life's too short for bad coffee

Life’s Too Short for Crappy Stuff

Life’s too short for crappy stuff. So go ahead. Buy the more expensive cup of coffee. Splurge a little. It’s good for you.

This may fly in the face of all conventional personal finance wisdom, but I’m here to say that splurging is okay. Splurging within budget is totally acceptable. In fact, it should be highly encouraged.

I wrote a few months ago about why splurging and binging are actually good for both your wallet and your waistlineI totally believe that when done the right way in a controlled environment, splurging can be a healthy release. It can actually curb cravings and make you feel good in the long-haul.

And – as counterintuitive as it sounds – splurging can actually be good for your budget. One of my strategies for paying off nearly $35,000 in student loans was prioritizing and cutting back. But even then, I made a conscious decision to splurge on certain areas in my life while still sticking to a budget.

There were times when I lived in self-imposed poverty just to save money. I wouldn’t allow myself any new clothes for months, I would opt out of fun activities with friends just so I could hold onto my cash, and I would consistently buy the cheapest things at restaurants and the grocery store.

I was saving money and completely miserable.

life's too short for crappy stuff

After a few months of bland, crappy living, I knew I needed a change. I took a hard look at my budget and revised my strategy: I would allow myself to splurge in a few strategic areas (like delicious and healthy food) and I would still ruthlessly cut back on the rest of my life. I stopped buying “cheap” and focused on quality.

And you know what? I was still pretty much within budget. But more importantly, I was happier.

I realized that life’s too short to withhold the everyday joys. Life’s too damn short for crappy stuff. And splurging is totally okay.

I asked you all on Facebook to share some of your favorite, affordable splurges. Here’s what you shared (and I’ve added a few of my own):

Life’s Too Short for…

1. A Crappy Work-Life Balance.

A few months ago, my work-life balance sucked. As I invested my energy into projects at work, my personal life and health was crumbling. To add insult to injury, I did a quick calculation of my real hourly wage and quickly realized that I wasn’t earning as much as I’d thought.

Whatever you’re earning, a crappy work-life balance is never worth it. Your time is the most valuable resource you have – and it’s finite. Use it wisely and try your best to remove yourself from unnecessary work obligations and stress. Say no to meetings, take time time off when you need it, leave the office early and fill your waking hours with meaningful relationships that matter.

2. Shitty Coffee.

life's too short for bad coffee

For me, there are few better feelings in the world than waking up on a Sunday morning, brewing a comforting cup-of-joe, and enjoying every last drop while relaxing on the couch with a nice book. And there are few worse feelings in the world than needing some strong coffee to wake yourself up at work, only to find that the watered-down brew served at the office not only tastes terribly bitter, but it barely has any caffeine.

Don’t drink it. It’s not worth it. Leave the office and go buy a good cup of coffee for $2. It will make your morning infinitely better. Life is way too short to spend a morning grumpy and tired with a shitty cup of coffee.

3. Unpainted Nails.

A lot of lovely lady readers said they splurge on two specific areas in life: toenails and fingernails :) There’s no other more universally acceptable splurge than a good mani-pedi. For a $20 Groupon, you can get professionally painted nails, a foot massage and the feeling that you are a pampered princess. When I don’t have time for a trip to the nail salon and I need a little pick me up, I’ll even just walk to the drugstore to buy a new bottle of nail polish for a few bucks.

4. Frustrating Subscription Services.

When I asked you on Facebook to tell me about your affordable splurges, Kim B. mentioned her Premium Spotify Subscription. I’m the first to admit that I’m a cheapskate when it comes to subscriptions. I use the free trial of almost everything I have, including Spotify – and I’m consistently frustrated that I don’t have the flexibility that comes with a better subscription. If you use a subscription service like Dropbox, Spotify or Hulu and an upgrade would significantly improve your life, then $9.99 a month would be totally worth it.

5. Debt.

This might seem counterintuitive – can’t a credit card actually buy you a few extra splurges? Debt (and the monthly payment that comes with it) can actually harm your ability to enjoy everyday life. It can create tons of financial stress and  shrink your cash flow – money that could go toward other fun splurges :)

6. Not Making the Most of What You’ve Got.

I’m 26-years-old. That means I have about 50-60 years left to live. That’s about 400,000-500,000 hours. And that’s a finite amount of time and I better treat each of those hours with intention and love. Take a moment and calculate the hours you have. How will you spend each and with whom? Are you making the most of what you’ve got?

Life’s too short for grudges, anger, resentment and unhappiness. Life needs happiness, optimism and hope.

Appreciate each moment. Take hold of each hour like it’s your last. Connect with others and be full of love.

And don’t forget to splurge a little.

Image: Let’s Graph

5 thoughts on “Life’s Too Short for Crappy Stuff

  1. Money Beagle

    I agree and disagree with your approach on coffee. After a while, I refused to drink the garbage that work provides for free. But, I won’t pay $2 per cup, either. What I did was find an old coffee maker around the house that was not being used, take it to work, make sure it was OK to plug in the kitchen area, and I make my own coffee, bringing in my own coffee from home (I actually buy the pre-ground French Roast at Costco, $10 for a huge can and it’s good). I also buy my own half and half and bring that in. It probably costs me $0.10 or so per cup, and it’s really good coffee. Best of both worlds!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Halligan Post author

      Great point. I should clarify that if you’re in need of a SECOND cup of coffee during the work day, it’s worth leaving the office for a good cup-of-joe. But making it yourself is a win-win!

      My favorite cups of coffee are the ones brewed at home. But I also would have to argue against buying bulk, pre-ground coffee. To me, it’s worth buying the whole beans from a good fair-trade source and grounding them myself. Maybe more pricy, but I think it’s fresher and tastes noticeably different.

      But I’m splitting hairs here :)

      Reply
  2. Lynette

    I loved the article and I agree 100%!!!!! I’ve given up the gym membership, premium cable, magazine subscriptions and stretch my hair coloring from every six weeks to ten weeks. But I refuse to give up my SKII skin care products!

    Reply
    1. Valerie Rind

      I took a 75% reduction in salary when I took a 2-year break from a high paying job to work in another field. You can imagine that it was a dramatic change in lifestyle. Like Lynette, I wouldn’t give up my expensive hair coloring and cuts — just stretched out the time in between appointments. You just feel so much better about yourself when your hair looks good!

      Reply

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