Magazine article Success

Savvy Splurges: Go Ahead and Indulge ... within These Parameters

Magazine article Success

Savvy Splurges: Go Ahead and Indulge ... within These Parameters

Article excerpt

Here's something you wouldn't expect me to say: It's OK to splurge. Every so often. Under certain conditions. That's because kicking back and enjoying life's little extras can be a reward that drives you toward financial success. Just as a weekly cheat day makes it easier to maintain a diet, a shopping treat can strengthen your commitment to long-term financial goals--and deliver a short-term burst of happiness.

Here's my blueprint for splurging wisely.

1. Be sure it's worthwhile. Roughly six in 10 women say they indulge in retail therapy, which is often pointless spending. To prove my point, go through your drawers and pull out everything you haven't used for at least one year that does not have significant sentimental value. Most of those unused purchases will fall into one of two categories: I was having a bad day or I was on vacation. All should remind you how fleeting the spending high can be.

2. Make it stand out. If the purpose of splurging is to boost your happiness, plan to:

* Spend on experiences, not objects. Research shows we derive more joy from what we do than what we buy. Meeting a friend for a movie or heading to the beach will give you more lasting pleasure than another sweater.

* Treat yourself once a week. In Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton contend that we value infrequent treats more than everyday ones. So have a regular cup of joe most days and save your latte for once a week.

* Buy some time. …

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