Ah, life on a budget. While living life on a budget is a necessity, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every now and then. We all have guilty pleasures. However, some of us have guilty pleasures that hurt our budget big time. If you haven’t mastered living life on a budget because you indulge your guilty pleasures too often, check out 5 guilty pleasures hurting your budget. Once you know these things aren’t doing you any favors, you can make some changes.
What is a guilty pleasure?
Before we dive into the certain guilty pleasures hurting your budget, let’s discuss what a guilty pleasure actually is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a guilty pleasure is “something pleasurable that induces a usually minor feeling of guilt.” That’s pretty vague! Basically, a guilty pleasure for you could be anything you spend money on that you shouldn’t, or something you do, watch or listen to that brings up a feeling of shame.
Examples of guilty pleasures:
- Ordering more food when you aren’t hungry
- Buying magazines that don’t get read
- Treating yourself to flowers
- Paying for movies on-demand when you can rent them for cheap
- Buying the same thing in multiple colors
- Purchasing credits for cell phone games
Guilty pleasures hurting your budget
While there is nothing wrong with indulging your guilty pleasures every now and then, when they start hurting your budget, there’s a problem. If you indulge in any of the guilty pleasures below on a regular or frequent basis, your budget may be feeling it.
#1 Weekly salon visits
All women want to look presentable and take care of themselves, but there is a way to take it to the next level. If you visit the hair salon, nail salon, or any other salon on a weekly basis, you may be spending a lot more than you should on your guilty pleasure. Is there a way you can go every other week and handle yourself on the off weeks? Maybe you can ask for a frequent customer discount to help cover the costs?
#2 Daily coffee shop runs
I love a good coffee as much as the next working woman, but I know how quickly those coffees can add up. Try making your own coffee at home so you don’t have to go to a coffee shop. There are plenty of ways you can make a delicious coffee on your own that doesn’t require visiting a coffee shop. Cut back, then treat yourself to the coffee shop on the weekends!
#3 Eating out all the time
Just like coffee can add up, so can dining out all the time. Whether you are buying fast food or doing sit-down dinners, the extra money on food can kill your budget. Start researching easy recipes you can make at home to avoid going out to eat. Make enough to pack your lunches for work. Meal prepping can save you a lot of time and money!
#4 Buying books or magazines
Another guilty pleasure that I indulge in more than I should is buying books or magazines. I’ve cut out my magazine shopping, but I still can’t resist a nice, new book. The key is moderation. If books and magazines are your guilty pleasure, go read magazines at the local library. You can also check out books instead of buying them. If you really want it after you read it, then find it used for half the price.
#5 Happy hours every night
After a long day at work, $2 margaritas always sound like a good idea. While those margaritas help wipe the day away, they hurt your bank account and your waist line! Skip the daily happy hours and limit yourself to Fridays. You can save some serious cash by cutting back on the multiple happy hours throughout the week.
Need some ideas to help you cut back and save money on other guilty pleasures? Download the free 40 Ways to Cut Back cheat sheet!
Factor guilty pleasures into your budget
I do not believe in cutting out the things you love completely from your budget. However, I do believe the trick to success is moderation. Guilty pleasures don’t always make you feel good, especially when you know you can’t afford them. Instead, find a way to factor your guilty pleasures into your budget.
Think wisely about it
When trying to factor guilty pleasures into your budget, think about certain things you can cut back or cut out to make room for the things you really enjoy. Can you find an extra $25 a month that doesn’t need to be spent on groceries? How about you take public transportation instead of driving? Finding extra ways to save in your current budget can help make more room for your guilty pleasures.
Maybe you can’t afford to visit the salon every week, based on your income, but you can afford it once a month. Make sure you have it included in your budget and take advantage of it once a month. It’s not going to be fun to sacrifice, but it will help you reach your financial goals. Not to mention, when you are where you want to be with your finances, you can always reassess your budget and up your guilty pleasure timeframe.
Remember the end goal
When you are assessing your budget and thinking about your guilty pleasures, remember why you shouldn’t overindulge yourself. You have moves you want to make. If that means skipping the coffee runs until you reach your goal savings amount, so be it. It’s worth it, trust me.
What guilty pleasures do you have? How do you make room for those things in your budget? Share what works for you by leaving a comment below!
The CGS Team