Are You Rewarding Yourself for the Blood, Sweat, and Tears?

Okay, I’ve talked enough about saving money and stretching your hard earned cash as far as possible. Nobody keeps ALL of their money (present company included). You have to buy something for yourself every now and then; I firmly believe that it’s necessary to reasonably treat yourself when you’ve earned it.

Why work hard every day and never reap the rewards? I don’t buy very many things, and when I do I usually suffer from crippling buyer’s remorse, but there are a few things that I’ll allow myself to buy without feeling guilty:

FOOD – Obviously it’s needed to sustain life, but that’s not what I’m getting at. When I’m at the grocery store and I want a steak, then I want the good stuff. Give me the 14 oz. Black Angus Filet Mignon, not the generic 6 oz. 2 pack. Every time I’d buy the cheap meat, I would end up wishing that I had just spent more on the higher-end stuff. Maybe it’s just my Italian upbringing, but food is not the place for penny pinching in my life!

HOBBIES – Working on and building guitars is my number one hobby, so it’s just impossible to sustain such a thing without the constant inflow of actual objects to work with. I’m not saying I go to Guitar Center and buy anything and everything that I want, but I will pretty much scour eBay at a fairly regular rate buying all sorts of little doodads, thingamajigs, and whatchamacallits. I consider it my mental exercise, so it’s money well spent.

CONVENIENCE – Big secret about me…I’m way lazier than I wish I was. I’ll gladly go without some things just to pay for some deliveries or services in other areas. I know I could clean my own house, but I also know that I’m just going to half-ass it just to get it done. So when I got a good deal on a cleaning service, I couldn’t pass it up. And I’ve heard some well-known grocery stores will be delivering soon – I’ll be first in line.

I am tight with my money pretty much every day, so because of that I give myself “permission” to occasionally indulge on a few things. Of course, if/when money gets tight, these little splurges I mentioned will be the first to go. And no worries because I still follow my previously mentioned spending secrets in regards to all these…I am a cheapskate, after all.

What makes you splurge despite your penny-pinching nature? Do you treat yourself for jobs well done?


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  1. Jill Tooley

    You know, the way you think about steak is how I think about ice cream. Granted, I can’t eat “traditional” ice cream anymore, but I can eat rice-based, soy-based, or coconut milk-based ice creams…and I’m MORE than willing to spend a little extra money on the best of the best. Why shouldn’t I enjoy my treat to the fullest, right? 😉

    I’m glad you’ve given yourself permission to indulge once in awhile. I was beginning to think that you were superhuman or something (because you aren’t really tempted to buy frivolous things like the rest of us are). But it’s crucial to reward yourself for your hard work once in awhile; otherwise you could end up even more stressed out than usual! Nice job on this.

    • JPorretto

      Thanks again Jill! I’m one of the cheapest people I know, but I’m not immune to wanting things by any stretch. I just always feel like I need to have earned them.

  2. Scooby DOO!

    Jeff, you hit the nail on the head; that is, we all need a carrot once and a while to give us the drive to keep pushing towards the “next goal”. That carrot can be as simple as just doing something you love, or in Jeff’s case buying angus. My carrot? I like date night, with a nice bottle of wine. It PAINS me to pay $40-$50 for a steak when I know that whole paycheck sells that same steak for $25 (which is still $10 more than a Meijer). BUT, I certainly don’t want to pull out my grill and catch a serious cold from being hard-headed.

    Nice article!

    • JPorretto

      $40 – 50?! Yikes. I’m happy with the $14 Lonestar Sirloin. Mmmmm….

      • Doc

        What are you guys talking about? The delicious 12 oz Outback special is like $11.99 and comes with a loaded bake potato, side salad, and that delicious Outback bread. Not to mention, there’s No Rules, Just Right!

  3. Cybernetic SAM

    This kind of ties into the exhausting and costly lifestyle that I try to maintain and enforce on my significant other. I always spend a little more money for everyday things because I am a very eco-friendly person and until the whole world is people like me, I’ll always have to pay a little more for my green products and earth-friendly ways. To me it is EXTREMELY rewarding and FUN! I always feel guilty when I know I should be buying cheaper things but I also feel that I work hard to preach the ways of a greener world that I am happy and it has almost become a hobby not just a lifestyle. Because splurging on good products that I know contribute to greener, cleaner, and better world I am doing my part and doing it in a way I love. But is is hard at first to maintain this overspending when you know how hard you work for your money.

    I also feel that working so hard and doing my part sometimes I deserve a little treat from (when Joe isn’t looking). 🙂

    • JPorretto

      You guys crack me up. But I hear you on the green stuff. I love my grocery totes. Not only do they save plastic, but they are so much easier to carry and can hold so much more food!! An easy purchase decision.

  4. Joseph Giorgi

    I hear you on the food issue, man. I’m all about quality over quantity. My significant other is always reminding me to shop smarter (and in her defense, I always make an honest effort to do so), but that doesn’t mean I don’t buy the good stuff when the mood strikes me. When it comes to my snacks and my deli meats, I don’t fool around.

    By the way, which grocery stores will be offering a delivery service? I want in on that as well. I think has been running a grocery service in Seattle for the past few months. I wonder if they’ll be expanding anytime soon. Imagine ordering all of your groceries online in mere minutes, with only a few clicks, and then seeing them brought right to your doorstep (in recyclable totes, no less, which is what they use). Plus, I read that the delivery drivers are required NOT to accept tips. It’s the wave of the future!

    • JPorretto

      That sounds like Eutopia to me. My wife heard a radio commercial about future Meijer deliveries. She’s on board too. And if Meijer gets it, everyone else will have to as well to keep up. I’d pay almost anything to not have to stand behind ungodly lines of people in the checkouts.

  5. Kyle

    I totally agree with you regarding Ebay. That’s one of the first places I turn to when I’m looking for an inexpensive way to treat myself. Usually I just shop around during my down-time, but when I find a steal I can’t help but go for it. Not only that, but knowing I have a package en-route helps me get through those longer days. Sometimes it’s the small things that make all the difference. 🙂

    Great read and keep it up!

    • JPorretto

      Ahh the joy and pain of following the tracking number of an anticipated arrival. Good stuff.

  6. Lauren

    Jeff- Great article!! My splurge is events. If I go out to a concert or sporting event, I’d rather pay the extra money to sit a bit closer (not thousands of dollars though). Instead of 400 level seats, I try for the first couple rows of the 200 section!

    Also, when that cleaning service becomes too expensive, let me know! I love cleaning and am getting bored of cleaning just my apartment every weekend! I gurantee I’d charge less than them and I’m very thorough! 🙂

    • JPorretto

      Well they only come every other week…. so come on over anytime!! =)

  7. LK

    I think I’ve said this before, but I will definitely splurge on Kraft Mac n Cheese vs. saving 10 cents for the store brand.

  8. Lou G

    One thing I allow myself to splurge on is events. I’ll try and go to a lot of sporting events throughout the year even if the tickets are in the nose bleeds. Because of this I have become an expert in sneaking into seats that are not mine. The ticket checkers just aren’t what they used to be.

  9. Bret Bonnet

    I’m with Lou…

    I’d rather spend my hard earned money on things like event tickets and vacations. I’m all about the EXPERIENCE and memories; I mean after all – isn’t that what life is all about?

    My wife buys purses; I purchase everything with the Chicago Bears logo on it. We all have our own vices I suppose! 🙂

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