How to Indulge Yourself (Within A Budget)

How to Indulge Yourself (Within A Budget)
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FACT #1:  Being a mother is a beautiful gift.

FACT #2:  It’s also the most underpaid, overworked (but rewarding in it’s own way) job on the planet.

FACT #3:  Most mothers don’t pamper themselves nearly enough because of guilt, time or money.

Does #3 ring true for you? You’re not alone sister!  Guilt tops the list because our Mama DNA makes us great givers – but not great receivers.

Take a moment to imagine what it would feel like if you could pamper yourself once a month, twice a month or even EVERY WEEK?

BUT.(always the big but…)

‘I don’t have time.’

‘I don’t feel right about it.’

‘We can’t afford that.’

Insert your big but here:  ‘______________________________________________’.

It’s time to STOP MAKING EXCUSES!

Your kids are experts at making excuses – and so are you.

Here’s the absolute TRUTH:

You are irreplaceable.

Absolutely no one can do what you do on a daily basis.

Think about it… Whose name do the kids call when they need anything –  even when a fully capable adult is in the same room….

If you had to suddenly leave town tomorrow, what kind of massive list would you need to make for whoever was left in charge?

Now let’s go back to imagining what some pampering would do to your life. You’d probably feel more relaxed, less hard-done-by or begrudging. You’d feel happier, more fulfilled and have more to give – that’s for sure!

As a money expert who helps women save and spend mindfully, I’ve got a plan to help you to treat yourself a lot more often.

8 Steps to Indulging Within a Budget

#1:  Get rid of all your excuses: guilt, time, money, etc. NOW.

Remember how irreplaceable you are. Stop making excuses. Tell yourself you’re worth it! Because you are.

#2:  List all the ‘indulgent’ things you’d love to do but don’t because of the excuses you normally make.

Have fun with this!  Is it a girls night out?  A weekend retreat?  Clothes/shoes shopping?

Here’s what other Project Me mamas said when asked on Facebook….

Manicure/pedicure   A regular massage / facials   Reflexology   Weekly lunch date with a friend.

A date with myself in a coffee shop with my Kindle and cake. A guilt-free lie-in.

Sit with a magazine, wine & a chocolate, peace & quiet by myself.

Go on a painting retreat.   A yoga retreat.  A writing retreat.

Overnight stay in a spa – no family, maybe a girlfriend or maybe just total ME time.

Takeout Thai food and weekly beach picnics, a wardrobe of gorgeous and comfortable clothes that I feel great in, regular retreats/festivals

A 3-day getaway all by myself. Just to read a book and lounge by a pool.

A rock climbing class. Investing in respite care for an overnight/weekend just to sleep in, eat what I want, go out, and not worry about autism. Just for one weekend a month.

A fabulously fun meal at a gorgeous restaurant, followed by some retail therapy, and then a spa treatment and a stay at the plushest hotel ever. Yep. That would do it for me! 

Everyone will have a different idea of what indulgence means to them. What is it for you?

#3:  Choose three ‘I Deserve This’ items from your list.

  • One that’s no or low cost (candle lit bubble bath, watching a chick flick on your laptop in bed, heading to a coffee shop on your own or with a friend).
  • One that’s medium cost (pedicure, manicure, yoga class, massage)
  • And the third that’s bigger budget (shopping trip, weekend getaway).

Be clear on the cost of it and how often you’d like to indulge.

#4.  Figure out a Magical Monthly Number for each.

So let’s say one of the top three items on your list is getting a massage once a month and that it costs $/£ 70 (insert your currency) with the tip. That 70 is your Magical Monthly Number.  Or let’s say you’d like to treat yourself to some new clothes every three months and that you’d allow for $/£ 150, which means in a year you’ll spend 600.  Your Magical Monthly Number would be 50 (600 divided by 12).

#5:  Get clear on the money coming in and money going out in your household.

Ahem, yes this is the budget!  If you don’t deal with the finances, now would be a great time to talk to your man about it. You’ll both benefit when you’re clear on the money. Clarity will give you more power to make better decisions when you’re shopping for groceries, things for the house, the kids, etc.

Once you know what’s going on with the money, you’ll see how your ‘I Deserve This’ items fit into the plan. If all three don’t fit in right now – start with the no or low cost and make those happen!

Then turn your attention to how you can give your medium and higher cost ideas lift-off.

Can you earn some extra money? Sell something you don’t need or want?  Can you spend less in another area? Make a note of those potential savings, add them up and make a plan. Grab some paper and start writing down your ideas.

#6.  Treat ‘I Deserve This’ items like paying a necessary bill.

There is no getting out of it, it’s a definite must do!  The magical number is already worked into your budget and it has a job to do (which is taking care of you) so let it do its job! Whatever happens, be sure to use the money for you and not find another excuse to spend it on your kids. They have plenty already, right?

 #7.  Open up a separate account and name it something fun!

 You’ve heard of the saying:  ‘A picture is worth a 1000 words.’

 This separate account is your picture where you can see clearly the money that’s accumulating month after month.  Plus it is nice to see the money you have to spend! Woo hoo!

#8.  Automate it!

Now that you’re clear about how your items fit within the budget, set up automatic transfers for the amounts you estimated and bingo – you’re set to go!  Automating this piece saves you time.

Plus you won’t need to feel guilty anymore because it works within your budget, you know you have the money and all you have to do is schedule your pampering day in your calendar.

In the comments below, please share how you feel about treating yourself. Do you do it enough? If not, what holds you back? What would you like to indulge in?

Also be sure to grab Jen Hemphill’s free Money & Timing Saving Cheat Sheet here!  It condenses the process of organising your money in a simple, non-overwhelming way and takes you from getting clear on your money to setting up an action plan.

Jen Hemphill; Motivational Money Coach

Motivational Money Coach at Jen Hemphill
Jen Hemphill is a motivational money coach, AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor), wife and mother with a big heart.

She's passionate about helping today's busy go-getter women easily simplify the area of money so they can focus on the more important things in life like their family and just living that amazing life they envision.

Latest posts by Jen Hemphill; Motivational Money Coach (see all)

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11 Responses to How to Indulge Yourself (Within A Budget)

  1. Helen Butler says:

    I am a HUGE fan of treating myself and definitely encourage women I work with to do the same. But the guilt, oh my gosh! I don’t actually I think I suffer from mother guilt (yes, I am odd!) but I hear it a lot. I firmly believe that if we give to ourselves – with self-love, self-care, me time – we are much better mothers and can therefore give to everyone else in our lives. Great article Jen – a wonderful reminder that Mums are amazing and should treat themselves like angels. xx

    • Helen – then I guess we’re both odd! I’m also one who doesn’t suffer from mother guilt myself and treat myself freely, but in my line of work I also come across so many women who feel guilty ever doing anything for themselves.

      I wholeheartedly agree with you that when we give to ourselves, we have so much more to give! Thanks for your beautiful comment 🙂

    • Jen says:

      That is a great thing that you don’t suffer from the mother guilt! You are definitely right, happy life, happy wife/mom right? Thanks so much for reading Helen!

  2. I love this post. So practical and achievable. I’m off to start an “I Deserve This” List and identify some indulgences. I also love the practical ideas in terms of budgeting and setting aside money specifically for this purpose. I am excited!

  3. Yay! So happy this resonated with you Kristy – I’d love a peek at your “I deserve this” this. You’re accountable to Jen and I to not just think about it, but to actually put it into writing, ok? xx

  4. Jen says:

    So glad you found it practical Kristy! I’m all about simplicity and practical, so your comment means a lot. Yay on your list, definitely you’ll have to share with us. Can’t wait!

  5. Pam says:

    Great post! You’re preachin’ to the choir here. I love to indulge in treats of all sizes: naps, coffee with friends, pedicures, trips…I deserve it! (and so do all the moms reading this!!!)

  6. Emma Mathews says:

    Money scored pretty low on my life wheel. I am using to blog to chart my self care journey. I would love to feature a few of your steps on there if possible with links to your blog. Emma

    • I’m happy to hear you used the Project Me Life Wheel Tool to flag up the low score in the Money area of your life. Using your blog to chart your self care journey is a wonderful idea! Absolutely you can feature these steps and link back. Wishing you well and keep us posted!

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