Did you know that June 18 is National Splurge Day? I kid you not. It's the one day of the year when it's officially OK to pull out all the stops and indulge yourself, assuming that that's not already your standard operating procedure when it comes to spending money the other 364 days of the year.
As America's Cheapest Man, I'm sometimes asked if I ever splurge and buy something. In fact, I've been asked the question often enough (the answer to which is a resounding "YES!") that for one of my books I decided to poll hundreds of my fellow cheapskates about the issue. Their answer - a bit of a surprise even to me - was that virtually 100 percent of the frugal folks I polled said they splurge on things from time to time. It's good to know that even cheapskates can celebrate National Splurge Day, a truly universal, nondiscriminatory holiday.
When cheapskate's splurge, they do so selectively and deliberately, following these three golden rules of splurging cheapskate-style:
1. Splurge Guilt-Free: "If I know I that I can't afford it, how can I really enjoy it?" This is a common sentiment expressed by cheapskates, which is why even when they splurge they make sure that they can truly afford to pay for it before they pull the spending trigger. Sometimes they will set aside a special "mad money" account to fund their guilt-free indulgences. After all, where's the joy in splurging on something you'll be paying off on your charge cards for years to come?
2. Splurge without Regrets: Even though a splurge, by definition, is something you really don't need but simply something you desperately want, that doesn't mean it should be something that you'll later regret. Check out these tips for preventing buyer's remorse whether you're shopping on National Splurge Day or any other day of the year.
3. Splurge on Experiences, NOT More Stuff: In my cheapskate poll, by a margin of more than 10 to 1 respondents said that when they do splurge, they tend to splurge on experiences - like travel or celebrations with family - rather than on material objects. Social scientists agree that experiences, even ones that don't cost a fortune, tend to result in greater happiness than simply acquiring more stuff.
Enjoy National Splurge Day, but remember to Stay Cheap!