Live a Little – Splurge!
We are all so tired of worrying. We’re sick of watching our pennies. We have an emergency fund, we pay into our 401(k). It feels forever since we did something fun or gave ourselves a treat. As the pandemic winds down, surely, we deserve to splurge a bit.
The guilty is almost instantaneous. The doomsday-mind set of lockdowns, isolation, and kids stuck in the house has robbed us of feeling good. It’s going to take a second before we get comfortable doing something for ourselves.
Now’s the time to get out of the frugality funk.
No one is saying you should blow out your credit cards or take out a loan on a Ferrari. A simple splurge strategy is threefold:
- Know how much you can spend
- Spend your money where you spend your time
- Enjoy your choices – no regrets
The real secret to a good splurge is to make it memorable but realistic. The second is to live happily with the choice. That covers items 2 and 3, but it’s item 1 that makes them possible. Give yourself an allowance and stick to it. If you want to offset guilt, give some percentage of the splurge fund to charity.
Just so we’re clear, a splurge is for fun. It’s not paying off your student loans or getting caught up on bills. If those things are your idea of fun – you’ve been in lockdown too long.
Where You Spend Your Time
Splurge on the things that already interest you. If you’re a foodie, don’t just buy that baby blue KitchenAid Mixer. Sign up for cooking lessons. The Chef & The Dish offers private cooking classes from chefs around the world.
Missed going to the theatre? They’re slowly coming back up, so order the best seats in the house. If you have the cash, invest in production and become a patron of the arts. If travel is your thing, why not splurge on first-class tickets for your next trip. Look for a 5-star luxury hotel with a Michelin-Star restaurant at insane rates.
The point is to fund what you’re interested in. We all have things we’ve dreamed of doing or buying but never did. The best splurge knocks something off your bucket list. You’ll never forget it.
10 Big Ways to Splurge
When you come into a windfall, the money people will tell you to save it or invest it. They never say to have fun with it. We’ve written about doing just that, but there’s a benefit to the occasional splurge. A splurge shouldn’t break you, but it will recharge you. Be aware that some fun things can also have investment value. Think about jewelry, art, and antiques.
Here are some of our ideas to help you blow some money and blow off steam. What’s on your bucket list?
(To clarify, we’re not affiliated with any of the links below.)
1. Thinking About Travel?
We love the Safari Collection that includes Giraffe Manor in Africa. No hunting is allowed, just lots of options for experiencing African wildlife. The boutique hotel has a resident herd of giraffes who wander the grounds at will. Instagram is full of pictures of giraffes getting fed off balconies.
The price varies, depending on the safari adventure you choose. But expect a minimum of $6000+ per person plus the cost of airfare. Not a cheap date but beyond memorable.
2. Planet Friendly Bikers
Electricity isn’t just for cars anymore. Electric motorcycles are the next big thing. They’re fast, tough, and definitely not sissified. The Brutus V9 has a top speed of 115 mph. The V9 has a range of up to 250 miles on a single charge, with a 125 HP electric motor and 277 ft-lbs. of torque.
There is no pricing provided for the Brutus V9 or any of the models in their line. They do a custom build for each order, so expect to drop some dough. Estimates suggest the bikes run around $30,000. Serious splurge
3. Sleep Tight
If you’re struggling to sleep at night, it’s time to splurge on a new mattress. There are tons of them out there, but we really like the Wink Bed for people with back pain. We like it even if your back is perfectly fine. It was NYT’s #1 innerspring mattress in 2020, receiving twice as many votes as the next runner-up.
Each coil is individually wrapped, there is extra edge support. The pillow top is made of gel-infused foam – almost feels fluffy, but without sacrificing support. Considering the quality, the pricing is very competitive. Expect to spend between $1300 – $1600 for a great night’s sleep.
4. Buy Booze
Are you a drinker or a collector is the first question to answer before you splurge. If you buy it to drink it, there are lots of fabulous options. Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch runs around $150 a bottle. For burgundy aficionados, a bottle of Domaine Michel Noellat et Fils Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2016 costs $200. More of a tequila type? Buy a bottle of Gran Patron Platinum at about the same price.
If you’re considering alcohol as a collector, there’s money to be made in whisky and scotch. Hard to find bottles from closed companies are highly desirable. The age of the product matters too. Liquor is a long-term investment but hunting down the bottles is what fuels the passion. Many “investors” never get around to selling their collections.
5. Skip Starbucks
Need your morning latte and sick of waiting in the drive-through to get it. Get a barista-quality coffee machine on your counter. Some automatic models provide bean-to-cup-expresso, cappuccino, and lattes. That means the whole process – from grinding to brewing to frothing – is covered.
Take a look at Breville’s Oracle Automatic Expresso machine. It’s like having your own coffee shop, except the coffee is always just how you want it.
Breville sells expresso machines on their website. The Oracle costs $1995. The aroma in the morning alone is worth the splurge.
6. Get Fit
How many days have you skipped going to the gym? The gym which automatically pulls a monthly fee from your bank account. Mirror brings the gym to you.
Mirror offers trainer-led workouts, with a group class feel right in your home. Yes, it’s an actual mirror where you can watch yourself and the trainer while you work out. You can take Pilates, aerobics, yoga, and strength training. For an extra fee, join premium classes or buy an individual session with a personal trainer.
Mirror currently costs $1495, with a monthly subscription fee of $39. It is Bluetooth-enabled and comes with an app. The delivery and installation are free. Try it for 30 days and if it’s not for you, they pick it up and return your money. This is super cool technology for busy people who work at staying in shape.
This is a splurge that’s guaranteed to get you off the couch. No more excuses.
7. Stream On
Compared to our other splurges, this favorite is a cheap date. We’re onboard with HBO Max. It’s the Max that makes it so worthwhile.
The platform has all the classic HBO shows and other TV classics. The real difference is HBO Max has partnered with DC’s Extended Universe and Warner Films. They debut films, like Wonder Woman 1984, the same day the features open in the theatre.
HBO Max is just $14.99 a month with no contract. Compare that to the cost of adding HBO to your cable service. This is the cheapest splurge we found that’s worth 10x the price.
Some men love watches the way women love shoes. These timepieces are timeless – guaranteed to garner some serious wrist envy. Breguet, one of the oldest watchmakers still in production, sells Swiss watches starting at $6000 and got to $400,000.
Blancpain is another watchmaker in a similar price range. What makes them unique is scarcity. The timepieces are crafted by a single watchmaker – producing only 30 timepieces a year. Rolex, on the other hand, makes around 2000 watches a day.
Roger Dubuis is a Swiss watchmaker who also does smaller, custom runs. The quality of their craftsmanship makes their watches collectibles. The Millesime Double Flying Tourbillon had a run of only 88 pieces and sold for $263,000. Built by Dubuis himself, it’s billed as one of the most accurate timepieces ever made. No doubt it will increase in value over time. (No pun intended.)
Prefer a smartwatch? Check out this list of splurge-worthy digital timepieces.
9. Foodie ingredients
If you love to cook, there are legendary ingredients that all home chefs lust after. Let’s start with truffles.
Black truffles aren’t cheap at $95 an ounce, but they are available. White truffles are rare and hard to find. They grow for just three months in Italy’s Piedmont area. They get snapped up in a second for up to $168 an ounce. An unusually large 4.16-pound white truffle sold for over $60,000.
Saffron is another exotic and highly prized ingredient. The prices of the reddish-orange threads stack up against the cost of gold. Saffron is harvested by hand from crocus flowers. It takes 80,000 flowers to produce a pound. The is Spanish Coupe grade saffron which costs around $10 – 15 a gram (.07 of an ounce.)
Here’s how to tell the real thing from a fake.
Last, check out this balsamic vinegar, Aceto Balsamico Traditionale. Trebbiano grapes from Italy are pressed and boiled over an open fire. The mixture is aged for 25 years in wooden casks. The price for 100ml is around $180.
10. Hit the Beach
Beach vacations are perfect for rest and relaxation. After all the stress from the pandemic, the sun and surf are rejuvenating. Just not necessarily memorable…
Have you considered the black sand beaches of Iceland? Reynisfjara’s black sand beach is the result of lava spilling into the sea and cooling. The south coast is home to beautiful waterfalls, towering mountains, and the Silva Fissure. Not many people go to Iceland for the weather, but the experience is beyond extraordinary.
Maybe you’d rather scuba dive at The Great Blue hole in Belize? Located on the Lighthouse Reef, it’s the largest sinkhole in the world. Discovered in 1971, only recently did someone make it to the bottom. The crystal clear, pristine waters are a diver’s dream.
These beach getaways run between $7000 and $10,000 a night per person, not including airfare.
Visit Black Tomato to find your adventure.
When is Your Time to Splurge?
Most of the things we’ve come across have pretty hefty price tags. Some of us would have to sell our car to do one. Don’t sell your car – a splurge shouldn’t cause you stress. It’s supposed to be fun.
Get a pedicure. Go for a massage. Rent a paddleboat and go out on a lake. Buy the new refrigerator you keep looking at – that’s what this is about.
Take out a subscription to your local newspaper. Get some Bose headphones. Wander through the Smithsonian museums in DC – they’re free. Buy a piece of original art. There are so many ways to splurge on a budget.
It’s fun to look at exotic vacations and other expensive stuff, but what would make you happy? Stop dreaming about it – splurge!
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