By Debbie Anderson
You’ve been great about saving and not going on a spending spree. But every now and then, it’d be nice to loosen the budget belt a little, don’t you think?
You should, it’s healthy. In fact, some experts say that splurging or spending freely on something you don’t need can be good for you. Financial expert Kyle Winkfield put it this way:
“When you splurge responsibly, it’s like a successful diet with built-in cheat days. With any great budget that’s successful, you build in a splurge. It’s your cheat day.”
So, can you cheat with a splurge and not blow your budget completely? If you plan for the splurge with a “fun money” account and stay within your budget limits, it’s doable. Everyone has the urge to splurge, especially as the holidays approach.
Nevertheless, smart spending is still within your grasp. Read on to find out how to splurge on a budget.
USE CREDIT CARD REWARDS
Using the money you’ve already spent to buy a little something extra is genius. “If your credit card offers rewards, check your statement and add up the available rewards points,” said Kevin Gallegos, vice president of sales and Phoenix operations for Freedom Financial Network. “Visit the rewards website, your splurge area, to see what you can get by converting rewards into gifts, cash or gift cards.”
People with cash-back credit cards typically earn about $25 a month in rewards, estimated one 2010 study. And if you use your card for reimbursed business travel and expenses, you might earn a nice-sized reward for your purchases.
Especially nice are the cards that offer discounts to your favorite stores, like Chase’s Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card. It rewards you 3 percent cash back at Amazon.com. Redeem your points, and you can fund some holiday shopping and pick up a little something extra for yourself, too.