Whenever you’re trying to rid yourself of debt, and stick to a strict budget, denying yourself can get old. In fact, if you don’t treat yourself once in a while you’re probably going to blow it big time.
The problem with blowing it is that you could sabotage everything you’ve been working so hard for. You certainly don’t want to end up deeper in debt from a one-time splurge. You also don’t want to get into bad spending habits, such as blowing a cash windfall.
But there are some ways to give your budget a break without killing it. Here are a few to try.
Budget for a Monthly Splurge
If you’ve been doing really great with your budgeting, why not add a monthly splurge to it? Having a monthly splurge allows you to give your budget a small break.
To do it without killing it, though, you’ll want to keep the emphasis on the word, “small”. In other words, make it a $20 or less splurge. Don’t know of anything you could splurge on for that amount? Try the ideas below:
- Stop by your favorite coffee shop and grab a flavored cup of joe.
- Eat lunch out instead of brown bagging it.
- Get your nails polished in a salon.
- Buy and burn a candle in a scent you love.
- Download a few new songs you can only get from iTunes.
Add a Day Off to Your Budget
Another way to take a budget break is to add a day off into your budget occasionally. If you can, try doing it once every six months.
Use the day to read a book, catch up on errands, or grab an afternoon matinee. If you really must, spend the day cleaning or organizing in your house.
Whatever you choose to do with your time, make it something enjoyable or that makes you feel better afterward. Just don’t forget to put a cap on the spending so you aren’t killing your budget.
When you add a day off to your budget you’re allowing yourself to have a day for anything you want to do. Call it a “mental health break” from work and your regular routine.
Put Date Night in Your Budget
Having a date night with your sweetheart is something far too few of us do. We go about our daily routines and forget to stop and spend time with those we care the most about.
There are lots of ways to have date night and give your budget a break without killing it. Try one of these options:
- Go to a movie but skip the restaurant meal beforehand and eat at home.
- Walk on the beach or lay out on a blanket under the stars.
- Enjoy a few hours at a club but eat a meal and have one drink before you go. Then put a reasonable cap on your drink tab.
- Take a blanket and food to the park for a picnic.
- Have a ball by bowling – even if you’re like me and not good at it you can still have fun.
If you need a few more options for a budget friendly date, think about what your significant other likes to do. Or, try brainstorming with a friend to get some fresh ideas.
Get Something New
Just because you decided to buy a new clothing item or accessory it doesn’t mean you have to overspend. You can get something new, give your budget a break, and keep from killing it at the same time.
To accomplish this, put a limit on the amount you’ll spend and don’t go over. I once had to give my budget a break and clothes shop for a new job. I tried on a dress that was too cute to pass up but I had nearly spent what I could afford.
There was no price on the dress tag so I had no idea how much it would cost. To keep my spending down I made a deal with myself: if it was $25 or less I would buy it. When I took it to the register, the clerk checked and it was exactly $25. Needless to say, the dress came home with me.
Shopping with a limit allowed me to get something I loved without going overboard. I was able to give my budget a break and still stay on track financially.
It isn’t always easy to give your budget a break without killing it. But even if you’re like me and have a fluctuating income it can be done.
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What ways would you give your budget a break without killing it?