Define SPLURGE money
You know how when you read different financial tips to cutting your budget and one of the first things is to always cut out the fancy coffees/tea? I always roll my eyes just a little because c’mon. Isn’t the little joys in life the whole point? If going into the coffee shop that smells fantastic and getting a hot delicious drink that tastes ten times better than any garbage I make at home brings joy to my mornings then that’s what I plan on doing!
I call my splurge fund tea money. Its that little tiny bit that you try to find in your monthly budget to treat yourself. In other posts you may have heard me reference my love of Tim Horton’s steeped tea. Its not as expensive as specialty coffee but it still adds up. An extra large is $2.30. So you multiply that over an average of 5 times a week and you have a monthly splurge of $46. It still doesn’t seem like that much. I do however get a little twinge of guilt when some asshole with a calculator adds up the average price over a decade and forces me to realize that I’m hindering my retirement with this little joy.
So as all people with a little motivation and limited resources does, I find a work around. Behold, I present to you my list of ways to save up change to buy yourself delicious hot drinks with no guilt.
- Bottles and Cans – That’s right, you heard me. I save up all our bottles and cans over the month and take them in. In the past sometimes I get lazy and just throw them in recycling but now that the cans money is ear marked they all get saved. We go through a lot of Milk jugs, juice boxes, ahem wine bottles, and various soda cans from entertaining. I usually rake in about $15-20/month on this one
- Extra effort in meal planning – As mentioned in other articles I really have to work at meal planning. I don’t budget plan very well. So I make a pact with myself that whatever I can save in our meal planning budget by shopping sales, and not eating out over the month up to $15 can go in my splurge bag. I literally have a ziplock bag in my car that I keep loose change. My kids think I’m an embarrassment. Anything I save over $15 goes towards our general savings.
- Gift Cards – Whenever I have a bday, or for Christmas when people ask me what I want I don’t do the traditional, “oh nothing” which is what I used to say and then get a blanket for every present ever. Its cold where I live so everyone’s always gifting blankets all over the place. But now I ask for Tim Hortons or starbucks gift cards. $10 here $10 there….they carry me pretty far!
- Babysit once a month – On my neighbourhood facebook page there is always someone calling for a last minute sitter for a couple hours on the weekends. Even If I babysit once a month for one evening It throws $30-$40 in the fund.
- I use $10 to buy 2 $5 scratchers – this one may seem ridiculous but I also love casinos. Its also not in the budget so once a month I “Gamble” $10 of my splurge money and most likely it goes down the drain. Every once in awhile I double it and that month is a party. Starbucks egg bites for days! Wooooo! This article is making me a little sad about my life as time goes on.
- Selling on facebook buy and sells or kijiji – Just stuff around the house that doesn’t get used any more. I once had a Christmas duvet cover that I had bought on sale the year prior and put away with my Christmas decorations still in the package. I decided I didn’t need it and threw it up on an auction site. It somehow went into a bidding war and I turned my $10 bargain buy into a $40 win.
- I organize my routes better – I live outside of the city so I can burn a ton on gas. Even when I lived within the city you can lose track while running errands. If I map out my week and really make sure to be productive with my driving, I can save a tank of gas per month. I make sure that if I drive over to visit my parents, I get my groceries at the same time rather than making two separate trips. Or on my Monday Costco trips I fill my tank since the gas is way cheaper there.
- Rewards Cards – Tim Horton’s introduced their rewards cards. Yay! There current plan although I’m sure it will change, is for every 6 purchases you get a coffee or tea free on your 7th. So it saves me $5/month.
This list more than covers my tea money for the month. My husband always says he doesn’t understand why I don’t just go ahead and do that stuff anyway but I handle the finances so I know better and I like the challenge of “earning” it for myself.
I like to “earn” my splurge money as dumb as that sounds. We have a budget that my husband and I have agreed on together. We purchased a house and our vehicles and plan our dates nights on that budget.
We chose the price of our fixed finances to allow room for our kids to do the sports they wanted and that we could have a contingency budget in case things come up like car maintenance or other expenses. So me spending money on random things for myself doesn’t really come into the mix. Its no problem if I want to get some clothes here and there, go out for lunch with friends, or get a manicure, but its not a very big budget for other things.
So I make a game out of saving money to free up a little splurge money for teas and pampering. I would love to hear your ideas or fun ways that you make a game out of saving money for yourself.