How to Save Cash on Common Splurges

September 01, 2016 : Kathy Cano-Murillo

We all have guilty pleasures – personal luxuries that make life sweet. But what about when you’re committed to saving money? Where do these little extras rank in priority?

Think of them as if you were on a healthy eating plan. Just because you focus on your finances doesn’t mean you have to go cold turkey when it comes to shopping or other splurges. In fact, cutting out the simple pleasures that make you happy could stress you out, which isn’t helpful.

When it comes to money and daily life – relax, you don’t have to cut out all things decadent, just find a new perspective. These are the guidelines I use when I’m working on building my balance. They work for me and I hope they do the same for you!

1. Coffee drinks.

Coffee gives me LIFE. Especially strong, bold coffee from a local shop. The automatic drip in my kitchen just wasn’t cutting it. But after spending $3 to 4 a day at a java house, plus gas and time waiting in line, I changed the plan. I went to the grocery store and using a coupon and the store’s member discount, and bought boxes of Starbucks VIA packs. You can taste test other brands, even mix and match them. I also bought my favorite flavor of sweetener, and a special mug and glass (because I go back and forth between ice and hot). Instead of $3 to $4 a day for my drink, I now have it down to $0.60, and it’s delicious!

2. Facial treatments.

I slowed the frequency of facial treatments and the use of high-end beauty products and switched to DIY versions. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Put a damp scrub towel in a baggie in the freezer for 30 minutes, then I lie down and place it over my face. It’s so refreshing and cooling!
  • I also make my own eye bags from fabric and rice. I place a drop of lavender essential oil to give an extra boost of relaxation.
  • Create a tingly face spray by filling a new spray mist bottle with distilled water, and a few drops of essential oil.
  • Create your own foot scrub using brown sugar and mint essential oil.

3. Create and pre-pack lunches.

Visit Pinterest to score tasty and creative ideas for eating on the go. You don’t have to settle for a boring tuna sandwich. Packing lunches has become an art form these days. You’ll be surprised at how delicious you can eat on the cheap. All it takes is some pre-planning. Even if you work from home, set up four to five small food containers and prep your meals ahead of time, then store them in the fridge. You can even partner with co-workers to do lunch swaps. This will cut down on going out to eat and paying triple for what you can make at home!

4. Thrift stores for the win!

Does your home need a pick-me-up? There are easy, low-cost ways to liven up the mood. Pick up a lamp, a sturdy wood chair, or assorted frames and spray them to match. You can paint them solid colors or use stencils or masking tape to add designs.

5. Online streaming services.

If you really want to curb your spending, ditch the cable box and join one of the many streaming services that not only offer mainstream television shows and music, but original programming as well. Host a viewing party in your living room instead of paying money to see a movie in the theater. Granted, some movies you know are worth seeing on the big screen, but many of them are just as riveting on your home TV.

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

Kathy Cano-Murillo

Guest Contributor

Kathy Cano-Murillo is an author, artist & founder of the award-winning site, CraftyChica.com. She loves to spread the gospel of glitter – literally through her DIY projects and figuratively through her speeches, workshops, books, and essays. A former reporter for The Arizona Republic, she is now a full-time creativepreneur.