And, yes I do splurge on some things and I feel I make up for it in other savings.
This question came to mind recently as my husband and I were trying to decide if we wanted to take a bus tour with a group of friends. The bus would be leaving a nearby city where we would all board together and the primary destination would be Williamsburg, Virginia. There would be a few "side trips" before reaching Williamsburg where the group would be able to spend a few hours sightseeing or doing whatever we liked until time to board and get back on the road. We would be spending two overnights in hotels before arriving at Williamsburg. We would spend 4 days and 3 nights at Williamsburg and the nearby vicinity doing prescheduled activities.
The cost for the trip would be all inclusive (meaning the total cost included lodging, meals, tickets for prescheduled activities and the bus). The cost per couple was $560.00 which seemed reasonable because we were getting such a great "group" rate.
Our first impulse was to say "yes" and sign the paperwork.
After all, just think how much fun we would have with our friends and we didn't even have to drive!! Springtime in Williamsburg, Virginia, should be beautiful with warm weather and beautiful flowers in bloom. We had never been to Williamsburg and this would be the perfect opportunity . . . or would it? I somehow got my senses about me and put my impulse buying mode questions (another blog) to the test.
I shared the questions with my husband and he stopped cold in this tracks. What were we thinking? We were very nearly on the verge of blowing our budget big time with absolutely no regrets - just thoughts of fun, fun, fun! We decided to sleep on this and see how we felt tomorrow.
So for the rest of the day and most of the night (I couldn't sleep), I kept asking myself, "is this trip worth splurging and blowing our budget?"
I tried to convince myself that it was. After all, we would not get a chance like this again and we had been very good with our budget for a long time. Why, we even made it through Christmas without going over budget! We DESERVED this trip. All of our friends were going . . . what would we tell them if we didn't go? Then, I argued with myself that this trip was not worth throwing everything we had worked so hard to maintain away just for a few days of fun.
I guess my husband went through the same thing because the next morning two very tired, sleepy people were having breakfast and coffee and trying to come to a rational decision. Finally, we agreed to wait until noon and then we would make a decision - to splurge or not to splurge on the bus trip.
Finally, it was noon and we sat down on the porch with some cool iced tea. Each of us was afraid to say what we had decided - to splurge or not to splurge. We decided to play Rock, Paper, Scissors and the loser went first. I lost so I summoned everything strong within me, looked my husband in the eye and told him I did not want to splurge. I wasn't happy about the decision but it just wouldn't be right at this point in our financial life to take the trip. Maybe in a few years we could go on our own. He clapped his hands and let out a huge sigh of relief. He had come to the same conclusion but didn't know how to break the news to me. He knew how much I wanted to take the trip and he couldn't figure out how to soften "no".
We were both very relieved and happy that a near financial crisis had been avoided and that, this time, we had both agreed that a splurge wasn't in our best interest just now. To celebrate, we headed for the Dairy Queen where I had a Peanut Buster Parfait and he had his usual Banana Split - two really big spenders, huh?
So, I ask you, "What things will you or won't you splurge on?"
Would you blow your budget for a chance at a one-time big splurge?
It may take a bit of soul searching to come up with the answer.
Kimberly is enrolled on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, Kim shares how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income in their home state of Illinois. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income. Kimberly generously shares smart and tested tips in her A Straight Talk on Debt blog! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.