Do your financial splurges embarrass you? If they do, you may have noticed that some indulgences are more socially acceptable than others. Many people don’t see anything negative about someone buying a lot of clothes on clearance even though her closet is already full and she doesn’t need anything. Get a steal on clothes that you don’t even need, and you’ll likely be praised. In fact, others may try to emulate your deal seeking prowess. Yet, spend your money on something that benefits you but society sees as extravagant, and you may be shamed.
Bargain Shoppers or Money Wasters?
I have a relative who is very good at frugal grocery shopping. However, she is a little too good at it. She buys more “deals” than she needs, so much so that she had her husband build shelves in their basement for her to store the deals that don’t fit in their pantry and kitchen. Because she goes shopping for groceries every week, continually finds deals, and only has three members in her family, she’ll never get through all of the food deals she has bought before they expire. Yet, friends always are impressed by her grocery shopping skills.
In our society, we see spending as little as possible per item as admirable even if we’re spending a lot over time for things we don’t need. In fact, in my relative’s case, these items may never be used and just tossed at a later date.
Splurges That Fit Your Life and Budget
However, if you hire a housekeeper because you have a busy schedule and a messy house stresses you out, people may judge you and argue that you’re spending your money frivolously. Yet, isn’t it just as frivolous to buy clothes and groceries that you don’t need?
The bottom line is that we all get to choose what to do with our money. If you’re financially responsible, you can choose to spend your money in ways that others may find frivolous.
Perhaps you hire a house cleaning service. Maybe you buy that sports car you’ve wanted since you were a teenager. Maybe you take the trip to Europe that you’ve always dreamed of.
Don’t feel the need to conform to society’s expectations and judgments.
If you and your spouse work full-time outside the home, and you’d benefit from more hours on the weekends spending time with your kids rather than cleaning the house, go ahead, spend your discretionary money on hiring a house cleaner.
If you feel that a traveling sports team will give your child an advantage when it comes to high school and college as well as personally and physically, go ahead and pay for the team and the travel if you need to travel with your child.
The bottom line is that you make the best decisions for you and your family. Maybe you have a minimalist wardrobe and cook at home every night so you can afford to splurge in other areas of your life. That’s okay.
You can spend your extra money any way you see fit. Society has a rigid standard of what compromises smart use of your money. However, only you and your spouse can determine what compromises smart use of your own money considering your lifestyle and finances.
What is one splurge that you have that you feel society frowns upon? How did you overcome societal judgement?
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in Arizona where she dislikes the summer heat but loves the natural beauty of the area.