Congratulations. You've been following a debt reduction plan, paying off your credit cards, and staying on a budget. Now you need a break - but being the thrifty spender you are, you find yourself wondering, "How can I indulge without breaking my budget?" There are a number of fun things you can do that may feel like a budget break, but are at least 99% guilt free.
One of the best holidays to take can also be one of the cheapest if you do it right. Rent a cottage or beach house with four or five friends and you can have a week at the beach for under $200. If you buy your own groceries and bring your own alcohol, you can save a fortune compared to staying and dining in a large, expensive hotel. Have picnics on the sand and barbeques at sunset and you won't even remember why you wanted to stay at a fancy resort.
Are you just itching for some Tommy Hilfiger or Calvin Klein? Perhaps you think it's important to be seen carrying a name brand accessory. Don't head to the mall - head to a high-end consignment store instead. These stores have only upscale merchandise that's either designer vintage or gently used. Savings can be quite dramatic. Imagine being able to purchase $200 pair of Hudson Jeans for $40 or a Coach purse for less than $50. Those are the kinds of deals you can expect at these stores. There are similar deals on great clothes and accessories for both men and women. Visiting consignments shops is a great day to take a holiday from your budget without breaking the bank.
If it's been a long time since you had a good steak and even longer since you indulged in some lobster, then it may be time to take a break from the budget and treated yourself to a delightful dinner. However, at $25 or more per entre, fine dining is usually out of price range for a thrifty budgeter. You may be surprised to learn that many of the finer dining establishments sign up with those coupon books or put coupons in local papers. Often it's a two-for-one deal, so you can bring a friend and split the bill. It may feel a little tacky to pull out the coupon upon payment, but hey, you just had a fab dinner and didn't break the bank, so what's wrong with that? One tip to keep in mind, however: Although this is a great tip for an established relationship or a dinner with a friend, it's not the best form to pull out the coupons on a first date.
Staying on budget is tough and it requires a great deal of sacrifice and control. Every once in a while you need to splurge, just to keep yourself sane. The trick is to not let your splurge blow the budget. There are plenty of ways to get the feeling of a spree without paying the price. If you're careful, you don't kill your debt reduction plan.