A few careful splurges on items we use in our homes everyday can have a big impact on our happiness and feelings of abundance.
We’ve all heard the advice over and over, about cutting unnecessary expenses from our budgets. That a paying for a cup of coffee or a diet Coke from a drive thru everyday can add up. Tighten up that budget as much as possible. Rice and beans, beans and rice. Ugh.
While we will probably see some savings add up, cutting out “fun” purchases and having super strict budgets can really have a negative effect on our happiness after awhile. Having to remind yourself that “I can’t afford that” over and over begins to have a real effect on our mindset and focus, and not in a good way.
Its kind of like a being on a diet and eating celery and plain chicken breasts all day and feeling miserable.
A different way to look at your money
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I’ve written before about developing an abundance mindset, and one of my favorite tips is to allow for occasional splurges that can have a big impact on our happiness while having a minimal impact on our wallets.
In her book, All the Money in the World, Laura Vanderkam explains how we can change our relationship with money by using it intentionally, not just focusing on restricting our expenses. She points out that by cutting things from our budgets that we actually enjoy, like stopping for a premium coffee on the way to work, we might be sabotaging our ability to feel happiness in our lives.
The feelings of deprivation and scarcity can actually hinder us from making financial progress. We feel like the lifestyle we want to have is so far from our current reality. We resent what we have, thinking that happiness will come at some lofty day in the future, when we have saved “enough.”
And then we give up on the budget completely. No bueno.
Can Money Buy Happiness?
Ahh the age old question. My answer is no, but also yes.
Money doesn’t automatically “make” us happy. We can be miserable with or without money, because its not actually about the money, its about our thoughts about the money.
Its about living in abundance instead of living in scarcity. And abundance is possible, regardless of the amount of money you have! Because its not about money, its about thoughts.
The following suggestions for little splurges are just objects. And objects don’t bring lasting joy on their own. The positive impact comes from the thoughts we cultivate about being able to have the nice things. Small splurges can be used to remind yourself that you are the type of person who has nice things and can buy nice things when you want to.
You can use these nice things as evidence to prove to yourself that you are living the good life. Its just a little trick to help move the needle from scarcity to abundance.
Little Splurges to Increase Happiness
The following ideas for intentional splurges can be visual reminders of abundance. If you buy the item and feel guilty about it every time you see it, its going to have the opposite effect. You have to see it and be grateful for it. Let it be a visual cue to remind yourself that things are good. You have nice things. You deserve nice things.
Premium Hand Soap
How many times a day do we wash our hands? Sure, you can get a bottle of Softsoap from Walmart for 99 cents and save a few bucks a year and still have cleans hands. No big deal, right? It’s just soap.
But, imagine washing your hands with fancy hand soap and closing your eyes for a second, enjoying the gorgeous fragrance and luxurious lather, and feeling just a little bit pampered. And that lovely scent will linger throughout the day, giving you additional opportunities to breathe it in and remember you really are living the good life.
Many of us will put the “good stuff” in the guest bathroom, but I think having it in your bathroom and at the kitchen sink would really maximize the impact. You deserve it!
Personally, I love the foaming hand soap from Bath and Body Works, which may not exactly be “premium” but its so fun to collect all the yummy flavors! My current favorite scent is “Sun washed Citrus” which smells almost exactly like the Volcano candle from Anthropologie (more on that later!)
Target carries some nicer hand soaps, like the Chateau brand of luxury hand soap (their scents are incredible, hello Citrus and Verbena!) which are in beautiful bottles with a fancy tassel too.
Williams Sonoma has always been the definition of “classy kitchen” to me, and their soap sets definitely fit that description. The traditional meyer lemon scent is always a great choice, and I also love the summery “beach house” soap set, that includes dish soap and hand lotion as well in a nice little holder.
Luxury Bed Sheets
There is nothing quite like slipping into perfectly soft and yet cool and crisp sheets at the end of a long day. I am a “sheets tucked in nicely” type of person, and man, a freshly made bed might be on the top ten list of things I absolutely love. Mmmmm…
Honestly, is there anything in your house that gets used as much as your sheets? You use them for like 8 hours a day! Have you ever done the math to figure out how many hours a year you use your sheets? Almost 3,000 hours!
Talk about a bang for your buck, as far as splurges go.
Buying the perfect sheet set can have a noticeable effect on your level of satisfaction with your life. Sounds silly, but if you wake up and instantly feel gratitude for the bedding that you’re snuggled up in, that could have a ripple effect for your whole day. And crawling into them at night gives you that same opportunity again.
There is a whole world of sheet brands and materials and thread counts and manufacturing processes. Egyptian! Percale! Sateen! Bamboo! Linen! I’ll be honest, this is an area I definitely want to explore more, as I haven’t been very brave with my sheet purchases thus far. This article about Premium Bed Sheets is a quite comprehensive breakdown of all the different types if you’re wanting to read more.
Beautiful Wreath for Front Door
This suggestion comes as no surprise if you know me or have spent any time here on my website. I love wreaths! Hanging a beautiful wreath on your front door is such an easy way to give the exterior of your home a unique pop, and show you and your home’s personality.
I love switching them out for the seasons, and honestly its a quick win as far as decorating for holidays goes. Hang up a festive wreath and you’re set!
I have tons of tutorials here on my site if you’d like to make your own wreath. There is a level of pride and joy in hanging up a wreath you made yourself. I’d recommend a tulip wreath for the spring, hydrangea wreath for the summer, and poinsettia wreath in the winter. And then you get to feel a rush of pride when you answer your door and someone compliments your lovely wreath!
Not everyone is interested in making their own wreaths, I totally get it. And to the point of this article, this is definitely a great category to splurge a little. Premium wreaths can be found at many stores, or you could also splurge on a custom wreath from Etsy.
I love the beautiful wreaths from Grandin Road. My mom loves the wreaths from Ballard Designs. Williams-Sonoma also has beautiful seasonal wreaths that are often fresh or dried herbs, greenery and flowers. And I was absolutely blown away by the gorgeous (and $$$!) wreaths from Frontgate. Mercy.
A Few Favorite High End Wreaths Splurges:
- Mixed Eucalyptus Wreath from Grandin Road – beautiful classic choice
- Lighted Blue Cedar Wreath from Grandin Road – gorgeous winter wreath
- Multicolored Tulip Wreath from Grandin Road – lovely combo of colors
- Preserved Boxwood Wreath from Ballard Designs – beautiful and traditional
Scents are such a wonderful way to enhance the mood in our homes. I love to light a candle after I load the dishwasher and straighten up the kitchen (did you know cleaning can boost feelings of abundance?) A flickering lit candle sitting atop a clean kitchen island, with the hum of the dishwasher in the background is pretty magical.
Lighting a candle on my desk when I sit down to write has also been a lovely way to start my work day. It just makes a moment feel special somehow. Ambiance leads to abundance, right?
I love to burn a small candle at my desk, so the scent isn’t overpowering. I actually love these small candle’s from the Opalhouse line at Target. My favorite scent is Blushing Amber. It reminds me of the scent of clean babies. That probably sounds crazy, but its delicious. I’ve burned through 3 of them in the last few months!
Like I mentioned in the section on premium hand soap, my absolute favorite scent is the Volcano candle from Capri Blue. My dear friend, Ellen, gifted me my first Volcano candle and I was immediately hooked. The scent is fresh and subtle and unique. So so good. This is my go-to candle to light in my clean kitchen. They are a bit on the pricey side, but this is a splurge worth taking!
If you are wanting to majorly splurge on a candle, check out this list of the 10 Best Luxury Candles from Town and Country. They recommend some pretty pricey candles, like the NEST Bamboo Candle (the description sounds like it smells amazing) and candles from Diptyque (I’d recommend the Baies/Berries scent). Fancy!
Premium Toilet Paper
Yep, I’m adding it to the list. Nothing makes you feel like a cheapskate like one ply toilet paper. It’s rough, thin, shreddy and awful.
Life is too short for crappy toilet paper. Just buy the good stuff. Its worth it. You may not have the “Wow, I am sure living the abundant life!” experience when using it, but maybe?
I wasn’t going to add any links for this, you can just buy the Charmin or Quilted Northern instead of the house brand. But I googled premium toilet paper, purely out of curiosity to see if it was a thing, and yep! Its a thing. You can order premium bamboo toilet paper or paper towels from a company called Reel. Now that’s ‘Reel’ abundance! haha, I can’t resist a pun.
Fresh flowers are a fantastic way to add to your happiness level. Most people would agree that having fresh flowers in the home A recent study from Rutgers University found that fresh flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and also a long term positive effect on moods.
“Happiness” isn’t the same thing as “abundance” but I’d argue that they are absolutely related. When we feel happier, its easier to nudge those feelings toward “abundance”.
Buying fresh flowers weekly is a wonderful way to feel like you’re living the good life. I love to buy the $4.97 bunch of tulips whenever they’re available at Walmart, or Trader Joes always has beautiful and inexpensive fresh flowers. Costco also has gorgeous flowers for $10.
Occasionally ordering premium flowers is also fantastic idea. I’ve seen beautiful arrangements from Flower Girl Flowers. Their bouquets are unique and truly stunning. And the roses from Grace Rose Farm are absolutely gorgeous! What a treat.
Walking into the kitchen in the mornings and seeing a fresh bouquet of hydrangeas or roses on the counter is such a bright way to start my day. Its a very visual cue that everything is gooooood.
A few months ago, as I was putting away folded laundry I was like “Why do I still have these awful kitchen towels?!” They always smelled a bit sour, and always seemed to be wet, and were rough and dingy. Yuck.
So I tossed them all and ordered fresh new ones on the spot. I went with classic striped cotton towels in colors that coordinated with my kitchen. I also tossed my old “flour sack” or tea towels that I use when making bread or for drying dishes, and bought new ones as well. They weren’t very expensive, but still kind of counted as a splurge because it wasn’t absolutely necessary. I had towels, but I decided to splurge on new ones.
Now opening my drawer of freshly folded kitchen towels brings me a bit of joy. I can have nice things, even as simple as kitchen towels. Drying my hands on new, nice towels is a simple little pleasure. But along with the premium hand soap, it can be a moment of luxury.
If you want to splurge a little, Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table have long been the standard for kitchen towels and dish cloths. But if you like color as much as I do, Anthropologie has theeee cutest bright and cheery kitchen towels. I also love the beautiful colors from Crate and Barrel. Pick up new oven mitts while you’re at it!
Luxury throw blanket
Take a page from a hygge book and splurge on a deliciously cozy premium throw blanket. Being able to lay down on the couch for a few quiet minutes with a luxe, plush blanket is the definition of abundance.
I love the plush minky-style blankets from Saranoni or Minky Couture. They are insanely soft and irresistible. My kids turn into a snuggly puddle of happiness with these types of blankets and they love to pet them like its a real bunny or kitten.
For a luxurious, premium throw blanket consider a Bearaby weighted knitted blanket. They come in different weights, which studies are showing can help soothe anxiety and nervousness by increasing seratonin and reducing cortisol. The calming and grounding effect could be helpful in fostering feelings of peace and abundance. These blankets have a two for one in the abundance splurge category, the weighted aspect plus the premium price tag.
A cashmere throw blanket is the epitome of visually beautiful and luxurious home accessories. Cashmere! The ultimate splurge. Try a beautiful cashmere throw blanket from Neiman Marcus or Williams Sonoma.
Feeling abundance through gifts from others
As I was putting this list together, I realized that these little splurges would make wonderful gifts for friends and family. These items are thoughtful and also useful, which I think is the perfect combo for gift giving. They can hold meaning and convey our affection.
On the same note, as a recipient of any of these items, we can cultivate loving feelings and thoughts about the gift giver as we use the gifts with intentions. Every wash with the premium hand soap is an opportunity to feel gratitude and love toward the giver. Each snuggle under the plush blanket can be a moment of reflection for the special relationships we have. The lingering scent of a beautiful candle reminds us of our loved ones.
Yes, these splurges are just things. And the relentless pursuit of nice things can leave us feeling like its never enough, drained emotionally and financially.
But if we can manage our thoughts and intentionally cultivate the beliefs and feelings we want to have, these little splurges can be a powerful force of abundance in our lives.
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