On Treating Yo’Self: How to Splurge Without Guilt


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I had lunch at Popeye’s – 3 piece platter with 2 sides and a biscuit. I had one of those sugarbomb Starbucks Holiday drinks the other day. I also ate a cinnamon bun. I’ve been known to eat whole huge desserts without sharing. I’ve never counted calories and I hate dieting.

I hate salads.

Judging from what I just wrote, it would seem that I’m overweight and pretty gross. Well, maybe the latter but not the former.

How do I do this? Well, what I’ve listed above are all aberrations to my diet. 90% of my meals are home cooked. I limit my intake of caffeine, snacks, processed and deep fried foods. I also have a very calorie-restricted diet. So when I eat my decadent meal, it’s really an outlier to my normal lifestyle.

I look the way I do because of my normal lifestyle – not because of my outlier.

I think most people in America eat some sort of quasi-healthy dish most of the time and then they splurge. A quasi-healthy dish is like a store-bought salad, but as the Internet is quick to point out, restaurant salads aren’t necessarily healthy. So they feel all of the restriction but get none of the benefits. If they splurge, and the button pops off their pants, maybe the splurge was the tipping point, but it’s the everyday lifestyle that got them to the tipping point all along.

So people may see me eating unhealthily in one instance and think, “she must have really good genes. There’s no way I could do that.” But they’re seeing a snapshot. They have no idea what the whole story is.

It’s the same with spending money.

I spent $200 at Sephora over the past week. That’s crazy money. And I think if someone had seen me do this (I mean I did it online, but let’s say I bought it in a store), one might think “she’s a spendthrift.”

But you have no idea what the other 51 weeks were like.

There are two lessons to learn here. First, don’t hate on people who seem to get away with whatever they eat or buy, thinking they were blessed from birth. I mean, maybe they were, but this is a rare occurrence (and not one that will work for you anyway). Maybe they’ve planned other things in their life so that this is a possibility. Maybe this is their rest day from the gym. Maybe this is their vacation. Don’t let it discourage you.

Second, if you want to splurge guilt-free, or even if you don’t, figure out how to live a baseline lifestyle that allows for some wiggle room. What you do everyday is so much more important to who you become than what you do once in a while.

I think there’s nothing wrong with splurging. It may even be good for you (though I don’t have any research to back this up). The rare splurge is not going to make or break you. But there’s nothing worse than a splurge that you can’t enjoy. And you’ll just feel worse about the splurge if your everyday habits are pushing you to the brink as is.

You won’t fully enjoy the fancy vacation if you’re worrying about all the other small to medium vacations weighing on your credit card. You won’t fully enjoy a decadent meal if your current diet is already making you gain weight and become lethargic.

When you have everything in order, the splurge just tastes amazing, because you aren’t having it with a side of guilt.

How do you afford your splurges?

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Lisa

An attorney striving to convert money into a meaningful life.

5 thoughts on “On Treating Yo’Self: How to Splurge Without Guilt”

    1. Haha I should have used that gif in the post – but I was definitely thinking of it!

      Yes, it totally makes sense to pace yourself so you can feel like you earn the splurge. Thanks for visiting!

  1. Love this! Baseline for wiggle room is the key – all the envy eyes and jealous grim when I buy premium goods, they didn’t see the part where I glue my 3-yr shoe to give it another year of wear.

    1. Gluing your 3-year shoe together – I love it! I hate waste. And if that translates to enough savings to buy premium goods, all the better. Thanks for visiting!

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