This post is brought to you by The Huntington National Bank and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
When you live with a budget mindset and incorporate tools to help you stay on track, sometimes it can be challenging to actually know what to spend money on. I’ve felt this first-hand when buying for myself, and we’ve experienced it as a family, in making both priorities a fun part of our budget.
Spending can be intimidating, but it’s also important to splurge every once in a while and enjoy life, including the things you work for. Today I’m going to offer some tips on how to spend when you are ready and not fall completely off track with your other important financial goals.
What to Spend Money On
In addition to offering personal insight on how we spend money and what are some good things to spend money on, I am also going to share some tools Huntington Bank offers to make your spending within your means and a plan even easier!
As a Huntington Bank Influencer Ambassador, this year I am sharing my personal banking experiences and talking about finances. Additionally, I am sharing some of the key service offerings of Huntington Bank, along with their banking products, events and initiatives.
What is a Splurge Item?
When it comes to spending you might often hear the term “splurge,” commonly defined as “to spend extravagantly or ostentatiously.” Sounds pretty good, right?
Common splurges when it comes to what to spend your money on include things like going on a vacation, going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, upgrading your smart phone to the latest model or buying a new TV, not because it’s broken, but just to have a larger screen to watch streaming services on.
The Problem with Spending
The problem is, I think most people fall to one extreme or another. They live in the moment, splurging too much and risking financial hardship. These individuals tend to live by the “treat yourself” or “I deserve it” mentality.
Or, on the other end of the spectrum, (where I tend to fall) people splurge so infrequently it seems easier to stockpile money than have any fun! These people often think they might spend only to run into a financial emergency the next week, or worry they will regret the spending later.
Things to Spend Money On
When planning to splurge, you first need to decide what a splurge is to you. It might be helpful to make a list or have a fun brainstorming session alone or with your partner. You might already have splurges in your life but haven’t defined them.
Going forward, in order to know what to spend money on, you would then have some rough guidelines in place. Here are some common categories of fun things to spend money on to help get you started:
Items / Material Goods
- Clothing & Jewelry
- Electronics & Gaming Devices
- Kitchen Gadgets
- Home Decor Items
- Items for Pets
- Hobbies, Supplies or Crafting Items
- Vacation or Weekend Getaway
- Amusement Parks, Museums, Shows or Concerts
- Beauty Treatments or Massage
- Manicure and Pedicure
- Fitness Classes, Clubs or Memberships
- Camping, Boating, Hunting or RV Travel
Why is Spending Important?
Why are these splurge items so important? I think, over time, if you do not splurge or give yourself any treats, it’s very easy to lose momentum and motivation toward financial goals. Small rewards along the way help keep spirits up and allow you to enjoy your earnings. You can also spend on others as a way to splurge.
I think spending every so often also keeps you from going overboard. If you restrict too much, you can easily find yourself binging on spending or spending erratically.
Items We Spend On
Some things I like to spend on include high-quality coffee. I also go to a nice hair salon and I like to buy myself fresh flowers. I will pay to go to yoga classes at a studio and get a massage a few times a year.
As a family, we buy our daughter high quality tennis shoes because we think that is important to her development. We also enroll her in classes and activities. We will go out to dinner and order whatever we want and take plenty of leftovers home (especially pizza!). We also pay for monthly grooming for our dog Lulu.
Spending in Every Stage of Life
Spending or splurging can change depending on your current financial situation and over time. Years ago, when my husband and I were working toward some heavy financial goals, we splurged very little. A big splurge was running a 5K race back then. We kept nearly every other area of our budget very minimal.
If you are working toward a large financial goal or living on a tight budget a splurge might be as simple as getting a cup of coffee at a coffee shop once a month, splitting a bottle of wine from the grocery store for a date night at home or renting a movie on demand.
Plan for Spending with the Hub tools
After defining what spending looks like to you, plan for spending using handy financial tools available from Huntington Bank. You will need to be a customer of Huntington Bank to access these tools. For information about Huntington Bank checking and savings products see below:
One tool that is especially helpful for planning spending is the Huntington Heads Up® tool. It sends you real-time insights into your saving and spending and help you make more informed decisions about your money.
- In order to use Huntington Heads Up alerts, first enroll in Alerts from Huntington Bank (message and data rates may apply). Then you can opt to receive Heads Up messages by email, text message or push notification to your smart phone or other devices.
- You can opt for one delivery method or all three. If you opt for push notifications, here is a tutorial on how to set these up.
- Once enrolled in Alerts, set monthly amounts you want to spend on categories such as dining out, groceries or shopping. Huntington Bank will send you a Heads Up to help keep you on track and let you know if you have spent more than average, when you are close to your set spending limit, and more.
- When the month is over, you can see if you are under budget in a spending category. Then you can choose to move money to savings or hold onto it for future spending or other adjustments.
Set Up Your Spending Budgets
In addition to using Huntington Heads Up alerts, I would recommend having your splurges and spending on your personal budget as well. If you are using the Hub tool, Spend SetterSM, you can login and create budgets for categories such as shopping, dining, coffee or electronics.
Spend Money on Fun
Now you should be ready to define what are the best things to spend money on (that’s the fun part!) and budget for your spending and use Huntington’s digital tools. These tools can help you navigate your spending and keep you on track as well as aid in how to spend money wisely.
What do you like to spend money on?
Disclosure: I am working with Huntington Bank as a 2019 Huntington Bank Influencer Ambassador and will receive compensation in exchange for writing blog posts about my experience as a Huntington Bank customer and highlighting the bank’s unique offerings. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.