By MELANIE LOCKERT
Let's face it -- being a financially responsible adult isn't always fun or glamorous. Save money. Pay off debt. Stick to a budget. Upholding these responsibilities can be tough and feel restrictive. What about some fun? A splurge, just for you?
Splurges can get a bad rap, often described as unnecessary or even overly indulgent, but I'll let you in on a little secret. You can splurge ... and dare I say, you deserve to splurge (occasionally), so long as you have the money on hand and it won't deter your other financial goals.
As part of National Splurge Day on June 18, we're pulling back the curtain on four splurges that our sources say were totally worth the money.
1. A big birthday bash
You only turn 30 once, so why not celebrate? Igor Kholkin and his wife splurged by celebrating her birthday in a big way.
"My wife and I are frugal, but we're not shy about investing in a fantastic experience," says Kholkin, an operations manager at a digital agency. "Last year, we splurged on an amazing Las Vegas trip for her 30th birthday."
They attended shows, dined at critically acclaimed restaurants and even got bottle service for the 12 friends who joined them on the trip.
Such a splurge didn't come cheap at $8,000, but Kholkin says, "The trip was worth every penny and we made memories for a lifetime."
To save for the big birthday bash, Kholkin and his wife saved year-round. "We didn't dine out, our holiday gifts to each other were budgeted under $40, and we shopped in bulk at places like Costco," he says.
2. A new Tesla
When it's time to get new wheels, there are a lot of options ... and then there's Tesla. While buying a Tesla may seem out of reach, engineer-turned-comedian Dan Nainan splurged on his dream car by actively saving for it.
Image provided by Nainan.
The car, which Nainan says cost about $90,000, was paid for with proceeds from his products -- all of which he put into a "Tesla fund."
"I saved up for it using proceeds from sales of my CDs, DVDs and books, which I sell at my [comedy] shows," he explains.
Nainan had been eyeing the Tesla Model S when it was first released, but he didn't seriously start thinking about purchasing one until about five years ago. He was drawn to the Tesla because it's "the ultimate gadget."
To Nainan, purchasing a Tesla was the manifestation of all of his hard work. "It meant a tremendous amount to me because it is something I have wanted for a long time and I worked very hard for it," he says.
3. The big game
Zondra Wilson, president of Blu Skin Care, splurged on a sporting event ... but not just any sporting event: She saved up thousands of dollars to attend the 2007 NBA All-Star game in Las Vegas.
The splurge cost her about $3,000, and she had to save for several years to make her dream a reality.
But in the end, she had no regrets. "It was worth every penny. I went to all of the events and games and enjoyed the nightlife. I loved it!" she exclaims.
4. A worldly adventure
Traveling is a dream for many people, but the cost can be prohibitive, especially when it comes to international travel. But splurging on a trip abroad can give you priceless memories and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Gerald Aguilar, president of Pest Control Pro, splurged on a trip to Spain with his wife in 2015. The couple was able to use credit card rewards and only pay taxes on their flights, which lowered the cost of the trip.
Because they were able to save so much money on their flights, they were able to splurge elsewhere. For example, they stayed at a five-star hotel in Granada and indulged in unique experiences in Madrid.
"We did everything we wanted on this trip; we went to the cities we dreamed of seeing, ate in the oldest restaurant in the world, and went to many museums, parks, and tapas bars," he says.
The trip cost several thousand dollars, but the combination of using credit card rewards to drastically cut the cost of airfare and budgeting for their splurge made the cost much more manageable. "Having a budget is very important when splurging. At the end of the day, you don't want to eat into your savings," he says.
Planning has helped Aguilar and his wife reach their goals without going into debt, he says.
Whether you're splurging on a latte at Starbucks or looking at something more extravagant, it's important to keep your finances in mind.
"It can be completely OK to splurge on something when your financial plan is in good order. In fact, allowing yourself to splurge may keep you committed to other long-term financial planning goals," says Certified Financial Planner™ Daniel R. Zajac.
However, splurges are only really, truly fun when you can afford them ... and won't get hit with a credit card bill you can't afford. You can splurge and indulge guilt-free, as long as you have the money on hand and are reaching your other financial goals. So start saving today for your indulgent, just-for-me goal.
What splurge are you saving up for?
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