I tend to be a pretty frugal person, always looking for ways to do more with less. However, I firmly believe that saving money and living within one’s means doesn’t have to be a joyless endeavor. You simply have to choose carefully to splurge on the things that matter and save on the things that don’t. This list is by no means comprehensive, but here are just a few treats that I think are worth the splurge.
I haven’t actually invested in professional photos very often. Most of the time, we rely heavily on our little point and shoot camera. However, the two times I have hired a photographer–my wedding and, more recently, my son’s newborn portraits–the resulting images were so wonderful they’re truly priceless to me now. Almost three years after my wedding, I still look at the pictures all the time, and I’m sure that will be even more true of baby photos.
The good news is that professional photos can be affordable for any budget. The increasing popularity and affordability of digital photography means that customers have more choices than ever before when selecting a photographer. While packages of prints and albums is still the norm for many higher-end photographers and chain photo studios, many independent photographers are beginning to offer the option of purchasing the digital images on a CD, an affordable and convenient option for many families.
A Great Hair-Cut
For years, I refused to spend much, if anything, on hair styling, feeling it was an indulgence I couldn’t afford, but ever since I found a great, reliable hair stylist, I realize that the price of a good hair cut is well worth the money. For one, there’s no more tears over a botched hair-cut, like I used to get at the discount chain salons. Also, there’s so much more included in the experience: a shampoo and scalp massage, a relaxing spa-like environment, good quality hair products. A well-done cut also seems to grow out more nicely, helping me go longer between cuts without looking too shabby.
Finally and most importantly, the power of a haircut to change one’s image and increase one’s confidence is amazing. It’s no coincidence that on make-over shows, the haircut is one of the last steps in the makeover before the “big reveal.” The power of hair to change one’s image is so powerful that revealing the new hair for the first time really ups the “wow” factor. Putting that “wow” into your own life on a regular basis is a totally “worth-it” splurge.
A Good Beer
A bottle of Dom Perignon may set you back a Benjamin, but you can celebrate with a six-pack or 750 of high-quality craft beer for less than $20. The diverse and vibrant craft brewing community ensures that enjoying beer can be every bit as rich and rewarding as being an oenophile … all at an affordable price.
Readers, what is your favorite splurge item? What tips do you have for making your favorite indulgences more affordable?