bit more to your accounts. That said, take your savings in stride and enjoy your well-deserved and well-earned splurge.