Woman traveler with a backpack reading a map in a market in Singapore

The urge to splurge has officially arrived! Our survey says nearly half of Americans are willing to go into debt to treat themselves — and it’s not a totally crazy idea. Ideally, money is meant for more than necessities, but it can be challenging to strike a balance between fun purchases and smart money decisions.

 

Is there something irresistible that you’re willing to go into debt for? Wondering how you can embrace a healthy, guilt-free spending mentality? If you’re looking to find a happy medium, you’ve come to the right place.

 

 

People Crave Exciting Experiences and Entertaining Products

The top two items people plan to spend money on — and maybe even go into debt over — are travel and out-of-home entertainment. If you’ve been cooped up at home, you might be itching to fly to a country you’ve never visited. Or maybe you decide to rally the whole family for an activity-filled week at an amusement park.

Whatever expenditure you’ve had top of mind, whether it’s a wardrobe revamp or a hot tub for your backyard, could be making you feel as though you’re at odds with your money-saving side. But the occasional splurge can help you relax and indulge in things that put a smile on your face.

Develop Healthy Spending Habits to Treat Yourself

Building the right spending mentality can help keep you in control of your finances. Start by fostering these habits:

Splurge on Your Long-Term Wants

If there’s something you’ve wanted to do for a while (like a spa day or seeing your favorite band perform live), it’s probably worthy of a splurge. Focusing on your long-term wants will help you resist fleeting impulse purchases that can give you buyer’s remorse. One way you can stay accountable is write down your splurge ideas when they come to mind. If you still want to make that purchase in a month, put a plan together to make it yours. The savings buckets in an Ally Bank Online Savings Account can help you organize your money and visualize what you’re saving for.

Recognize the Value You’re Getting

When you buy a new suit or pay for a nice hotel, you’re getting more than just the item. A chic suit might boost your confidence during your next job interview, while that prime-location hotel might give you more time at the beach during your next vacation. Non-monetary value plays a role in evaluating whether your purchase is worthwhile.

Keep Track of Your Expenses

Spending extra money at an all-inclusive resort might be feasible, but buying a new car at the same time could put a dent in your finances. To avoid unwanted financial situations, find a budget that matches your lifestyle, and outline how much you’re willing to spend on your “wants.” By keeping track of the numbers, you can determine which feel-good splurge fits within your spending plan.

Enjoy Your Purchase

Once you’ve decided to treat yourself, enjoy it! By buying items that make sense with your budget, there’s no need to second guess your choices.

Some Debt Can Benefit Your Overall Financial Picture

Debt can feel like a four-letter word but the truth is, debt can be a valuable tool in building long-term wealth. Take a look at these three examples of good debt:

Mortgages

For many, home ownership would be impossible without a mortgage. But even if you have the cash available, it can be prudent to take out a loan instead. Getting a mortgage loan to fund your home purchase gives you space to invest your savings rather than tie them up in a single asset.  In fact, it may be beneficial to take on a mortgage and give your cash time to grow.

Student Loans

Student loans are an investment in your personal education and career. Many people are able to secure a higher salary after they graduate, so if you’re thinking about starting college or getting another degree, it could pay off.

Home Repairs

Taking on debt for home repairs could help you get more money when you sell. For example, let’s say you want to install granite countertops and new appliances in the kitchen, but to get the job done, you have to take out a $15,000 loan. After the remodel, after you remodel, your home value could increase — and you have a new kitchen to enjoy.

Plan But Stay Present

While it’s important to plan, save and invest, don’t forget to spend some hard-earned money on yourself and the things that will help you enjoy the chapter of life you find yourself in today. Remember, your “wants” aren’t a bad thing. By embracing a healthy spending mindset, these purchases can bring you joy while you keep building toward your future.

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