Last year, when Ron and I were deep into the weeds of trying to get out of debt, we started making lists for ourselves–lists of what we would do when we finally had some financial breathing room. Our lists ranged from big goals (traveling, finishing our basement, building our savings account, making extra mortgage payments) to the little luxuries we would splurge on every month when every dollar wasn’t so precious. Nothing on our “little luxuries” list was all that expensive or glamorous (it ranged from things like being able to afford fancy cheese to going to the movies once a month), but they were all things we had cut to save money, and I really did miss them.
Last week when I went to the grocery store, I needed to buy hand soap for both the kitchen and the bathroom. I headed to the soap aisle and reached for the “10 bottles for $10” store brand soap I’ve been buying for the past year, and then stopped in my tracks. Because while there is nothing wrong with that less expensive soap (it kills germs and gets your hands clean, so who’s complaining?), I suddenly remembered that on one of my “little luxuries” lists I had said I would love to be able to buy fancy soap again once we were out of debt. And it hit me, that on this unremarkable Wednesday in the middle of the month, I could afford to do just that.
Let me clarify, that this “splurge” I’m talking about cost $4.89 a bottle- about $4 more than I usually would spend. That’s not a ton of money. But a year ago, that WAS a lot of money to us. And I needed to buy two bottles since for some odd reason our kitchen and bathroom soaps always run out at the EXACT same time (does this happen to anyone else? It’s uncanny), so I was really talking about adding close to $10 more to our grocery bill. But we could afford it, and it made me so stupidly happy to be able to go over to the organic section of the store and get two deliciously scented bottles of my favorite brand, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day. It’s great quality, we will use all of it, and I truly do love this product – in every way it meets my criteria for a worthy purchase.
We still haven’t achieved any of our big goals yet, and I know we can’t go nuts on little stuff, or we never will meet the big goals. It’s not our plan to suddenly start dropping tons of money on little luxuries all the time, but we are carefully allotting two or three of them every month, and when we do, I feel like a millionaire. And this time through, we talk about the splurge and weigh our options instead of just heedlessly spending like we did in the past. But it’s nice to know something so small can add such a big boost of happiness.
I’m curious – what’s on your “little luxuries” list?