When it comes to saving and spending money, it’s easy to assume that you have to always tell yourself no. But an attitude of deprivation can feel draining–and may be hard to stick to long-term. Plus, it may not even be necessary!
To get the most happiness and budget-savvy bang for your buck, focus your spending on things that can help you save over the long run. Yes, you might have to outlay cash upfront, but over time, these purchases can help you cut down on spends that add up… and don’t necessarily make you happy. These guilt-free splurges can boost your joy and your bank balance.
1) High-quality spices and condiments
A couple of flavorful ingredients will take your home-cooked meals from meh to amazing… and may inspire you to cook more instead of ordering takeout again.
2) Sleek food storage containers
Replace the random assortment of tops and storage containers currently taking up space in your drawer with a matching glass set, and bringing your lunch to work will become more enticing.
3) Office snacks you’re excited to eat
Sure, pre-packaged snacks are pricier than apples. But if they help you avoid a 3 pm snack run, they’ll be worth it financially.
4) Mixers to elevate your homemade cocktail game
Who needs a $14 cocktail when you can whip up something delicious at home?
5) Tools for an amazing homemade latte
If you’re java obsessed, it may make sense to buy some gear — a coffee grinder, a milk frother, simple syrups — to allow you to make your own coffee drinks at home.
6) A cleaning service
An entire Saturday afternoon where it’s you versus the grout can be overwhelming — and can seriously cloud your weekend outlook. But outsourcing chores (if it fits into your budget) can buy you time, which may lead to happiness. It can also lead to cash. For example, what if you use the found time to work on your side hustle?
7) Movie tickets for a future show
Research finds that anticipation is one way we enjoy savoring experiences. Not only can buying movie tickets right now potentially save you money with some savvy Groupon and bargain shopping, but having a plan on the calendar can make you feel motivated and excited throughout the week.
8) A fun board game
Who needs a night out at the bar when you’ve got friends and a game of Trivial Pursuit to keep you up all night long?
9) A sleek water bottle
Not only might it elevate your daily work hydration from eh to awesome — but it will stop you from buying an overpriced bottle when you’re parched.
10) Essential oils
Add a couple of drop to generic (or even DIY) shampoo, conditioner, candles, or cleaning products to make your products, your body, and your home smell high-end for a fraction of the cost.
11) A cool tote bag
Bye bye, five-cent plastic bag surcharge.
12) A chic, no-spill reusable coffee cup
Many coffee spots offer discounts for customers who bring in their own mugs.
13) Photo frames
Grab a stack of these at a discount store or when you find them on sale. Then, when you have a last-minute gift to give (or a party on your cal you forgot about), you can simply print off a photo and slide it in for a simple, thoughtful, and inexpensive gift.
14) A buzzy bestselling book
Staying home to curl up on the couch reading is pretty much always cheaper than happy hour.
The smell transports you to summer ASAP. Plus, having a healthy supply now means you won’t have to pay an upcharge once you head on summer vacation.