There’s a time for everything; a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to keep and a time to throw away, and there’s even a time to save and a time to splurge!

One secret to knowing when to splurge is when you have been saving. Our current consumer market, where low quality is offered for higher prices, makes it easier than you might think to save and splurge at the same time.

Here are four instances where it can be OK to splurge and treat yourself, but without breaking the bank!

1. When it’s time to eat. A butcher I once knew was commonly heard proclaiming that “good meat ain’t cheap, and cheap meat ain’t good.” Cut back on fast food for lunch every day, and, instead, pack your lunch. You can use the savings to treat yourself to quality produce at your local farmers’ market, or some yummy deli breads, meats and cheeses. If you love eating out, consider splurging on lunch at a fancy restaurant instead of eating there for dinner. The food will be just as good and shouldn’t cost you as much. Splurge on the meal and save on the drinks by ordering water and saying no to dessert. That enables you to buy the choicest steak or most delicious fish, if that’s what you love. 

2. When it’s time for your morning coffee ritual.  Consider saving money by not ordering your daily latte at your favorite coffee establishment. Splurge on high quality coffee in bulk and brew it at home yourself.  Many grocery stores offer high-quality coffee. If you truly are daring, consider treating yourself by ordering gourmet coffee and espresso beans that come from high quality roasters that will ship fresh beans to your house. Consider: Getting high-quality beans delivered from Starbucks to your house for a year costs $288, versus the $960 you spend if you buy a $4 drink every day.

3.  When it’s time for clothes shopping. Most people fall into one of two categories: People who like to shop for clothes and those who don’t. But the hard reality is that even if you don’t like shopping for clothes, you still need to do it, because you don’t want people looking at you funny when you leave the house. Instead of buying a large selection of cheap clothes, which need to be replaced quickly, splurge on a smaller collection of quality clothes that easily mix and match and will last for years. Save money by shopping at discount fashion retailers such as Nordstrom Rack or Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, and look for natural fabrics, reinforced seams and judge by your touch. Even better, you may consider buying gently worn quality clothing online at sites such as eBay or your local consignment shop.

4.  When it’s time for vacation. Money can’t buy long term happiness, but it sure can buy a vacation. Go ahead and splurge a little on vacation, but consider saving a little money by vacationing off-season. If you research carefully, you can find some great getaway packages by traveling off-season.  If you can’t vacation off-season, consider saving money by renting a condo or apartment instead of paying for a fancy resort room. If you want to save even more, consider vacationing with a larger group of family or friends. By spreading the cost among a few families, a condo, house, or cabin at your favorite beach, mountain or vacation spot can be a win-win situation for everyone. You work extremely hard for your money but I think it’s OK to splurge a little on family fun because the memories you will create will be priceless and lifelong!

To develop a financial plan that helps you acquire good saving and splurging habits, consider working with a CFP® professional.