How to Splurge on Life’s Little Indulgences (Without Feeling Guilty!)

This post is sponsored by #Shellcrowd, however, all opinions and obsession over brand name ice cream is 100% mine.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Most financial experts like to guilt you into giving up life's little indulgences, but this post is proof you can have your guilty pleasures and still rock a successful budget. These 3 rules keep my little indulgences from becoming major regrets, and still allow me to enjoy everything I love, guilt-free! #indulgence #splurging #guiltypleasure

Financial experts love to guilt you into giving up little indulgences.

Whether it’s a morning Starbucks run, a pint of your favorite ice cream, or a luxurious shampoo that costs a few dollars more than the watered down brand located on the shelf below, by the time you’ve actually “indulged”, you’ve quickly lost all the psychological benefits associated with that guilty pleasure in the first place.

Because now, you’re beating yourself up over how much Dave Ramsey would be disappointed in you.

And that’s no fun.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m most certainly not an advocate for spending what you don’t have. If you’ve been reading for any amount of time, you know that I write a lot about saving on the things that don’t matter so much, so you save towards something you really want in the future—like a long-awaited vacation, a new kitchen remodel, or paying off your mortgage early.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever embrace those little indulgences along the way. In fact, I would totally encourage you to! If not for the general happiness factor, then to keep you from a bigger, more impulsive purchase down the road.

We still have to maintain a healthy perspective though, {this post is not permission to go crazy!}, and I personally adopt 3 rules to keep my little indulgences from becoming major regrets. These rules fuel my love for Post-It notes, brand-name ice cream, and $1.99 eBook purchases. I know…..I like to live dangerously!

1. Give Yourself A Budget

Maybe it sounds like a copout, but a budget is pretty much my answer for everything. Look at it this way — when you have fun money set aside for no other purpose than to buy something you want, it completely erases the guilt you would experience otherwise!

The best part is, budgeting for the fun stuff doesn’t ever creep into any of your other, necessary, expenses either. The money is already there and accounted for — you just need to decide where and how to spend it. And while I know it might not sound like much, $5 a week can buy you a latte, gourmet cupcake, or a new nail polish color every 7 days without the guilt.

If you’re new to budgeting, you’ll want to work your way through my Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting series. This series will open your eyes to your current spending habits, and help you assign every dollar a job — including where to find cash to fund those little indulgences!

2. Creatively Fund Your Indulgence

If there isn’t any room in your budget for “fun money”, or you’d rather find another way to fund your little indulgence, there are lots of creative things you can do to add extra cash just for this purpose:

  • Gas Rewards — If you think you have to pay full price for gas, think again! One of my favorite reward programs {Spoiler: Fuel Rewards}, provides a ton of opportunities to save on every tank of gas, and those savings add up every month. You can then use those savings to put towards something you actually enjoy.

For a more detailed look at Fuel Rewards, head on over to this post, where I outline step-by-step all the benefits of signing up.


  • Ibotta Earnings — My all-time favorite money saving app is Ibotta — I even wrote a whole Ibotta app review  — and my favorite feature is the ability to turn my savings into real cash. You can then use that cash to directly fund the indulgence of your choosing…..again, without the guilt.
  • Household Clutter — I’ve been in a decluttering mode lately, so everything I purge either gets tossed in a garage sale box, listed on Craigslist, or posted in a Facebook Yard Sale Group. The best part is, you can earn cash from items that were previously collecting dust around the house, and trade them in for something you would enjoy or use even more. Plus, it’s just a good habit to get into anyway — you don’t want anyone to ever label you a hoarder!

Once you switch your mindset to one of, “if I save here, I can spend there“, it becomes much easier to find extra money for your little indulgence. You might just find you want to go on a saving {or decluttering} spree!

3. Keep it Limited

Indulgences are called indulgences because it’s not something you do very often. If we indulged all the time, the novelty of each indulgence would quickly wear off, and therefore, not be as special. I find that I appreciate my little indulgences so much more when they are limited and reserved only for certain times!

For instance:

  • Instead of going to Starbucks every day, cut it down to one morning you look forward to all week.
  • Instead of buying that amazing brand of decadent ice cream every time you’re at the grocery store, buy it once a month, then savor it once a week until it’s gone.
  • Instead of using that professional, yet expensive, shampoo every time you shower, use it every other time to make it last even longer.

No, you won’t have the thrill of doing these things every day, but over time, you’d quickly lose that thrill anyway. This is a much better and smarter alternative!

I’ll leave you with one final thought….

Being smart with your money is not about telling yourself no all the time, it’s about having a solid action plan for the times you do say YES. I hope I’ve been able to prove that you don’t have to give up your indulgences, {nope, not one!}, you just need to approach them with a different strategy.

Because next time, you’ll want to enjoy them guilt-free.

What is one of your little indulgences?


Efuel-rewardsveryday saving doesn’t have to be stressful. The Fuel Rewards® program helps its members save at least 3 cents per gallon just by swiping a free membership card, and includes even more ways to save through groceries, restaurants, and even online shopping! Sign up and learn more about Fuel Rewards HERE.

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. This is the same system we use for our budget. Both me and my boyfriend have $40 a month to blow on whatever we want. It was originally supposed to be used to fund our hobbies but have since changed it to include our indulgences. If we have leftover money after our grocery budget has been spent, we’ll use it to go out to eat or sometimes buy an extra snack or two 😉

  2. Working splurges into a budget for me is the only way to be successful – giving up everything leaves me feeling depleted and I am more likely to fall off the wagon. Great article 🙂

  3. Last year my goal was to go on a spending diet to get myself out of debt. I’m not fully out of debt yet, but I am very close. I made it the whole year, but I did splurge here and there and always felt guilty about it. Last week I got rejected from my dream and my relationship ended. I’m feeling down in the dumps. One of the ways I’ve decided to pull myself out of it is to finally allocate $100 a month for “fun”. Yesterday I made my budget for the month and the money is there. Now I need to decide what to do with it! And I don’t have to feel guilty when I spend it. I’ve worked hard and I deserve it!

    1. Hi Tracie. I’m so sorry to hear about the rough road you’ve been down the last week. 🙁 Keep up the amazing work at getting rid of that debt! That’s fantastic! But I’m also glad to hear that you are budgeting for fun as well!!

  4. Love this! I try to allow for a little indulgence within our budget. It kind of feels refreshing and less “strict”. A little indulgence sometimes helps me stay on track for the rest of our budget timeframe. Great ideas!

  5. Ibotta is the best, especially for those little splurges you don’t really need – definitely makes me feel less guilty!

  6. Kalyn,

    I think the trick is to convince yourself that “all things in moderation” is truly what works. If you can cut back from 7 Starbucks a week to 2 or 3 you are making a large improvement. This is where realistic budgeting can help! You can stop spending on things that aren’t top priorities and shift spending to things that are truly important.

    1. Could not have said it better, Derek. I’m all about making your money work for you by saving where you can, {usually the unimportant stuff} and spending on the things that matter the most to you!

  7. This is why having a budget is so helpful for me. I can allocate “splurge” money to myself to help me get through the tougher years of paying of my student loan debt. For me, it’s coffee. I love a good Sbux run! 🙂

    1. Mmm… You are making me crave a Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino, Natalie!! 🙂 But yes, budgeting for splurges can really make the process of budgeting so much more enjoyable!

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