It isn’t any secret that America has a debt problem. According to a Business and Money article from Time, the problem is only getting worse. In fact, “overall consumer debt is higher than it has been since 2011.” Furthermore, our “debt is rising at rapid levels.” While some of this debt includes mortgages and student loans, another portion of it is credit card debt. As someone who used to have credit card debt, I have vowed to never fall back into the debt trap. For this reason, excessive spending isn’t in my budget. However, this doesn’t mean that my family and I go without little luxuries. Here are a few ways I am able to splurge on a tight budget.
I frequently enter contests on social media and in magazines. I’m very careful to only give my information to reputable, well-known establishments and I never enter contests where my information is sold to other companies. If you are careful, you can win some great prizes without spending a dime. While I have never won a car, I have won a nice purse, designer jeans, countless high-end beauty products and gift cards to restaurants. This enables my family to enjoy dinner out. In addition, I am able to use nice moisturizers and hair products that I can’t always afford.
Taking Advantage of Freebies
I take advantage of plenty of free offers. Some companies offer free food on tax day and Earth Day. During my birthday month, I sign up for as many free things as possible. As a result, I receive birthday gifts such as mascara and $10-$15 gift cards for retail stores. This enables me to buy clothing I typically wouldn’t purchase. Likewise by signing up for programs, such as the Sephora Beauty Insider Club, I receive a beauty gift each year during my birthday month. I also take advantage of coupons for complimentary coffee, ice cream and meals. In addition, I sign my children up for Kid Clubs. This way, in addition to their presents from friends and family, they receive some special surprises in the mail.
For Special Occasions Only
There are times when I will save up so I can splurge for special occasions. We might save up for a day trip to Disneyland for our children’s birthday. Another time I like to go all out is for my wedding anniversary. I never spend more than I can afford. However, for anniversaries, birthdays or special celebrations, I know spending an extra $100 is not going to kill my budget.
For me, extravagance doesn’t doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
More from this contributor:
First Person: I’m Taking Advantage of Free Items for My Birthday
First Person: Budgeting Was Easy Before the Kids
First Person: I Live in the One of the Worst States for Retirees … But I’m Planning to Stay