Avoiding frugal burnout: Give yourself permission to splurge
Being thrifty can become a hobby in itself. I enjoy the challenge of planning low-cost meals, putting together outfits from thrifted clothing, and number-crunching. However, practicing frugality in every aspect of you life can lead to feelings of deprivation. I avoid this by giving myself permission to splurge.
My #1 area where I am “allowed” to splurge is footwear. A few years ago I took a semester off to work full-time as a server and take some time to reassess my academic goals. The long hours on my feet took a toll on my feet, knees, and back. At the time I was purchasing $50 shoes twice each year. A nursing friend suggested I try Dansko brand shoes. I was shocked by the $115 price tag but read wonderful reviews from nurses, chefs, and teachers who spent their careers on their feet. My new shoes helped immediately. Danskos have excellent arch support and a wide toe box which made them perfect for my high-arch, wide feet. Three years later I am still wearing that same pair of shoes.
Financially it made sense to purchase quality over quantity but the initial $115 was hard to bear. Because the Dansko clogs have lasted three years they have paid for themselves compared to the $50 shoes I used to buy twice each year. More importantly, I am comfortable.
I have since purchased a second pair of Mary-Jane style Danskos for my “teacher clothes” and I own a pair of Birkenstock clogs. I do not own several pairs of shoes which allows me to afford quality. I am quite willing to scrimp in any other category but I will no longer compromise on footwear.
My mom gives herself permission to splurge on fabric and quilting supplies. She justifies this because she enjoys hours of entertainment value from quilting and has a finished product to share. She considers quilting a kind of therapy and depends on the process for comfort.
I have found that allowing myself to splurge in some areas makes me much more willing to save in others, and keeps me from feeling deprived.
Where to you “allow” yourself to splurge?