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June 9, 2009

When I people ask what my splurges are, I usually can’t think of much.

Of course, I’m being ridiculous when I say that, because I have tons of splurges!  They are just regular and built into the budget.

I have money to buy new clothes, to go out to eat, and to buy the groceries I want.  I buy good beer and shun (most) alcohol in plastic bottles.   I drive a car.  I buy a latte 3 times a month or so.  I buy a (not super expensive or nice) bike on a whim.  I’m planning a wedding that will cost over $10k.  I’m seriously considering a hair straightener (that can also curl!) that is $100.  (Talk me out of this, or into it!  Do you have one?)  I fly several times a year (mostly to my hometown, but still) and I’ve been on a lot of cool trips.

Riiiiight.  No splurges here!   My daily quality of life is pretty good, and I can buy myself my needs and of my more minor wants. This month, I’m splurging on a mani/pedi and a salaon hair cut, and I’m excited.  I get (semi) regular hair cuts, but I’ve only been to a couple salons here in L.A.  I haven’t had a mani/pedi in years.  Some women consider them a necessity.

What do you do that some might consider a splurge, but is just “normal” for you?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. gwen permalink
    June 10, 2009 12:49 am

    actually, I don’t know if you’re in the looking-for-a-salon-reccomendation mood (especially from a total stranger), but I lived in Marina del Rey for a while last year, and I went to on a whim (it was across the street from my work, and I walk everywhere), and the stylist I saw, Fabiola, is one of the nicest stylists I’ve ever met. My appointments with her sometimes took a while, but it was because she wanted to make sure I was satisfied every step of the way – through dyeing procedures, and hair-lightening, and cuts, and even some non-standard stuff. It’s kind of pricey (at least it was for me), their pricing structure (available in non-detailed form online) has tiered pricing for different stylists based on title, and Fabiola’s in the top tier. It’s probably kind of far for you, and maybe you already know where you want to go, but I thought I’d recommend her, because she’s among the best I’ve ever seen, mostly because her primary concern was what I wanted. Also, she’s very friendly.

    … as for straighteners that curl, my take on that is that they produce lovely curls once you get the trick of it, but that the curls are prone to falling into vaguely curled/straightened hair after a while, but that probably depends on hair type, and length, and levels of hair-product aversion (I’m kind of averse to things that make hair crunchy).

    and, since I’ve never commented before, I actually don’t read your blog just to spontaneously weigh in on personal care/beauty. I’m 23, first “real” job (and still in the “you’ll pay me for SICK days? … and VACATION?” stage), and I was raised without any real introduction to PF, so I’ve taken to it like a fish to… glue. So, firmly, but not well. And, I enjoy and appreciate hints from bloggers such as yourself. When I have money, something I do regularly, but consider a splurge is fresh flowers. I adore fresh flowers. They just make me smile every time I come home to them, or see them. Something I do that I *don’t* consider a splurge is that I fly about 800 miles (round-trip) at least 1/mo on average, sometimes more, and rarely less. It’s to see my long-distance boyfriend, and $200 travel has made it into even my most frugal budgets (debt repayment, etc). I realize it’s a luxury to *have* that option, but I stopped considering it a splurge a few months ago, and started considering it a regular expense. Just, one I’m grateful I can handle.

  2. Bonnie permalink
    June 10, 2009 7:19 am

    I get my eyebrows waxed/shaped twice a month. I know most PF people would say, Pluck them yourself already. But then, those probably have thinner eyebrows. 🙂

    I also am a record collector and so I do buy LPs, although not NEARLY as often as I used to. I also used to buy a lot of books. I’m a lot choosier now and am more likely to use the library unless it’s something I know I will read more than once.

    Lately I’ve been splurging a bit on clothes. In my defense, though, I haven’t bought new clothes in quite a while. I have a lot of thrift-store and vintage clothes, but I decided I wanted to buy some new, quality pieces that I can wear for a long time.

    A week-long vacation somewhere is also a necessity in my book (and BF’s), although many would consider that a splurge. I do budget for it though!

  3. June 10, 2009 7:24 am

    I too have a lot of splurges…some are built into our budget (eg. dinner out, lunch out, coffee from Starbucks, Netflix, Cable and such), and some I am trying to integrate into our monthly budget. Do you have any tips about how to figure out what would be a good clothing budget? I loveeeeeee to buy clothes even though I rarely buy them (I was raised that way!!). But I think deprivation is not working for me anymore, and I don’t want to end up with debt over clothes, really. So, any ideas about what factors to look at to figure out a clothing budget?

  4. June 10, 2009 8:15 am

    Crap, i’ve got many. Mani/pedi’s once a month, eyebrow + bikini wax, salon haircut and color every 6-8 weeks, Starbucks at least 4 times a week, lunches/dinners out more often than I like, Whole Foods groceries, trying a new restaurant/hot spot/overpriced place in LA at least twice a month, clothes, shoes, cycling stuff…the list just goes on. But it’s all built into my budget as well.

    I wish I could splurge more on travel, but it’s hard with taking time off from work and also wanting to see my family during the holidays. Unless I get my family to meet me where I want to go…like my upcoming Hong Kong trip.

    And then i’m eyeing a pair of Christian Louboutins, the classic ones, but I still can’t get myself to fork over more than $600 for a pair of shoes. Although I do have a sales associate at Barney’s that can give me a discount, but still…it would still be $400+.

  5. June 10, 2009 8:29 am

    @gwen – I did already make an appointment, but I’m not committed to a hair stylist yet, and if I’m unimpressed, I’ll keep your recommendation in mind!

    I’m glad you are enjoying pf blogs, it is a great way to figure out how to manage money as an adult. I too spent plenty of $$ doing long distance throughout my years and it is one thing that is near impossible to cut!

    @Bonnie – Vacations are a must! But mine have been more low budget the last couple years…

    @TD – I set a monthly clothing budget at roughly half of what I’m actually ok with spending ($50 and $100), which is probably a silly mind trick. It really depends on how much money you are making and saving, and if you can cut anything else in order to make room for a few clothing purchases

    @LA Daze – Ah, wow! Now those are splurges! 🙂

  6. June 10, 2009 12:25 pm

    Probably my clothes spending would be considered a splurge, but I deposit money into a separate account each month so that it’s there to spend. If there’s $500 in the account, I can buy $500 worth of clothes… just I can’t buy anything else until teh next deposit.

    And of course my wedding & the honeymoon are splurges, but I have savings accounts set up for those too, so it doesn’t feel like a splurge!

    Basically, I set up my financial system to enable my overspending!

    re: The combination hair straightener & curling iron, if it’s a cheaper one, both will be awful! I had a Conair, and the straightener didn’t clamp down hard enough and the curling iron barrel was too big. Then again, I have wiry hair of doom, so you might be OK…

  7. El Cheapo permalink
    June 10, 2009 6:38 pm

    Vacations, any purchase that is nephew-related, Peet’s coffee, and Seven jeans…. eesh

  8. June 10, 2009 9:18 pm

    @Paranoid asteroid – I have a mediocre straightener and a cheap curling iron. I was thinking the Chi, $100+….

    @el cheapo – haha, it is nicer to think “well I don’t really have splurges!”, huh? Nope, just regular extravagance built righ tin.

  9. June 11, 2009 10:34 am

    I think a splurge, by definition, is something out of the ordinary – i.e. something NOT included in your normal budget.

    If you have Starbucks regularly, it’s not a splurge, even if you do consider it a luxury that could be cut out. If you buy new clothes regularly it’s only a splurge if you stop into Saks as opposed to your regular discount retailer.

    That’s the problem with lifestyle inflation. Too many things that used to be splurges become run-of-the-mill expenses that aren’t anything special or thrilling. So over time a “splurge” moves from a manicure before a big event…to a full spa day on a random day of the month… to a week at a spa retreat…

  10. June 11, 2009 11:28 am

    To me, splurges are just somewhat extravagant expenses, ordinary or not.

    The def’n of extravagant can vary greatly though!

  11. rox permalink
    June 11, 2009 6:34 pm

    I get a one hour massage every six weeks. They do wonders for my mood and general well-being. I’m frugal in other areas of my life so I don’t mind spending the money on the massages.

  12. June 12, 2009 12:02 pm

    The only thing I can think of right now is dance classes. Definitely a splurge, but definitely worth it! I can’t think of much else, really….sure, I have the luxury to buy the groceries I want, and eat out when I’m feeling lazy, but since each individual expense isn’t that great, I don’t consider it a “splurge”.

    I’ll tell you what I NEED to splurge on….a quality haircut! The question is where and with who! Since I do it so rarely its hard to find someone I like. Or perhaps just giving my hair a little more attention would do the trick?

  13. June 14, 2009 3:47 pm

    Delivery. Seriously.

    With our currently money situation, it shouldn’t even be IN our budget. Except that we both have significant health problems. Mine is fatigue, and I’m the only one who drives. So if I’m too tired to go to the grocery store and all we have is cheese and crackers at home… Pizza can be a life saver. An incredibly unhealthy life saver.

    Now that farmer’s market season is here, I juggled the budget a bit to let my husband and I get $10/week worth of fruit (me) and nice cheese (him). Also cable modem is necessary for work. Satellite TV & Blockbuster Online are necessary for sanity when both people are home all day.

    I’m realizing just how pathetic my splurges sound, now, but if there’s any guilt on your part (and there shouldn’t be) know that right now we’re living on just under $3300 a month; hubby’s insurance is $502 and rent is $700. So splurge is always going to be a relative word, I suppose.

  14. Bonnie permalink
    June 15, 2009 7:54 am

    PS A CHI is a necessity, not a splurge. 🙂

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