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Q&A Tuesday: Habitual Non-Frugal Splurges

You mention things here or there on your blog like how you’re a Pampers snob or how much you like the Pepperidge Farm cookies (which I also adore!) so I’d love to have you do a post on your habitual splurges (i.e. un-frugal habits). I think it’d be fun to hear! – Chelsea

From the comments and emails I get, I sometimes think people get the impression I’m such a tightwad, I don’t ever splurge on anything.

Quite the contrary! My husband and I save money in many areas so that we can splurge in a few areas.

In fact, we actually budget for splurges. We’ve found it’s so much more enjoyable to splurge on something when you have planned to do so and have the money allotted in your budget.

{And yes, I know that for some people, the concept of “splurging” means you throw all caution to the wind and budgets out the window. Well, we just can’t enjoy spending money unless we know we can afford something. Call us weird, but we’ve found the boundaries of a budget actually give us a lot more freedom!}

So, in addition to being a Pampers “snob” and loving Pepperidge Farm cookies (my husband buys them for me for almost every birthday and Mother’s Day since I can’t bear to pay the price tag on them as a matter of course!), I have another regular non-frugal splurge.

You might want to make sure you’re sitting down when you read this, because it’s going to seem very anti-Money Saving Mom®. In fact, I wondered if my readers would lose all faith in me if they found this vice out.

However, if you promise you won’t hold it against me, I’ll tell you about my very non-frugal habit: I get my hair highlighted and cut at a nice salon.

There, I confessed.

I know that getting my hair done is as polar opposite to frugality as it comes. I’m sure you’d expect me to cut my own hair with a hair-cutting kit I purchased at the thrift store.

For years, I actually did cut my own hair. It was free and it worked – sort of.

However, since I didn’t really know how to cut hair and wasn’t all that good at it, I spent a lot of time fussing with it as a result. I have very thick, straw-straight hair and I felt like I was constantly fighting it.

But I refused to pay the prices that salons wanted to charge because I felt like I was saving so much money doing it at home. Well, yes, I was saving a lot of money, but I was also spending a LOT of time trying to tame my mop of hair.

When Jesse was almost finished with law school, we scraped together some money and I went and got my hair done at a nicer salon. It was the first time I’d ever done something like this in my entire life and I struggled with a lot of guilt over it – even though we had budgeted for it.

When I got home, though, I had an epiphany: there are some things which are worth paying a higher price tag for, if you can afford it in your budget.

All these years I’d fought with my hair, trying to will it into submission and spending countless fruitless hours doing so. After one trip to a salon, my hair seemed like it took on a whole new personality.

It actually started working with me – not against me. All of a sudden, it was a breeze to fix and take care of. And I saved so much time: I could wash and blow dry my hair twice a week and that was pretty much it.

So from then on, we’ve made room in our budget for me to get my hair done. Yes, it’s not cheap, but it’s worth it to us. After all, fewer bad hair days means a much happier mama. And that’s worth quite a bit, isn’t it?!  🙂

What about you? What’s your regular non-frugal splurge?

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219 Comments

  • Cate says:

    I LOVE that you get your hair done at a nice salon!

    • Marlana says:

      Rather encouraging to me!!!! I have struggled w/ guilt over the expense, too esp. b/c my husband has been unemployed for over 1yr ….but upon having one horrible hair cut and one semi-good to ‘fix’ the first….I decided to splurge!!!!!!!! I am so glad I did b/c I am so much happier w/it, get compliments, and it is soooo much easier! I figure the money saved cutting my hubby’s, 4yr daughter, and 18mth old son….makes up for the little bit extra I spend on myself:) A nice hairdo and a little make-up can go a long way….it really makes a gal feel better!!!

  • Camille says:

    I have to say that frugal hair cutting is one area I have given up on! We use coupons for the kids and my husband, but I pay a very decent rate to get my haircut (color is coming as I keep spying more and more grays!). But I still have a hard time spending the money so I only do it 2-3 times a year.

  • Vanessa says:

    I think it’s great that you budget for your hair! I go to the salon once a year and splurge, getting highlights and a nice cut, then I try to “tame the beast” myself throughout the year.

    However, I do have a regular splurge….COFFEE! Not just any coffee, but a blended Reeses flavored iced coffee from a local coffee shop. I go just once a week, when my daughter is in dance class. At $4.50 a week it is expensive, but well worth it!

  • Kelly says:

    LOL! Thanks for the chuckle. For a minute there you had me thinking you cut your hair with a flo-bee.

    I too, get my hair highlighted and cut at a salon. Is it a splurge? Absolutely. But I save in so many other ways that I don’t feel a lick of guilt when I write the check to my amazing colorist and hairstylist. Same way I don’t feel any guilt about having dark chocolate, red wine, and good coffee with half-half in my house. It is in the budget and it is those little indulgences that make life so sweet sometimes. 🙂

    • Marie says:

      @Kelly, What kind of coffee do you like to buy? Just looking for some tips!

      • @Marie, I’m butting in here and saying that I buy Starbucks’ House Blend Decaf (I have to have decaf), and it is worth every single penny! 🙂

      • Kelly says:

        @Marie, I drink a variety. Dunkin Donuts Cinnamon for flavored, Costco Columbian for everyday, local roaster (barista de casa) for special. When I’m in CA – I’ll stock up on Peet’s French Roast. When I’m in NE, I’ll get Pear’s Columbian. I’m not a Starbucks fan – sorry Jessica – it always tastes burnt to me. I need it strong and smooth. Sorry – kind of random thinking about coffee. Now I must brew a pot. 🙂

  • THANK YOU CRYSTAL! I needed this:) I haven’t cut my hair in a YEAR…and that cut was one I had my very “manly, doesn’t cut hair’ hubby do:) I spend more time pulling it back, braiding, whatever….and have a daily late afternoon headache….I have been thinking about actually spending $25 and getting it cut. May have to do it now!

    • Laura says:

      I, too, went a year without cutting my hair. My husband was unemployed. Blah! You do what you have to do, but my goodness, I am so glad I can splurge on a nice cut and highlights every so often.

  • Patrice says:

    Flowers. I LOVE having fresh flowers. Usually a few times a year I’ll go buy an arrangement just for me. Not because we’re having company or because I found them on sale. Just because they make me smile.

  • Mary S. says:

    I totally agree that some things are worth paying more for. A lot of times the cheapest option is going to cost you more in time, frustration and replacements down the line. I spend more money on shoes than a lot of people but I find having really good quality shoes means I don’t need as many pairs, they last for years and they don’t hurt my feet. While cheaper shoes have come and gone I have plenty of shoes I spent a good bit of money on that I have been wearing for 5+ years. In the long run its cheaper than buying an inexpensive pair every year or less and it makes me happy.

  • Megan says:

    You’re right that a few splurges are important – and can help keep us sane! What a fun post. Thank you!

  • Jamie says:

    So long as you can afford an indulgence I see no need to feel guilty or worrisome over it. Having a good hair day is worth many good mental health days 🙂

    My splurge has and always will be, expensive high thread count sheets. I don’t care how bad my day was, when the sweetie and I get in bed and those soft sheets comfort you its worth it. I regularly save my amazon gift cards (thanks swagbucks) and $5 from a pay check to fun my $150 sheet sets.

  • Erin says:

    I am right there with you! I also get my hair cut and colored at a salon. I have tried coloring my own hair before and ended out having to get it “fixed” so there was no money saving there!

  • I tried coloring my own hair for a while, but it wasn’t worth the savings . . . at all!

    Now, I pay my stylist 20$ and huge bag of STUFF that I get free with coupons. Razors, tampons, lotion, bodywash for her husband, etc. I know I lucked into that, but it works great for both of us!

  • Tabitha says:

    I LOVE this post! Plus its a good way to pamper yourself 🙂 All moms need to feel pretty.

  • brookeb says:

    Every few months I drive up to the nearest major city to go to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and I buy whatever looks good to me. Cupcakes, cheese, wine, whatever! It’s usually around a $200 trip, but it brings a bit of gourmet into my otherwise pretty frugal life.

    • Liz says:

      @brookeb, I have to admit that Whole Foods is my splurge also. LOL.

    • Tara says:

      @brookeb, Yes this! We also hit up our local bulk foods store and pick up quality spices, things like whole nutmeg and curries, whole wheat couscous, dutch processed cocoa, Amish cheeses, etc. I love to bake and these stores are like a little heaven for me! I only purchase things I can’t get elsewhere.

  • Melissa says:

    I color my hair myself and get cuts at the cheap-o places-hair coloring and cuts with coupons of course! My hair is long and is cut straight across so who can screw that up right? (wait-don’t answer that!) I get my nails done (acrylic) once every 4 weeks. Figure I ‘save’ by stretching the time between fill appointments. I’m a chronic nail-biter so if they aren’t nicely manicured, I’ll bite them (yes I’ll even bite acrylic nails!) I also ‘splurge’ on my husband’s work shirts-I take them to a dry cleaner for cleaning and starching. It’s $2 a shirt but they come out much nicer than I could ever do myself and while I love doing laundry (I find it relaxing and love clean clothers), I hate ironing. We wait till he has like 20 dirty shirts and then bring them all in at once.

  • kimberly says:

    I pay for a gym membership because I cannot motivate myself to exercise on my own. I also love a massage or a pedicure once in awhile to feel pampered!

  • Diana says:

    That’s great, and thanks for sharing! The Lord blessed me with manageable hair that I get cut very simply two or three times a year (then I also get variety in the length and don’t get bored). But honestly, the few times you’ve posted a picture of a group including you, I’ve wondered how you got your hair to look so nice! Now I know 🙂 It’s good to have a balance–even in knowing when to spend and when to save!

  • I agree that the point of being frugal is to be able to spend money on things that have meaning to us. I have always had a budget and part of that budget has always been a decent vacation. To me it is worth being frugal on eating out and in other areas of my life so I can pick up and go for two weeks out of the year to the beach or Florida or a trip across the country. I LOVE to travel and I could not imagine not “splurging” on it, but of course I wouldn’t go into debt over it. It’s a planned splurge. 🙂

    • @Michele @ Saving Money In Real Life,

      This is us too!! Mainly because of my husband 🙂
      It’s important to him that we have the money budgeted to do unexpected and fun things when we travel. So we have our “lets aim for it to cost $X” budget and then we have a “the vacation could cost $Y if we found stuff that was worth while.” 🙂

    • cwaltz says:

      @Michele @ Saving Money In Real Life,

      I’d love to hear more about how you budget for this. I’ve figured out Christmas but I haven’t quite figured out how to budget for vacations yet.

      Christine

      • Patti says:

        @cwaltz, We always budget for vacations because to me, memories last longer than “things”. Just like any other expense, make a catagory for it and stick to it. It makes it easier in the store to not buy as much (say 2 apples rather than a bag if you just need 2). I always think, “Would I rather eat extra apples this week or enjoy a nice meal out on vacation?” . We usually have our goal in mind as we save. And – here’s the important part of this splurge – have fun when you go!!! I refuse to nickel and dime it when I am on my vacation.

      • Patrice says:

        @cwaltz, Us too…”vacation savings” is just one of out budget categories since it’s so important to our family. We put in $100 every month and then in the summer, we save $200/month since we’re not spending money on preschool tuition during those months.

      • @cwaltz, We budget $200 per month to go on two one-week vacations. One vacation is to the beach. And the other is usually to Florida – we drive and stay with my folks so it’s not very expensive. We want to do a big cross-country trip in a few years when the kids appreciate it so we’ll budget more for that year. To us, it is just a regular monthly expense like the mortgage and the telephone bill.

  • Amy says:

    Budgeting takes away so much of the guilt in our financial life – it is freedom! Because of our budget, I can get my hair cut and my husband can buy his Starbucks without guilt. We’ve discussed it, we have the money for it, and it is conflict-free (mostly 🙂 ). Thanks for sharing!

  • Jessica says:

    my splurge is getting my hair done too! We actually started cutting my husbands hair so we could put that money towards mine. And you’re right a happy momma is a happy family 🙂

  • 🙂 This made me love you even more.
    I totally had an inkling when I looked at pictures of you that it was salon hair! It’s very pretty.

    I have a few budgeted splurges, as does my husband. It makes for a more harmonious relationship when we plan our splurges – that way neither one of us falls off the budgeted path as we both know when our big splurge is coming 🙂

  • sarah says:

    Are you kidding me – Getting my hair highlighted is $100 plus tip…I gave it up years ago. Also, the time involved is money too! Getting it cut at a nice salon is probably $50, since it’s around $20 at the cookie-cutter place. I’m in the DC metro suburbs, though…I know from your housing posts that things are cheaper where you live.
    My splurge…buying something I want (small price tag) every time I’m out shopping.

  • Teresa says:

    Mine is my smart phone. I felt so guilty for such a long time about having to pay the extra to have the data package, that we actually shut my smart phone off for almost a year. Finally, I have accepted my husband’s generosity in allowing me to use it again, and I have to confess, I love it. (I still feel guilty, sometimes, though.)

  • Colleen says:

    A woman after my own heart!!!
    I save, scrimp, and use coupons every time I shop. I will, however, never scrimp on a few things….my hair, my kids shoes and my organic skin-care stuff. You just have to budget for the splurges!!!!

    • Beth says:

      @Colleen, I’m right there with you on kids shoes! I buy a lot of our clothes at a local consignment shop and I’m happy to get buy shoes on clearance or use a coupon, or whatever, but I’m unable to get myself to purchase secondhand shoes!

  • Heather says:

    I agree that getting a nice cut and color is always worth it!! I can actually tell when I need to get my hair cut by the ease with which I can style it. Unfortunately, the thickness of my hair requires that I get it cut every 4 weeks (yikes!), but if I don’t do it, I break ponytail holders, have trouble getting all the shampoo out and even strain my arms trying to wash the mass of it! It’s not even that long – just SUPER THICK!!

  • I’m so glad you splurge on your hair too! It looks great!

    When my husband and I were working on paying off our debt, one of the things I gave up was getting my hair cut and colored at a salon. It was one of the first things we added back into our budget when our debt was paid off.

    I don’t regret giving it up (along with quite a few other things) during that time, but I am so glad we budget for splurges. I’m much happier now and so is my hair!

  • Beeb says:

    I agree wholeheartedly! I have an amazing hairdresser who makes my hair look fantastic, and teaches me how to get the look I want at home. And like you, I am saving sooo much time! I always battled with my hair and had to wash, blow dry, and straighten it every single day. I have saved hours upon hours – and we all know how time is money! I also invest in salon products for my hair (gasp!). I couldn’t care less about brand names, but I’ve tried everything, and the hair products that work for me unfortunately cost more. But the products also last me a very long time and get the job done!

  • Ellen says:

    I splurge on Estee Lauder foundation. I will use cheap or free lipgloss/eye makeup/blush every day, but I really need a long-lasting high-quality foundation. I haven’t found anything at the drugstore that seems to cut it for me! And there’s nothing like the feeling of putting on nice makeup. Really. I usually ask for a bottle for my bday/mother’s day/christmas. If I do ever pay out-of-pocket, I wait until free gift time so I get nice little extras to go with it! 🙂

    Thank you so much for posting this, Crystal! Sometimes it’s the little things that keep us sane while tacking with the bigger things in life. And I know that I’m a much better mom/wife when I feel pretty! Keep on rocking that salon perfect hair! 🙂

    • Stace says:

      @Ellen, I used to always buy $40 foundation from Lancome, but now I have discovered the amazing 3 dollar Lacura foundation that they now sell at Aldi!

      • Ellen says:

        @Stace,
        WHAT?!?! How could I have missed this? 😉 I just got a new bottle of my Estee Lauder stuff for Mom’s Day, but I will have to check it out! THANK YOU for the tip!

  • Kristen says:

    Yay Crystal! You just became much more ‘human’ in my book 🙂 My splurge is a membership to our YMCA. It is withing walking distance to our house and let me have time to work out and shower peacefully in the locker rooms. I use the free babysitting and my little girl gets to play and interact with other kids! The fee is about $35.00 a month but I turn the heat down every day when I go and use their water; i figured out it saved us about $15 on those bills. Best $20 I spend all month!!!

  • Lele says:

    I agree with you I pay to get my hair cut I have very long, layered hair and the lady who has been cutting it is pricey but really knows what shes doing, I wear my hair everyday, clothes I can change, a bad haircut not so easy. We splurged on a family membership to an indoor waterpark, we live in the frozen North and it really has paid off. We did however cut out vacations.

  • Tara says:

    When you are not spending time fussing over your hair, you can spend more time on being a mom and building your business. I have a sister-in-law would cut my hair for free (she’s a professional and does a fabilous job.) When she moved away, I started going longer between cuts, went without coloring for a while, and spent way more time than I should fussing over my hair, or I would just be lazy with it, which I also think made me be lazy with the rest of my “look.” I finally added that back into my budget and it was so worth it!

    I had a marketing professor that gave himself as an example when it came to hiring a lawn service. He was determined to do the lawn himself and would spend all day every other Saturday doing that. He had the epiphany that a lawn care professional would do the same work, they would do it better, and the would do it in 1/10 the time. The fee he paid them was worth it to him as it made more time for him to work on writing articles, lectures, etc, that were worth more money than the fee he paid the lawn care service. They were also activities that advanced him professionaly. He said “let the professionals do what they do so that you can do what you do.”

  • Heather says:

    My husband thinks it hypocritical that I carry a Coach purse and then barely pay for anything using coupons. But, this is my splurge. We’re debt-free and still budget for it. A good purse that is the right size, goes with all my stuff and made to last is important to me and I only buy one every couple years.

  • Melissa says:

    Love this post!!! Made me smile. Thanks. I budget for a pedicure for myslef once a month. I would dearly love going once a week, but it just makes me look forward to it even more. It is a splurge that I don’t have to have, but I work hard and deserve a treat for myself. I do color my own hair, have for years and actually got good at it. I do get it cut at a salon a fews time a year, but I save up for that too. I feel no guilt because I have allotted the money for just those things. Makes life more enjoyable.

  • Jill says:

    I am a SAHM and getting my hair cut and highlighted is my one splurge. I have a lot of hair and there is no way I could cut it myself (well, at least do a good job cutting it myself) and I find myself happier when it is highlighted becauseI feel it looks better and makes me feel better about myself. Besides, your hair is something you ‘wear’ everyday.
    Instead of going to a nice salon, I do save money by going to the local cosmotology school. They have students doing hair with supervised instructors and always do an excellent job. The only con is that it takes A LOT longer compared to an experienced stylist. I just find ways to make it last longer so I don’t have to go as often. It helps me stay a SAHM.
    Everyone deserves to splurge on something!

  • April says:

    Oh my goodness! Tears came to my eyes! I cut my own very long, thick hair for years and years until a friend recommended her hair guy to me. The difference is well worth the price! It only takes me about seven minutes to blow it dry and that’s only the couple times a week I wash it. It can look perfect with virtually no effort because of the quality cut.

    I am so happy to read this.

  • Kelly says:

    That was great! I am such a coupon clipping maniac and so cheap at the grocery store, but I do it so we can splurge on other things! My husband and I both work full time, so I have a cleaning woman that comes to my house every other week. It is a splurge but it is so worth it. My weekends are no longer spent cleaning my house, but spending quality time with my kids!

  • CJ says:

    $10 haircuts at Great Clips 3 times a year is good enough for me and my straight long hair. So I spend my splurge money on eating out, buying CDs and not having to worry about the price of gas or utilities.

  • Anna says:

    Oh my, I am so glad to hear this! I tried skipping my nice haircuts for a little while, and ended up having fights with my hair and feeling not so hot about how it looked. It dragged my attitude down a few notches. A few people in my life have GASPED over the fact that I spend the money on my hair, but it is completely worth it to me. I feel so much better and more put together, and really ready to face the day (as silly as that might sound!).

  • Jennifer says:

    Don’t ever be afraid that you would lose readers because you admit something like that. Real people read this blog because a real person writes it. It is very reassuring to know that you splurge on some things because in a way it gives all your readers the freedom to do the same thing 😉

    I personally love hand-dipped ice cream, even though I know it is about 10 times as expensive as buying it from the grocery store. So going out for ice cream has always been a special treat for me, and the fact that I don’t do it every week makes it that much more special.

  • I get my hair cut and highlighted too! If I wasn’t saving so much money on groceries, I might not be able to though. 🙂

  • Nancy says:

    I get my legs waxed. It was going to be a “one-time thing” for our wedding and honeymoon (5 years ago), but I was so thrilled not to have to shave, I am NEVER going back. My husband said for awhile that he saw it as saving hot water, because I used to shave in the shower, but I’m not saving That Much water! My hair is now so much thinner, and I have to have it done less and less as time goes on. (But I still know it is a MAJOR splurge!). We have tried doing it at home, but haven’t been able to find any products that work well. So for now, I go to the salon for my treat (but only like every month and a half, in the summer, and less in the winter – I do touch up at home).

  • Quintana says:

    Good for you! It’s awesome going and having that done without the guilt because it is being budgeted! We have done all sorts of fun things while still being on a budget and have had less guilt doing them because the money was there.

  • Megan says:

    I cut my own hair because I have to wear it up for work, though I’d love to have a career where work doesn’t necessitate a ponytail…lol anyways…my splurge is on meat when grocery shopping. I just DON’T DO CHEAP MEAT!! I save so much in every other area at the store that the highest quality meat I can get fits into the budget. I’ve tried the “value” brand meats before and the quality just doesn’t measure up.

  • Karen says:

    I noticed your hair on one of your recent pics. Looks very pretty.

  • Betsy says:

    I wear Clinique makeup. I love the stuff, it works well with my skin, and it will be one of the last things I give up in my quest for frugalness.

    Thanks for encouraging us all to splurge!

    • Wifeeonline says:

      @Betsy, I am there with you all the way. I have not found a make up I like as well as Clinique for me and my skin either. I have given all my cheap/free makeup “mistakes” to my daughter. Which she, of course, loves!

  • Chris says:

    My splurge is going to the Car Dealer for oil changes. I drive a lot and our dealer has a very nice waiting area that has computers with internet access (as well as comfortable chairs and a television). They also give you a free drink. Its perhaps $10 more than other local options, but well worth it to be able to relax while waiting for the oil change rather than being anxious for them to finish so I can get back on the road again.

  • Heather says:

    Mine is buying nitrate-free oven roasted turkey deli meat from the deli counter. Much better than the cheap stuff. Pricey, but worth it to me for the time and effort savings. I sometimes tell myself that it’s too expensive, and I’ll try cooking up my own turkey or chicken for sandwiches, but I never manage to do it for long. It’s just so nice not to have to do one more thing, when it comes to lunches. However, I don’t buy it every week. Just once or twice a month.

    But now reading the other comments, I’m think that I may switch my splurge to my hair – it certainly needs some desperate help!

  • JenMarie says:

    OMGosh, I’m so glad to see this!! ROFL!
    I’ve been thinking of going to a salon, this week in fact…. I want highlights but that is not really in the budget.
    But I’ve decided, and hubby agrees, that I need to go see about a cut that works with my hair type and face shape.
    Blessings!

  • Janice says:

    We “splurge” on a satellite dish and DVR. My husband and I don’t really care to have traditional “date nights”, so we invest $40 a month for our dish/DVR. I love the DVR! I can catch a few favorite shows in the evening with my hubby who has a crazy work schedule, and we don’t miss going to dinner and a movie with everyone else. Plus we don’t have to watch all the commericals, and we save time there!

  • Buffie says:

    I tend to go for quality items instead of the “cheap” options. If that means I only get one new pair of shoes this year because I spent my annual shoe budget on them, then so be it.

    I also splurge on makeup and skincare items. I have extremely sensitive skin and after much trial and error have finally found products that work for me. They certainly aren’t cheap, but they save me from having to go to the dermatologist regularly and you just feel better when you look good.

  • Karen says:

    Amen to that sister! Mine is a once a month pedicure in the summer, in the winter every other month. ( i don’t see that well, so you don’t want to see me paint my own toes…ugh…)

    • Patti says:

      @Karen, I thought I was the only one that used that excuse… but it is SO true!!! I used to love to do my own nails but as I’ve aged, I haven’t been able to see so well so I decided to splurge on pedicures year ’round. It is so worth it, to me, to feel “girly”. And my feet always look and feel nice. I also splurge on good shoes… because when your feet hurt, the rest of you does too.

  • emily says:

    We splurge on a gym membership. I have desperately been in need of motivation to go to the gym, and going to a ‘fun’ gym that’s more like a health club makes it more fun. The atmosphere reminds me of a country club, there’s great childcare, a salon, a cafe and it’s really, really close. No sweaty intimidating jerks. It has made such a difference in my physical and mental well-being. In the end, my health is worth more than money. And besides, it’s saving money in the long run when I don’t have to buy expensive medicines and see the doctor all the time, right?

    • Joyce says:

      @emily,
      Oh my goodness, I totally agree.
      My husband and I started this year with Weight Watchers and during the first few months, he lost enough weight to get off his blood pressure and cholesterol meds. After learning the way to eat better, getting those reminders of things we’ve known but fallen away from, we decided to move to getting moving and reshaping our bodies.
      Being healthy and energetic is worth so much more to me than just about all else. I save enough on our groceries and in other areas that this “splurge” is a good fit for us.

    • Tasha says:

      @emily, We do the same! It is very affordable tho! It is only $195 for the year and includes FREE and wonderful sitting services. They also have a fabulous outdoor pool so we use that as summer entertainment!!

  • Rachel Haugaard says:

    I would have to agree that having my hair cut and colored professionally is much better, even if it does cost more…I had a friend highlight it a few times, and it didn’t turn out so well. 🙂

    My other splurge is using all Mary Kay makeup…it doesn’t make my skin breakout or get dry/oily like other makeup. However, I buy most of it on eBay for a fraction of the retail cost, and the rest I buy from a lady in my church who sells it to church people 40% off.

  • I think planning for splurges in your budget is genius! We do the same thing, is I can say that humbly. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would loose faith in who you are and what you represent to your readers because of this admition 🙂 In fact I think it should be the opposite. You can afford, it’s a reward for all your faithful stewardship, amd everyone needs that one thing or two that keeps us motivated to save our pennies where need be so we can have FUN doing it at the same time.

    THANKS for sharing, I LOVED it!

  • Courtney says:

    I also get my hair cut and colored at a salon – it is so worth the expense, in my opinion! My inlaws give me gift certificates to the salon for Christmas and my birthday, which I love!

    Our other splurges are going out to eat every 1-2 weeks and keeping our house nice and cool in the summer. None of tolerates heat very well and we all get miserable if the thermostat is set too high 🙂

  • Karen Rucker says:

    I learned all about how to be frugal from my grandmother. And she always said that sometimes the cheapest thing is often the expensive one, meaning that a quality made item with a high pricetag will cost you less in the long run than a poorly made item which you constantly have to repair or replace.

    Our big splurge is a great big flat screen TV and satellite programming. We have a big family and when we all go to the movies it costs a small fortune. I figure that if it saves us the cost of even one evening movie each month, it’s the same as having an extra $600 in our budget over the course of the year.

  • Kelsey says:

    Thanks for this post! I used to feel guilty because I got my hair done at a salon but we budget for it and I have extremely thick hair and it saves so much more time plus it is something I really look forward to doing. Thank for making you feel more “real” to us:)

  • Amanda F says:

    My splurge Chinese food! I know I know not really much of a splurge to most people. But i live in such a rural area that the nearest chinese resturant is a hour drive! I can make alot of chinese food at home but it’s never as good as the resturant!!

  • Christie says:

    I have a stylist friend who’s now a SAHM- she cuts and colors my hair in her kitchen while the kids play. We get a chance to hang out and talk, and I get a salon-quality cut/color for a SuperCuts price. Win-Win-Win!

    my splurges though are great coffee (buy in bulk), gourmet dark chocolate (I always get a new supply in my Christmas stocking too!), and high-quality shoes, usually Keens (they last several years so they’re worth it!)

    • Amber says:

      @Christie,
      Keens are also my splurge! They are so comfortable and last forever!

    • tammy says:

      @Christie, We also buy Keens. I don’t see that as a splurge at all, because from my experience they end up outlasting several pairs of cheaper shoes! Lol. Keens are actually a money saver. 😉

      • Sheila says:

        @tammy, Keens or other higher quality shoes (love my Mizuno’s for the gym) – they are worth it because my feet don’t hurt! I don’t have all that many shoes, but the ones I have are nice. Diet Coke is my other splurge that I don’t want to do without. 🙂

  • Debi says:

    Amen Sister!! That is one of my splurges!

  • Cindy says:

    My splurge is a huge, huge, huge, splurge. Sending my kids to private school. Which is why I save so much at the grocery store. For me coupons = great schools for my kids. And a very happy momma 🙂

  • Another reason I love your blog… you are a real person! You share the same real struggles and issues that we all have and can relate to. Thanks for sharing!

  • Annette says:

    We splurge on dates (well, sort of). We don’t go to really expensive places, but we go out once a week. We never could afford that if I didn’t pinch pennies at the grocery store. I’ve been able to cut our grocery budget down $100, which helps go toward other things. We can buy a new shirt or go out for dinner and a movie and not feel guilty that we’ve overspent. I love that my couponing frees up more money for the things we enjoy doing together. Totally worth it!

  • Lisa says:

    Crystal, you’re not weird at all….we budget for splurges as well !!! Fixing splurges into our budget helps big time! We may want to axe out another expense so the budget balances out when we splurge.

    Another commenter mentioned seeing students. My sister graduated from Aveda Cosmetology School. Often times she needed models for cutting, blow-drying, colors, hi-lights, etc. I’d go in for cuts and highlights (all free). The students are always under the supervision of the instructor and normally ask questions if they are uncertain of things. Sure, the appointment is longer than a normal but you’re giving the students the experience while saving your precious dollars!!!!

    • Lindsay says:

      @Lisa, my local Aveda school has become my home away from home. 🙂 I’ve never had a bad haircut and when I want to indulge, I get a spa pedicure or the facial. Heavenly!

  • Suzette says:

    I don’t consider a hair cut a ‘splurge’. Sure I can go to one of those ‘appointment not needed’ type walk in salons, but the extra cost for kleenex (to wipe my tears after getng a bad haircut) and anti-depressants would cost me more! 🙂 You wouldn’t go to a surgeon because he was cheap, why would you go get your hair cut with someone because they were cheap. I asked my hair dresser not too long ago about hair dressers right out of school. She said she won’t hire anyone with less than 2 years of experience. Cosmetology school is only the beginning of their training. When it comes to hair cuts you get what you pay for.

    I will splurge on shoes, expecially for the men/boys in the house. I told my son when he was very young that he would never own a pair of shoes that had pictures on them (because they are made of plastic) or velcro. You really aren’t saving anything in the long run anyway. They fall apart faster and make your feet sweat more. I buy most of my shoes at second hand stores.

    My biggest splurge is my car. I won’t drive an old car. I have many (somewhat irrational) fears about my car breaking down. I’d rather pay the money up front and get a good sturdy safe vehicle than to pay the money later in repairs. Also, my car tells me everything I need to know- if the tire pressure is low, if I need an oil change, if the gas cap is open etc.

    Also, the grocery store closest to my house has a Caribou coffee in it. From 4-7 every day they have happy hour and everything is half price! It is really hard for me to get my son to come with me anywhere anymore (he’s 12) but will volunteer to come if he can get Caribou. So for $4.70 we can each get our favorite large drinks and about an hour of quality time.

    I agree with Janice on the DVR. Never again will I go without one. I don’t ever have to remember when my favorite shows are on. If I want to spend some time playing ladder golf in the back yard with my family when a good show is on I can. I don’t have to plan my life around TV. Also, there are certain shows that my husband likes to watch that I don’t like and he can then watch those shows when I’m not home.

    • Tara says:

      @Suzette, we splurge on Caribou as well. I’m from Minnesota where they are everywhere but now we live in WV so whenever we go up to Pittsburgh we always get a latte or two, and also a bag of beans to take home. It’s a hundred notches above Starbucks, in our opinion and worth every splurge!

  • Andrea says:

    Ours is ice cream. We don’t eat the off-brand, and there aren’t ALWAYS coupons or sales, but we always have ice cream. It’s a hubby preference, and I enjoy it as well. We don’t have a huge bowl every night, but we have a little and it is a nice treat before bed.

  • Kristin says:

    Great post! You’ve made me want to try a nice salon for my awful hair too 🙂

    I have two main splurges: good coffee and books. Most of the books I read I get at the library for free (and I read 425 last year so I read a lot). But there are a few authors that I like to collect so I budget those splurges in. Also, we buy coffee from a local roaster. It’s expensive ($12/lb) but we think it tastes better. I guess even $12/lb is cheaper than buying a $3 latte every day…which is what we’d be doing if we didn’t buy it!

  • Jerilyn says:

    Reading the comments made me realize how many splurges we have!
    We buy quality food- lately we’ve started getting local, grass-fed beef. Granted, we keep it to 1 pound/week.
    We buy quality shoes- the feet are the base and if we’re not walking with support, it’s going to affect the whole body. Quality shoes last longer as well.
    We go to a chiropractor. It keeps us pain-free and will have many benefits as we age.
    Netflix and restaurants for date nights- we skip cable though!
    I’m considering going to a salon for my next hair cut. I’ve been cutting it at home, but I usually put it up in a pony tail but it would be nice to have a nice cut- or at least someone to wash my hair!

  • jen says:

    Crystal,
    I think as Christians we need to be careful about being wise stewards. We do not have to prove to anyone how much we splurge to make them feel better about themselves.

    • Marie says:

      @jen, I appreciated Crystal’s honesty. People love reading her blog because they can relate to her and her relationship with God is evident. Thank you Crystal!!

    • Jill says:

      I didnt get the impression that Crystal was trying to prove anything with how much she spends on her hair. I dont even think she mentioned the cost of it. I dont think that she is anything but a wise steward with the money that God has given her. She has been quite generous to my family during a lean time for us, motivated by nothing more than God’s gentle prompting and her generosity. Jen, I’m sorry, but I think you’re a bit off base.
      If you have the money in your budget, sometimes you choose to spend a bit more on certain things that will save you time and money in the end-Higher quality appliances, sturdier furniture, better constructed clothing, a hairstyle that is more manageable for your lifestyle-that’s all she’s saying, dont read more into it than is there. Different things are important to different people depending on their circumstances.

      • jen says:

        @Jill,

        I did not say that she was not a wise steward nor that she was not generous.

        • @jen, I will say it did kind of appear that you were implying that–why else would you say it on this blog?

          Regardless, I think you bring up a good point, though, that we don’t need to say what people want to hear to make them feel better.

    • Karen says:

      @jen, I don’t think there are too many people who are better stewards of their money than Crystal and her husband. They paid 100% down for a house, they put him through law school completely debt-free, and they live below their means. She stated that the “splurges” were all things they budgeted for. Furthermore, she was asked this question, and she answered honestly and graciously. All very Christian things.

    • Beth says:

      @jen, That’s an interesting point. Do you mean, in a sense it is “risky” to offer permission to people to not make the changes they need to in their lives?

  • Melissa says:

    Mine is also getting my hair done at a nice salon. We’re able to budget it because I cut my family’s hair at home (husband and 4 kids). It’s not just the hairstyle I enjoy – it’s the couple of hours to myself too. Really the only time I get out alone!

  • Lacy says:

    Girl, that is why I have a “Hair” envelope in my wallet…and why I cut my husbands hair. Totally worth it! Ha!

  • That’s too funny. My most recent “splurge” was two new maternity/nursing bras. I wore my ones from my first pregnancy for 3 years and they wore out and just weren’t working this time around. Two bras were about $35 total at Destination Maternity, but believe my 35 week pregnant b**bies, they’re worth it! 🙂

    However, I couldn’t bear to spend $35 for my once-a-year haircut (I have fine, long, straight hair) so I did it myself. And it looks good. I am the household barber for everybody. So that paid for my comfy bras 🙂

  • chelsea says:

    Isn’t half the fun of going to the salon the pampering part? I have crazy wavy hair, so the “natural” look has always been my look, no matter how much money I spend 🙂 I do, however, really enjoy the relaxation time in the chair, so I try to hit the salon every other month in order to enjoy the downtime for 30 min.

    I also buy really expensive, good-quality shoes, and if this happens to be only twice a year, so be it. My feet thank me on a daily basis, as does my back.

    Lastly, my prescription medicine for my face to keep it clear is verrrry expensive! I tried going without it for a few months to save some $$$, but my wondeful husband told me to heck with the cost- go get it. So sweet! 🙂

  • Anne Griffin says:

    LOVED this post!!!

  • Amy says:

    I splurge on my hair too. I tried to dye it at home for a while when money was really tight but never liked it and decided to find a way to have it done at the salon. I have cut my salon bill in half two ways – 1. things are usually more expensive in a bigger city so I recently found a great hair stylist in a smaller town right outside the city who charges a lot less. 2. Instead of getting my entire head highlighted I now only have her highlight the top half. My natural color isn’t too dark and nobody sees what is underneath anyway!

  • Elizabeth says:

    We have a small house, it has some disadvantges but we keep it cool in the summer and toasty warm in the winter. I have bad allergies and I do much better when the air goes through the filter on our HVAC unit. We tried to turn the heat down one winter and all we do was think of where could we go to be warm?. So we have small house but we love keeping the temperture very comfortable. We have other areas but depending on the budget they can come or go.

  • tammy says:

    Crystal, I love that you admitted that you splurge on going to the salon. But then you justified the reason for the cut. I’d love to hear you say you get the highlights too JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT TO. (We all know that highlights have nothing to do with managing difficult hair. ;)) It breaks my heart to always hear women justifying why they do anything.

    My splurges change, but go from a babysitter for a few hours so I can catch up on errands easier, starbucks iced lattes, or going to a movie. Whenever possible, we keep a little “wiggle room” to use for whatever sounds good at the moment.

    • Karen Rucker says:

      @tammy, Amen! Too many women think it’s OK for their husbands and kids to make purchases that make them feel good, but won’t do the same for themselves. We all (men and women) deserve an occasional treat just because we want it, just as we should all learn to keep it our fun spending under control and not put our families in debt.

  • I splurge on my hair too! I used to get my hair done at Great Clips or SuperCuts, but after a DISASTEROUS chopping of my hair there, I no longer do that. My first ‘expensive’ (by this I mean it was more than $15) haircut made me feel like a new woman. Suddenly I felt more beautiful and confident. Styling my hair was much easier as well. I don’t get my nails done or buy tons of clothes, so paying for a nice haircut is something that I make sure to do for myself on a regular basis. It really does make SUCH a difference!

  • Mandi Harris says:

    Yoplait yogurt and a snowboarding season pass!

  • Lynn says:

    Mine is pedicures…. I have to have my pedicures and I love the alone time too!

  • Tiffany says:

    Ha! This is kinda funny for me to read. I just stopped spending the money at my salon and started going to the “shack” up town. Oy! It’s a LOT cheaper but I can’t stand it anymore. The quality of cut is just not the same. Oh and I tend to think of a snob as somebody who buys something just for the name. You have a very good reason to buy Pampers. Consider yourself a good mom, not a snob. 🙂

  • Maria says:

    I love this post! The one time I did get my hair done at a salon, I LOVED how it turned out. I feel too guilty to go again (it was a free cut the first time), but maybe I’ll hint at it for my birthday. 🙂

    My splurge is my underwear and bras. I only buy Victoria’s Secret, but they last so much longer and are much more comfortable than Hanes, or what-have-you.

  • Hattie says:

    Oh my goodness…your post just gave me the courage to pay to have my hair highlighted and cut at a salon! I’ve been thinking about making a salon appointment for a while now–my husband is about to finish his PhD and start a job in a few months, which will mean a dramatic increase in our income (like 2 1/2 times what it is currently with his job as a graduate research assistant). I still felt guilty about doing it because my wonderful, sweet husband went to the trouble to learn how to cut my hair for me. I am starting to get noticeable grays now though, (at 27!) and I would like to start highlighting to cover them up. And my husband, wonderful as he was to learn how to cut my hair, has said that he must draw the line at learning how to highlight for his own liability.:)

    As for my own splurges, I am due in less than a month with baby #2, and I crave slushies. Sonic’s lemon-berry real fruit slush, to be exact. It’s like a frozen strawberry lemonade. If I happen to be out during Happy Hour at Sonic, I pull into the drive-through and get one–at $1.18 for a large, it’s not too bad for a once-a-week-or-less splurge.:)

  • Ashley says:

    I splurge on coffee at Starbucks, once or twice a week! My husband and I are both grad students and we love studying there! I also LOVE White House Black Market for clothing…I will save up my clothing budget and buy clothes off the clearance rack when they send me coupons! Makes me smile!

  • erica says:

    i love to save where ever i can and relish in only paying pennies for something, but i just can’t give up…paying someone to clean-up after our dogs 🙂 we have 2 big dogs and to not have to scoop the poop is worth the money if you ask me! plus he mows our lawn for only $5 more a week in the warmer months. i look at it as saving money on a mower & gas as well as my sense of smell.

  • Jen says:

    Thank you Crystal–this was such a great post!!! My whole philosophy with being frugal is that I save on some things SO I CAN splurge on things that are important to me. That is one of the great rewards of being frugal.

  • Angie W. says:

    This makes me laugh since I just came to the same conclusion myself–it is worth it to spend a little extra to go to the gal who can figure out what to do with my hair so I don’t spend hours every day trying to figure it out myself!!! My husband cuts his own and our boys’ hair so it is only me we have to pay for. 🙂 I also love Clinique tinted moisturizer. It makes me feel like I’m not wearing makeup and look like I have a great complexion. I mix it with my regular moisturizer some days to make it go further (when I don’t have as many flare-ups) but it is worth the money! With good hair and skin, I can then wear garage sale and goodwill and feel great. 🙂

  • Beth says:

    Awww, thank you so much for writing this post! In learning to budget for us and our babies, I wanted to be a wise steward and I often felt guilty in allowing myself “splurges” even when I’ve saved it from what we allocate for groceries. I felt bad in spending it on me… even though my husband didn’t mind. 🙂 He’s a sweetheart.
    So… I guess my splurge has been Bare Essentials Foundation. But this has given me an idea… If I cut my hair (I used to, and it was fine), I can use that money for Pureology Hair products. Hehe… happy thought! Oh, and with some saved “grocery money” we will be taking our first trip-solely-for-fun. We weren’t able to take a honeymoon, so we can’t wait! 🙂 Thanks for freeing me from a unhealthy view of “splurges!”

  • Vanessa says:

    I also get my hair cut at a nice saloon. There is no room in our budget for this regularly, but this is what my husband gets me nearly every birthday and Christmas.
    My biggest non-frugal splurge, however, is shoes. Not just for me, but for my two little boys also. I had an ankle injury in high school and after several surgeries and much persuasion from my doctor, I learned the importance of a supportive footbed. I can live everyday in the same tshirts I have been wearing since I was seventeen, but the slightest sign of wear on the bottom of my shoes and I am off to the specialty store.

  • Cassie says:

    I know several others have said something along the same lines but I was actually relieved to find out that you get your hair done! I thought maybe you never splurged on anything and I felt like a failure (a little dramatic, but you get the point). My splurge is name brand tennis shoes. I think with tennis shoes you get what you pay for so good ones last longer and I end up purchasing less often!

    • Hattie says:

      @Cassie, Totally agree with you! While I am a SAHM now, I was pediatric RN in my former life:). A good pair of Nike tennis shoes makes all the difference in the world during a 12 hour shift. And I only needed to buy a new pair every 1 1/2 to 2 years!

  • jennifER says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!! People who haven’t ‘been there’ just don’t understand. Getting a haircut or spending a dime on myself is an emotional issue, not always a financial one. After struggling struggling struggling for years I still wrestle with guilt over getting a ‘pricey’ haircut that my husband wants me to have. I also have friends that judge me for spending and by the time I go through it all, it took all the fun out of it. Thank you for helping me realize that we aren’t ‘bad’ if we aren’t always ‘cheap’! Thanks!

  • Jen says:

    I do the same! It’s definitely a splurge but I wouldn’t go without it! We have it in the budget and I look forward to it very much!

  • Ashely says:

    There’s one budget category that will never get cut and that is my hair! I also hit a workout plateau and hired a personal trainer for three months. I had to tighten the purse strings and I’ve had feelings of guilt, but in the long run I’ve learned a lot that’s going to stick with me for a lifetime.

  • I go to a Beauty School to get my hair done! Super low prices and the students are getting a grade on their work so they are perfectionist! It takes a little longer but its nice to have the break away from life.

    We splurge on yard work. We both hate yard work we both work full time and its hot in AZ! We budget for the expense every month and fully enjoy it!

  • Carrie says:

    in years past i’ve been extremely frugal about my hair too. for many years i cut it myself, never highlight or dye it, and after i finished cutting myself i’d only get like 1 pro cut a year.

    then in the past few months i lost my hair due to chemotherapy.

    it’s just starting to grow back, i’ve got about 1/4 inch right now and as soon as i get some length the first thing i’m going to do is go to a salon and get it made gorgeous.

    until it was gone, i didn’t realize how much i loved my hair.

    • Kelli says:

      @Carrie,
      Me too. I just finished my last round of chemo, and I don’t think I’ll ever let myself feel guilty about taking care of my hair again. My salon isn’t that expensive, and I have really, really missed having good hair! I can’t wait for it to grow back. Congrats to you on getting through chemo, and I hope our hair grows back really fast so we can get back to the salon!

  • TJ says:

    While I cut everyone in my home’s hair, I cannot do my own. I used to only go to the super cheap places, which slowly started getting expensive, and often I would leave with my hair butchered. I too switched to a high-end salon, where my stylist has a ton of Paul Mitchell training, and she continues to get more, which makes her more expensive. I just go less often now, and the offer free bang trims. Sometimes it’s hard to swallow the price, but the ease of getting ready each morning with a good haircut and feeling good about how I look is worth it!

  • Melissa says:

    My budgeted splurges are a cut/color at the salon, and good quality quilting material. I have super thick, long hair that I used to try and color myself – but it takes 3 hours (not including washing, drying, and styling), and 3-4 boxes of color! Instead I save money that I get as gifts for birthdays and Christmas every year and go to the salon about 2-3 times a year and I get 5 hours of chatting with friends uninterrupted while someone else washes, cuts, colors, drys and styles my hair for me. It’s bliss!!! Being a SAHM with a husband who works and attends college full-time, that almost never happens! My other splurge is getting quality quiliting material instead of buying fabric from Walmart. It’s really logical – making a quilt from fabric that will survive more than a few washes – but I’ve struggled with guilt for spending so much anyway!

  • Noah says:

    I get salon cuts too, but only once in a while since it doesn’t take much to do my hair (long and straight). We also pay to get my husband and son’s hair cut at supercuts type places because I don’t trust myself to do it.

    Our biggest splurge is eating out. We go out once a week, usually to a sit down place. My husband and I LOVE good food, so it’s totally worth it to us. We also will spend extra on quality ingredients to make good food at home.

    My other splurge is clothes. I do buy a lot second hand, but when I can I love to buy handmade clothes by work at home moms (usually from sites run by Christian women who work at home).

  • Joanna says:

    I splurge on Keen sandals. They last 4-6 years so we have time to save for the next pair!

  • kate says:

    I buy designer jeans – I can’t help it! I bought one pair (Joes Jeans) on sale at Marshalls for $29 & I have been hooked ever since – there is such an amazing difference – they are SOOO unnecessary I know – but I pretty much only wear jeans so I hunt for the best possible price -but have spent up to $100 on them (usually marked down from somewhere in the high $200) – I only buy a pair or two a year so that is my big splurge – I get my hair cut at a beauty school & do my own touch ups w/ box color at home – we do coupons, rebates, and are Dave Ramsey nuts – but I cant give up my fancy pants 🙂

  • Kelly Webster says:

    I definitely like you more knowing that you get your hair cut and colored at a salon. 🙂

  • Lea Stormhammer says:

    This post made me giggle, because I’ve been realizing in the last few months that not only am I just plain weird in most ways, I’m also not much of a “girly-girl” by many standards! I have had 1 (yes, really) hair cut in the last year, have had my brows waxed and my nails done a total of 3x in my life, and have never had a pedicure, commerical tan, facial or massage. Since I wear my waist length, stick straight hair up most of the time, it looks good and I only rarely need to get it cut. My nails often get destoryed at work and I’ve learned how to be proficient at painting my toenails myself (no pedicure needed!).

    My splurge is high quality clothes, underclothes and shoes. I spend about $500/year total on myself – all budgeted and wear things literally for years! (I have a long wool skirt in my closet that I get a lot of complements on that I’ve owned for 17 years!) I buy only Victoria’s Secret undies and bras and mostly Talbot’s clothes. I also buy high-end shoes – I’m on my feet all day (mostly on concrete floors) and can’t stand cheap shoes.

    That’s my splurge!
    Lea

  • Leigha says:

    My biggest splurge is on cosmetics. I buy Clinique moisturizer and foundation and use a few other makeup brands from Sephora. It is a little more expensive, but when it helps your skin look better, you ultimately feel better about yourself!

  • I have to say that I do splurge when it comes to home improvements. I never pay full price when it comes to the project but we wait until a line is going away and then we buy it on clearance. For example: this year we needed new carpet, with 5 toddlers they destroyed the contractor’s grade beige carpet. The price tag was $1.73 but I knew what the cost was and so we paid only $1.24 sq ft. The carpet pad was tagged at .86 sq ft we paid .56 sq ft. We did our tile for half the price and we ended up doing the stairs because they were trying to get rid of some laminate and instead of paying $54 a box I paid $15. The rest of the things we do are on a tight budget with only one of us working. We trust that God will provide and we enjoy when we get to do home improvements. The great thing is that I married a man that can do anything, so we do it all ourselves.

  • I always thought that eating out was your splurge, since you go out every week. Going out to eat is an unheard of luxury for us.

    My husband cuts my hair for me. I used to go a long time between cuts, but when we could no longer afford even that, I finally asked him to cut it. Now I can have it cut as often as I would like. I was scared to let him try it at first, but I was hating my hair, and having no income and not being able to fix my hair in a way that I liked was hard on me for a long time. My husband does a great job; I can’t imagine ever paying someone to do it again.

    We haven’t had a regular income for so long that budgeting is different for us. The big splurge I’ve asked for was to have my husband buy me a couple of gallons of milk for me for our anniversary for the last two years. I love milk (I know you don’t, though) and I’ve missed having milk (powdered milk works fine for baking, which is what I have had in my pantry, but I’m not a fan of drinking it). I’m hoping we can do the same this year, but I still don’t know yet.

    Crystal, I’d also like to thank you and everyone who commented on your most recent garage sale post. I used the suggestions there for my first garage sale this past Saturday. I had lots of people (about 15 families) give me the things they were going to take to the thrift store, and I was able to sell quite a bit that way. I made $273! I am putting it towards the utility bills. All of the suggestions were wonderful. We had high winds that day; I used the suggestion of old milk jugs filled with water to keep my signs in place (I asked my neighbors for milk jugs, and I got boxes from different people. I used colored computer paper for signs and attached the paper to the boxes).

  • Julie says:

    We splurge on real Starbuck’s coffee brewed at home daily with real 1/2 and 1/2. It is SO much better than bitter cheap coffee and much cheaper than stopping at the coffee shop (well, that would cost me gas money daily too since we home educate.)

    I like my hair better when I cut and color it at home. It looks better consistently.

    T-Tapp exercise dvds are worth the extra money to stay in great shape even through pregnancy in 15 minutes a day only 3 days a week! http://www.t-tapp.com/ I’ve only gained 11 pounds at 29 weeks compared to my normal 40 pounds per pregnancy! :o)

  • RACHEL says:

    This is probably gonna sound weird but we splurge on food.

    As a VEGAN family- cheap food-well – sounds gross.

    We buy the freshest produce, healthiest snacks and lots of bulk foods.
    ie. nuts (which are pricey), oats, spices, etc.

    I scrimp on other things, like clothes, cleaning supplies, we don’t have cable or cell phone plans….

    But what goes in our mouths- well that just needs to be the best~ 🙂

    I also splurged on the RELEVANT conference!!!! That was a biggie for me~!!

    • esther says:

      @RACHEL,
      I too splurge on food. Four of our five kids have food allergies and my hubby has a throat condition so food is a big thing for us. It probably evens out though because of good food they aren’t on any meds. Before they were put on inhalers and creams and what not. You are what you eat!

  • Maggie says:

    LOVED this post!!

    And when you budget for it, nothing is a true splurge. 🙂 My husband and I took three vacations last year, two in other states and one internationally. We stayed with family two of the three times and did free/cheap activities…but we enjoy traveling.

    Now with a 4 week old baby I think we will stay home this year! 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      @Maggie,

      We took a 2 week vacation with our 4 month old son to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Estonia. If you’re nursing it’s the perfect time to go! Not bottles, no baby food. You’re not getting any sleep anyway, so why not! 🙂

  • Lora R. says:

    I have always gotten my hair done in a salon and I will never change that. I will give myself pedicures and cut in many areas, but when it comes to my hair I pay for highlights and cut. I do space it out every 4-5 months though since it is expensive.

  • Allison says:

    I’m a SAHM with 3 small kids, and my hubby only made 19K last year! We live very tight, drive cheap cars, have the smallest internet and phone package, etc. This year our tax return allowed us to fulfill our wish list that has been growing for years…like, I have not had a piano for 9 years! Usually we can’t make big purchases like that, or even small ones really. I wait for the $10 off $10 purchase at JCP to shop for clothes. I do all the rebates I can and that money is my spending money. Another thing that makes me feel like I’m not so broke is hosting home shows for products like Pampered Chef or Premier Designs jewelry. Premier gives hostesses free jewelry, and they only have to pay the tax. So suddenly my old wardrobe gets new life with trendy new accessories and I paid pennies on the dollar to get it! That goes a long way towards making me feel like I got to splurge!

    • jennifER says:

      @Allison, I just want to encourage you, I’ve been where you are and you can easily lose hope. Thank you for choosing to stay home. Those babies will rise up and call you blessed!

    • @Allison,
      I understand about getting new clothes! Hand me downs from friends have been a huge blessing for us, for the children, and recently I even got a new (to me) blouse this way! (I was collecting items from friends for a garage sale–things they were going to donate to a thrift store–and I found something that would fit me, plus a couple of things for my children. I shopped my own garage sale!)

      We have internet becuase my husband works from home.

      We have a piano because we found someone who lived near us who was getting a new one. We just had to haul their old (very old) one away. You may be able to find an old one on ebay or Craig’s list in your area for less than $200, and if you let people know, you may find one for even less. I know a few people who have bought pianos this way. I do have two keys that stick, and some of the ivory is chipped on a few keys, and the piano is scratched up. It also had no bench. But, it means a piano in our home! Prayers here that you can have a piano come your way.

      • Maria says:

        @The Prudent Homemaker,

        I second the craigslist piano! I got a beautiful (free!!!) upright piano three years ago that way. Someday I’ll “splurge” and get it tuned. 😉

        • @Maria, Ours is an upright, too. It’s pretty plain, but it works!
          It cost me $100 to have the piano tuned. I also paid $200 to have it moved across town. I didn’t have a truck or the equipment to properly move it. So, though the piano was free to me, it cost $300 to get it to me and tuned. Just something to keep in mind. If you have a way to move it yourself, that helps. But, $300 was not bad! We weren’t sure how we were going to come up with the money at the time, and we had to take the piano right away when it was offered to us, but somehow it all worked out!

  • Amanda says:

    We finally got a daily subscription to the Wall Street Journal. My husband and I both love to read, so having the paper delivered each morning is a fantastic treat for us!

  • Mary Ann says:

    When we have extra $$ in the budget, a good block of Parmesan cheese is one of our secret splurges. It tastes so much better than the stuff in a can and freshly grated Parmesan makes even the most humble meal a little fancier. Costco has a decent price and the Parmesan is the real thing!

  • Laura Latham says:

    my splurge is a vacation every year. that is one thing i would NEVER give up.

  • Summer says:

    I can’t live without my Ghiradelli 60% dark chocolate chips. I add them to my cereal or just eat them plain. Hands down the best chocolate ever!

  • Rae says:

    Haha well that IS a shock but everybody deserves to splurge on something 🙂

    My splurge that I’ve been saving up for recently (got a little over $5000 so far) is something way more “unneccessary” and such than your splurge so I’m not even going to post what it is lol

  • Angela says:

    We recently splurged on a new swingset for the kids (or as I have been calling it – a playground). I shared similarly to you that we save money in some areas so that we can save to get what we want in others.

    http://abusymomoftwo.blogspot.com/2010/05/decision-making.html

  • Jessica says:

    This post freaks me out. It’s like I wrote it. Were we separated at birth????

  • Joy says:

    I too have given in to gettting my hair cut at a quality salon! For years I went to the cheaper places and inevitably I’d end up with a less-than-sought-after cut. I don’t highlight and I usually only get a cut 2 or 3 times a year so I have decided that $40 ever so often is worth it! I also get pedicures when I can, usually 3 or 4 times per year. My husband really enjoys when my toes are painted and my feet don’t feel like sandpaper! And with six children, I rarely am able to find the time to do it myself properly. My two other splurges are: Yellow Tail Merlot and Starbucks Coffee. I allow myself one bottle of wine every two weeks and one bag of coffe every four weeks. It is soooo worth it to save money in all the other grocery areas to be able to afford a few splurges!

  • Lisa H says:

    I’m one more non-frugal hair-cuttee – I do cut my husband’s hair, but after one horrible cheap-shop cut on myself, even he agreed and urged me to find a decent stylist. I’ve been seeing her since then.

  • cheryl says:

    Well I color my hair every month at home with Loreal Preference or Exclellnce to cover the gray. I wait for sales and I always pair them with coupons but I do have a few splurges. I use Bare Minerals makeup. My other splurge is flowers in the summer and feeding the birds. We have several bird feeders and we love watching the finches and the woodpeckers the most. It costs some money to keep the feeders full but we save so much on my couponing we don’t care. My husband always says I don’t care what the bird food costs, keep buying it. My flowers just make me happy, I love the colors and they are some of God’s most beautiful handiwork. Oh, I do watch for sales on the birdfood and stock up when I can though.

  • Michelle H. says:

    Diet Coke! One a day with my lunch at work.

  • Angie says:

    Music, music and more music. I have a piece work job and I work much faster when I have my iPod on hand. I do buy as much as I can from St. Vinnie’s, rummage sales and the library. I’m always loading a copy of friends CD’s onto my PC also. I also splurge a bit on bras.

  • Jen says:

    While it may sound unconventional, my splurge is gaming. It often surprises many people because I’m so frugal with everything else. I coupon, submit rebates, have a cash only budget, etc. But I’m able to use Amazon gift cards earned by using swagbucks to get games heavily discounted or free. I also trade with friends. And, my xbox doubles as a DVD player and streams Netflix 🙂 It’s a great de-stressor after I get home from work, and after my son has gone to bed. Plus I get to build relationships and play online with friends. It’s nice to have a budget for fun 🙂

  • Lucy says:

    I agree. Salon highlighted/colored hair just looks so natural. On the other hand at home dyes like “nice easy” always come out all orange or redish and brazzy looking. That is at least in my experience.

    I also like to have my oil changed in a true 10 minute oil change place that charges like double $40 here. To me its just worth the extra $20. They give you a cold soda while you wait and your in and out in 10 minutes tops and I don’t get all frustrated waiting and waiting. To me its just worth it and I can get on with my day instead or turning my day into waiting on an oil change.

  • Lynn says:

    I have very picky feet. So I have found one brand of dress type shoe that is comfortable to be in all day. They run between $75 and $90 a pair and I can only get them at one store that is not in this area. I was blessed when we were visiting dd a few weeks ago and found them on sale!

    One other splurge we enjoy is going out to a super nice place for dinner a couple times a year. But like you, we budget for it, so its not quite so painful.

  • sherrie says:

    WOW Crystal, I’m impressed! 😉 I would NEVER have expected you to splurge on a salon. I have long hair as well, and getting your hair done at a nice salon is beyond worth it. I’ve had long hair for over 15 years and as soon as I started getting it done at a salon I’d never go back to anything else. I live in the 3rd largest city in the state of PA so people would probably choke if they knew how much I spend – and sometimes I feel really guilty – but I only do it 4 times a year and she makes it GORGEOUS – and I always pay cash – so YAY for you for enjoying your beautiful hair!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I think that is great!! Before i had out first son and was working i got my hair colored (blonde) every month, which i miss so much. Since i am not working i decided to give up my blonde hair and go natural. {It is saving us over $1,200 a year!!} But i tell you i miss it sooooo much. I do still get my hair cut at the same “nice” salon. But as soon as out budget allows i will be getting my hair colored again.

  • alison says:

    Thank you for sharing Crystal. Before I found your site I would never feel guilty about buying food, clothes, etc. I just shopped for the lowest price(usually walmart) for the food I wanted and sales for the clothes I wanted. Then your site came into my life and my prospective has completely changed(for the better!). Its such a sticker shocker to me how much one little item at the supermarket can add up if you don’t have a coupon for it. I would get down on myself for buying those items. Then I realized it was OKAY every now and then. I have saved thousands and I am able to give more than ever before.

    Crystal, you deserve your splurges and don’t ever feel guilty about it! I can not wait to hear when you pay your house in full. you are a true inspiration!!

  • Carol says:

    My splurge is that every day, I go and have a coffee and a fresh baked pastry at this really fabulous bakery. It really adds up over a month, over a year, the years, but it makes me very happy. It is a major element of our budget though. As for hair – the weird thing is I’ve been cutting my hair for the last couple years and really enjoy doing it. It’s not that it’s fun so much but that way it turns out just the way I want it, not too short, not too long, not too layered, not to clunky, no surprises and I can adjust it as it grows out to change it or not and whenever I want. It’s like total flexibility – and of course, it’s free!

  • Jennifer says:

    Ours is food. We do not eat processed, packaged, boxed anything other than rice or dried pasta. We spend a lot on organic, fresh produce and non processed meat. We feel like we will save money on health care in the long run and it is already paying off. In the last two years, our children have never been to the doctor for a “sick” visit and neither have ever been on an oral antibiotic (my oldest is 5). We keep our budget very small for entertainment, eating out, cars, clothing, etc., but we spend a lot of money on our food.

  • Jenn says:

    I guess I splurge mainly on two things. The first is a gym membership. I could really just exercise at home, yet I enjoy going to the gym. The second splurge is getting my hair cut at a salon. For a while, I did get bargain cuts elsewhere, but felt I could only “safely” (without crying afterward in horror) get simple trims. My hair is very thick, and I’ve battled with it from a young ago, so only getting my hair trimmed was very limiting. After trying out a few salons, I found a stylist who can tame my crazy hair and give me fun cuts with layers. She even managed to cut my hair shoulder-length and make it look polished and full, but not mushroom-like (which I didn’t think was possible, since my hair is so thick!). So I’m sticking with her, even though the cuts aren’t cheap.

  • Used to be my “indulgences” were Cottonelle Ultra toilet paper, Estee Lauder More than Mascara, and a membership at Massage Envy.

    Then we decided to adopt a baby from Ethiopia.
    Ca-ching.

    What do I splurge on now? Hm.

    Hm.

    Well, I got a $6 drive thru car wash last week and I was feeling pret-ty fancy, there’s that.

  • Leah says:

    Penzeys Spices. Just received an order we paid for by saving the leftover money from our weekly grocery trips. $2 and less for a few months adds up!! Love to get high quality spices so we can try new flavors in our meals!

  • ksenia says:

    Thank you for posting this! It is actually so encouraging to hear that you too have some things you “splurge” on. It makes you sound sane 🙂 and makes me feel like I am not a horrible person for buying a hot chocolate once a month. One of my favorite posts yet!

  • Jessica says:

    Whenever I am at Publix (not very often since the closest one is 45 min. away..*tear*) I always buy one of their Ready-To-Cook meat dishes, like cheddar bacon hamburgers or beef stir-fry or something…no matter the price. My husband absolutely loves them.

    I also like to occassionally impluse splurge on small items for the house or my wardrobe…especially at Target.

  • Erika Billings says:

    I too have wondered how your hair always looked so good when you’ve posted pictures of yourself. Good for you!! I agree, a little splurge every now and then makes all the other “sacrifices” seem worthwhile.

  • Laura says:

    Do you have a Sally Beauty Supply store near your home? For my teen daughter we had purchased a Chi straightener discounted from Amazon (still expensive though at 70 dollars or so). A few months later, it wouldn’t turn on. After searching on the Internet, I found this was a common problem for the Chi straighteners. At the Sally store, they sell their generic brand of straightener – think I paid around 50 dollars – but, it worked even BETTER than the Chi. What is does it take thick hair and makes it feel thinner because it’s flatter. For me, though I have thin hair, it makes it much shinier. Best $50 we’ve spent in a long time since we both use it daily! Also, not all straighteners are the same; only the Sally one is superior to the Chi . . . the cheaper ones we purchased were not nearly the same. Yes, I also pay for cuts/highlighting at the salon. Just turned 42 and with dark hair I’m having more grays, so I picked up the root touch up but have been afraid to use it!

  • Naomi says:

    Well I have two splurges. One is that I have my haircut once a month, permed every 3 months and highlighted every 3 months. And I go to a beautician that has her shop attached to her house and it is not cheap but I have gone to her for a long time. The other splurge is organic food–mostly produce, milk and cereal. We do not have a Whole Foods store here even though I live in the largest city in Iowa but my grocery store has a health food store inside and I can get whatever I want there except there are no reduced items like other people find in other cities. I use coupons and watch for sales

  • Emily says:

    It’s funny, because getting my hair cut is one of the things I am MOST frugal about. I go to a local beauty school to get it cut (that’s all I do, just a cut, no color or anything), and I pay $7.95 plus tip. I couldn’t even imagine ever going to a high-priced salon again…..they do a great job at the beauty schools and I figure they need the practice.

    One splurge of mine is my make-up……Bare Minerals. It’s expensive but it lasts a LONG time.

  • Laura P. says:

    Oh my goodness! That sounds just like me! I hate to spend the money on me when there are so many other things to spend it on. Thanks for the column!

  • Beth says:

    I buy coffee from a local roastery that costs $10 a lb and we go through about a pound a week. Although I go on double punch day so I get a free pound for every six I buy.

    My bad one is I buy Origins Skin care. Yes, it costs a lot. But over the course of a year I buy cleanser twice and moisturizer three times. So it’s not a huge deal in our overall budget. We won’t talk about the $80 of skin brightening stuff I bought last month. 🙂

  • Whitney says:

    Wow! This post makes me feel better. I feel guilty over the expense of getting my hair highlighted when I am so frugal in other areas. Thanks for the post!

  • Jen G. says:

    I just recently did the same thing. I spent $100 on my hair…oh the guilt! That is a cart load or two of groceries. That is two fill-ups of gas for my car plus some if I get a good gas price. BUT I love my hair! I was voted “best hair” in high school and have gone years without even getting a cut. NOW, I am hooked. I just think going 3-4 times a year maybe worth it!
    Oh, I splurge on massages too…about once a year I pay $55 for a full body massage…so worth that too!

  • Renee says:

    Thanks for posting!! I had to laugh. I too get my hair & coloring done about twice a year. I’ve gotten over the guilt since I don’t get to do the clothes & shoe shopping I used to since I’ve been unemployed. It’s the one little thing I have to make me feel “pretty”. I have had the same hairstylist of over 10 years & she is a very close friend as well. It’s nice to know that other women on a budget like to splurge on themselves every now & then.

  • Abbie says:

    My hair cut and color used to be my splurge, but since I’ve grown my hair out long so it only gets cut about twice a year and I’ve quit coloring it while I’ve been pregnant that’s not much of a splurge anymore. I did splurge on a pedicure a couple weeks ago, and I think that may become a regular thing. A foot massage is much more relaxing than a haircut. 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    Some may say that it really isn’t “regular” but my non-frugal splurge item is actually car seats. I’ve been using them for the last 13 years, and I’ve been a trained Child Passenger Safety Technician for almost as long, and one thing I’ve learned is that with car seats, you get what you pay for. Long story short, nearly every single car seat in the US is improperly used, and improper use risks lives. Pretty fabrics and fun prints are unnecessary, but a lot of times the car seats with the bells and whistles are also the car seats that are easier to use correctly. We’re pretty frugal in nearly everything we buy, but we’ve agreed that whether it’s our kids, or our siblings or friends, any time a new car seat is needed, we’ll spend the money necessary to be sure that the car seats those babies are in are the one that are most likely to be used correctly every time. We probably spend close to $1000 a year on car seats for friends and family.

  • Heather says:

    I’m so relieved to hear you say this. I thought your hair looked so good for doing it with freebie hair-coloring kits and a cheap hair cut! And as a result, was tempted to try it myself. Whew! Close one!

    My husband cuts his own hair (shaved), and we cut our kids hair at home so that I can afford to go get it cut and highlighted at a salon. 🙂

  • elizabeth says:

    Some of my splurges are as follows:
    I buy Estee Lauder eye cream.
    I shop at Trader Joe’s whenever I get up to DC ($120 every few months and most of that is for their coffee, carbonated bottled water, and salsa which are super cheap there considering the quality!).
    Most importantly, I buy my pets expensive high quality pet food. The really good stuff. I’ll buy cheap dog biscuits and treats and I’ll stock up on their brands of food when on sale, use coupons, etc but I only buy them really high quality food (no corn, wheat, soy, etc).
    I think these are all worth the cost, and all the scrimping and saving and couponing that I do in the rest of my life.
    I feel guilty about splurging in other areas, but not those!

  • Jenn says:

    Exactly my splurge too! I agree, when you have manageable hair, it makes you happy! I felt guilty for awhile, but now I let myself enjoy it knowing I can pay cash for it a few times a year 🙂

  • Julie says:

    I perm my hair and that is a splurge to me. Since we’ve been tight on money I’ve skipped the touch up hair cut in between perms but I still allow myself the splurge on the perm because my hair looks so much better with a bit of curl than it does stick straight.

    I also splurge on a meal out every now and then. I love to eat out simply because then I don’t have to clean up the kitchen after dinner.

  • sunny says:

    I always buy good shoes, but I were them a long time! Not fancy heels and stuff, but good sneakers and flat sandles.

  • Janet says:

    I’m a SAHM but used to be a personal trainer. I have a girl friend that works at a high end salon –so we trade services. I meet with her every two weeks to give her a new work out and she does my hair (cut and color) every 5-6 weeks. This would normally cost $125, so it is a great trade.

    • Sara says:

      @Janet, Love this idea! I’m a representative for a direct sales company, and I trade my product for hair cuts and photo shoots (for my 2 year old). Works great!

  • Momof Two says:

    In the summer I splurge on pedicures.

  • Carli says:

    Haven’t lost any faith in you at all! As a daily reader you have earned even more respect from me. You are a hard lady to stay up with so it makes me feel more normal knowing you and I splurge on the same thing…having hair done! And I also gets my toes done every 6 weeks or so (though I try to go to the cosmo college to get it do at a lower price for the toes…NOT the hair). And you hit the nail on the head…we too budget and coupon so we have the money for the splurges. Splurge is not just for a spur of the moment this…it is also for thing that you have money for but wou;d’t normally buy on an every day basis. Kinda like the tooth fairy…it only happens when you have somerhing in hand to swap for. Extra money = fun purchase.

  • Rachel says:

    My splurge is getting my hair cut at a nice salon as well. I have a very smilar story, except I was going to cheap salon chains and everytime came out disapointed. Finally, I tried going to a nice salon and found a great stylist who has a similar hair texture to mine and knows exactly how to treat it, cut it and style it. She even switched to a different salon and I followed her because it was worth the splurge.

    I’m glad I am not the only one who chooses this as a splurge cause sometimes I feel guilty about it! Not anymore as I know I am in good company.

  • Rochelle says:

    I loved this post!! Some things definitely are worth paying more for. I just splurged and got my hair straightened and cut for a pretty hefty tag, but not quite as bad as a salon b/c my good friends is an excellent beautician. I did however have the money saved up especially to get my hair done. 🙂

  • MichelleH says:

    Reading the post and comments is very interesting. Personally, I feel a life without any ‘splurges’ ever is hard. We also budget for our ‘splurges’, but feel they are necessary. I struggle calling them ‘splurges’ because they are planned. Anyway, I take one of my three kids to music lessons once a week and leave the other two home with Dad. My weekly planned for expense is Starbucks on the way. I read and savor my mocha during my son’s lessons (1 1/2 hours). Could I do without it? Yes. Is it a nice little break in my week? Yes, so I happily budget for that splurge. Another less frequent splurge is fresh flowers. They bring us all joy.

  • Paige says:

    I was wondering what you did, because you hair is great! I am happy to know you do this for yourself. Sorry you had to wait so long in life to do it, but hey, it works now doesn’t it with a budget?? I get a guilt feeling too sometimes and only go the salon maybe 3 times a year. I need to follow your lead. : ) Love your blog!!

  • Ginger says:

    One of my many splurges is dark chocolate. I get an expensive package of squares and at the end of my day when everyone is in bed I go to the pantry and get one square and dip it in peanut butter. *Sigh* What a endulgent ending to my day.

  • Dina says:

    I believe in having splurges as a necessity and they are not an everyday thing. I found in my area promotions that the local channel would sell 50% off gift certificates to the nicer salons. So I’m still “saving money” because Im not paying the price others are and I get a brake to do something for myself. They also have restaurants, attractions, etc. so if we are going to those places anyway I look out for those offers (they change every week). Like bowling for 6 with shoes, pizza and a pitcher of soda would normally cost $50 at the bowling alley they offered the gift certificate to include all this
    for $22. That price I can pay, so good for you in doing something for you.

  • Stephanie says:

    I use my swagbucks for my expensive board game habit- the next one is Dominion. It is nice even with the really tight budget we are on to be able to have something fun just for me. It will take a few months but it will eventually be mine for free!

  • Sara says:

    I love Mary Kay cosmetics. Fortunately, I have a wonderful friend that will sell it to me at her cost. Even with the discount, it’s still a splurge!

  • Rebecca says:

    I love this! I have been debating whether to go back to my salon… the time and money spent to keep hair looking nice, and I was right on the fence. Your post helped me realize looking (and feeling) good about the way you look is important and worth the additional costs!

  • This is great, a planned splurge is perfectly fine in my book, I have several things I plan to splurge on sometimes. I really enjoy eating out with some friends of mine I don’t see that often at a decent restaurant, so I do it. A few people have asked why I do that if I’m trying to save money and I say.. being frugal isn’t about NEVER doing anything fun or expensive. It’s about being aware of where you’re spending and evaluating which things are worth it to splurge on, and which aren’t. As long as I know I am consciously choosing to splurge on something (rather than just mindlessly spending) and I can afford it, I’m perfectly happy. One person thought it was funny that I pinch pennies with coupons etc. but then I’d go out and spend money on a nice lunch like that. But for me, that’s the whole point! Saving money in areas that you can, so you can have money to do the things you really want to do. Save, pay off debt, and yup even splurge once in a while. 🙂 And you know what, it’s so much better to know I can enjoy my splurge because I have the money from saving elsewhere in my budget. 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    My hubby and I like to splurge on late nights out – the fun ones are especially worth the money!

    It’s not exactly a “SAHM habit”, but we don’t have kids, and we’re young (I’m talking 22). It’s well worth the saving, couponing, and eating in we do during the week to be able to let loose and hang out with our friends on the weekend – or when there’s a good game on!

    I too have much more respect for you because of this honest post. Thanks!

  • bekarene says:

    Coffee! My husband and I make room in our grocery budget for freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans from one of the many artisan roasters in our area. The habit can cost us anywhere from $10-14/pound which *might* last us 10 days if we are careful with it. We could feed our caffiene addiction for much, much cheaper, but it’s one of the few things we won’t compromise on. By the way, I recently discovered the joys of a high-end hair cut as well and I am NEVER going back! Good for you!

  • I also get my hair done at a salon. My hair must be similar to yours- Straight as a stick and doesn’t do anything but just hang there driving me crazy. Layers are a must if I don’t want to pull it back in a ponytail everyday. I pay for my hair out of my allowance though and only get it done about 3 times a year, but it’s worth every penny!

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