Remember Reminder #13: Splurge Every Once in a While

Remember to Splurge Every Once in a While | The Nostalgia Diaries Blog

#rememberreminder: Splurge Every Once in a While

In my hands, I hold four placemats. They are simple, but unlike the ones I have at home, they are circular instead of rectangular—exactly the kind I’ve wanted. My kitchen table isn’t that large, so my current placemats overlap each other when I set them out—and it’s enough of an overlap that it drives me just a little bit crazy.

So here I stand, holding $8 worth of fabric that has the potential to make me a little bit happier: I’ve convinced myself that I have enough stress in my day to be annoyed by my placemats anymore, so I’ve decided to splurge a little bit and buy new ones.

But as I finger the light gray fabric, I start hearing that little voice in my head, the one that always does such a good job changing my mind: You really don’t need those, Corey…

Out of the corner of my eye, I see my daughter Zoey dancing up and down the aisle as she sings herself a made-up song. Seeing her reminds me of why we’re here in the first place: Zoey loves to bake, and I’m surprising her with a new hand mixer.

I put back the placemats as I agree with that little voice, pick up Zoey’s hand, and point ourselves in the direction of the appliances. Because splurging on her is something I never second guess.

* * *

Later, as I set the table for dinner with my silly overlapping placemats, I think back to my earlier decision to not buy new ones, and I wonder: When did spending $8 on something I want become such tough decision? 

As a child, it seemed so easy to splurge. In fact, at times, it even seemed encouraged: there would be the dollar to get ice cream from the ice cream truck, or the Little Debbie in your lunchbox. There would be the summer weekends you slept in until noon, or the days where you didn’t have to do anything other than play or ride your bike or lay by the pool. As children, we were encouraged to savor the little things in life, the things that brought us joy. And the best part of all? We never felt guilty.

But then…. well, then we grow up. And when we grow up, and the time and money needed to splurge become further and further out of reach.

* * *

As for me, I’ve always had a hard time splurging on myself, and now that I’m single and have to keep a closer eye on my time and my money, I do it even less. And even when I do think of splurging—even just a little bit—I talk myself out of it: I buy the clothes, only to end up returning them. I pick up the book in book store, only to place it back on the shelf (after smelling its new pages, of course). I put the fancy cheese in the cart, only to switch it out with a more reasonably priced substitute.

I hold the placemats in my hands, only to decide that Zoey’s splurge is far more important.

If I thought about it, I’m sure I could come up with things I’d splurge on for myself: I could buy a new pair of earrings to replace the ones that recently broke. I could splurge for the bouquet of flowers I walked past at grocery store the other day, the ones that were so colorful they made me smile. I could take myself to a movie I want to see, the one that I know would be so much better in a theater than watching it a few months down the road on my TV. There are even probably a few things that I might “splurge” on that don’t cost a thing: I could sleep in past 5:30 on a Saturday. I could read a book instead of staring at my computer and working late into the night after I tuck Zoey in bed. I could head to the pool and get some sunshine on a Sunday when I am by myself instead of running errands all day.

I could, I could, I could… I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t.

* * *

We are cleaning up after dinner, and for the second time in one day, I see Zoey out of the corner of my eye. But this time, I don’t find her singing and dancing: this time she is simply watching me.

Zoey leaves the kitchen, and when she comes back, she is carrying her white ceramic unicorn piggy bank in her hands. It is heavy with coins, and she struggles as she hoists it up and sets it on the table in front of me.

I don’t say anything but I know my face shows confusion as I look from the unicorn back to her sweet face.

“We can go back to the store tonight,” she says, pointing to the miniature mystical creature. “I don’t know how much money is in there, but I think it should be enough.”

“Enough for what, peanut?” I ask, still confused.

“Those placemats you were looking at.”

Sometimes all it takes is a moment like this to make everything come into focus. Though Zoey does an amazing job taking care of me, her unselfish gesture reminds me that every once in a while, I need to take care of myself, too. And perhaps taking care of myself means splurging a little bit more often, and more importantly, not feeling guilty when I do so. (It also reminds me that, though I may forget sometimes, Zoey is always watching me, paying attention, modeling her own behavior after mine).

“Thank you, sweet pea,” I say as I kiss the top of her head. “But that money is all yours. Mommy can buy the placemats herself.”

I pause, thinking for a minute before I continue. “And you know what? I will get some new ones. But not tonight, because I’ve got something much, much better in mind.”

Our night goes a little something like this: I leave the dishes in the sink. Zoey and I scoop ourselves big bowls of the ice cream we made earlier and head into the living room. The combination of the cold dessert and air conditioning makes us chilly, so we pull out a blanket and curl up next to one another on the couch. And although I have a million other things I could and should be doing, we watch The Parent Trap as we savor the sweetness—both real and virtual—that surrounds us. And later, when I open my eyes in the middle of the night to see we have both fallen asleep, I smile. Our evening has felt like a total splurge, and I don’t feel one ounce of guilt.

This, I think as I pull Zoey closer. Who needs placemats when I have this?

So remember to splurge every once in a while. It’ll probably do you some good.

How about you? Do you have a hard time splurging on yourself? If you could splurge on yourself, what would you buy or eat or spend time doing?

We post our Remember Reminder series on the blog here every Friday morning, as well as on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. Just search the hashtag #rememberreminder to find us! And if you have any of your own post-it note Remember Reminders that we should know about, make your own and use the hashtag so we can share the love!


At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.



47 thoughts on “Remember Reminder #13: Splurge Every Once in a While

  1. Oh boy, I’ve got tears as I read this post. Your words always move me to so many different emotions. You’ve got a sweet little daughter. A nice reminder to us all to allow us to splurge on things that bring us happiness – whether it costs money or time or energy we think we don’t have. We do.

  2. I almost cried as I read about sweet Zoey bringing you her bank. You are so right that we are being watched. Recent job changes have left us in a place where i am very mindful of what I splurge on but I also remind myself it is necessary every now and then. Some weeks I get that second Starbucks coffee just because.

  3. I don’t tend to splurge often <— frugal weirdo. But, I do think that a small treat (whatever that looks like) is important from time to time. Mine is ordering in once per month. I know it sounds crazy because most people eat out far more often than that but taking 1 night off a month and NOT cooking is such a mood lifter for me.

  4. I completely agree. I always splurge on my kids instead of myself. intend to use coupons and try to be frugal.

  5. Yes! Yes! Yes! How sweet is this post?! Thank you for the reminder! It IS okay that we splurge on ourselves a little more often. I love that you made it obvious that splurging isn’t just financially, but with our time as well! I can’t wait to put this into practice. Thank you!! 🙂

  6. <3 Your story gave me chills. What a sweetheart of a daughter you have, and what a wonderful reminder. Thank you for sharing this special moment with us. Post a pic of your new placemats next time, now I'm excited to see them 😉

  7. That is a beautiful story — Zoey is so sweet! I also have a hard time splurging on myself. I am naturally frugal, I think.

  8. Your thoughtful posts are some of my favorites! Another beautiful one here. I remember once finding the perfect set of snowflake holiday plates – aqua blue square plates (my favorite color) with shimmery white snowflakes and rounded corners. I held them in my hands forever. It was about 5 weeks after I filed for divorce and 5 weeks before I moved 3,000 miles cross-country back to my hometown. I’m not usually someone who covets possessions, but those plates brought me a little bit of joy during a very hard time, yet I didn’t buy them. I still regret it to this day. $8 isn’t much to spend for a little extra joy in your life!

  9. I knew it. I knew what she was up to the minute she came in with the piggy bank. She reads you, Corey, just as you read her. You’re helping to foster the kind of aware and compassionate person that I wish would infiltrate earth until kindness becomes boring.

    (Like it ever would.)

    I was in an outlet store a while back with Hayden and Camdyn shopping for school shoes. I can’t remember if they’d found theirs at that point, but as I walked past the back aisle, on the clearance rack, I saw some nondescript black and gray Nikes.

    “Try them on!” Hayden said, and I did. They fit wonderfully, and I felt an inch taller because they actually had soles. “Get them!” Camdyn said. I couldn’t bring myself to. Know why? My current sneakers didn’t even have holes in the bottom yet.

    Yes. That was my reasoning.

    They hounded me until I took them to the register. I kept thinking, “I’ll just pack a lunch for a week … I’ll sell a few golf discs … I can skip meat this month …”

    Know what? The sneakers rang up an extra 25% off! So I had pizza at lunch the next day.

  10. Oh my goodness my heart is a big puddle right now! So incredibly sweet to offer the precious piggy bank money!
    It is so incredibly difficult for me to splurge on myself. I am always thinking about what the kiddos need, or my husband could use.
    Honestly, for me it comes down to a simple Starbucks trip. That stuff is magical, so I try to make it happen once a week as my special treat!

  11. Oh yes, splurging on my son is a no brainer but treating myself is definitely something I think harder on. And goodness your Zoey is so sweet bringing you her piggy bank. I love how you spent your night instead. So much love in this post!

  12. It is funny how you easily justify splurging on your kids, but when it comes to yourself you hesitate. It was good to read this as a reminder that sometimes you just need to do the little things that make you happy, whether it’s having a new candle or a fun decoration to switch things up!

  13. Oh my gosh. That is so sweet. What a great little girl you are raising. I am with you on the do i need this debate. I go through that every time I purchase something. You are worth spending time and money on- just so you know. 😉

  14. What a sweet kid you have!
    Yes, like you, I tend to return the things I buy for myself — if I but them at all. But I will get almost anything for any if my kids if they really want it. Momlife, I guess?

  15. I love this so much! What a precious little girl! Snuggling on the couch sounds like the perfect evening. So glad you could forget about the dishes in sink and enjoy it!

  16. That is too sweet about Zoey. I imagine being a parent makes it easier to splurge on the kids more than yourself, but you deserve it too! I’ve gotten better, but sometimes I spend more on other people than I do for myself.


  17. Your daughter is seriously the sweetest, which I believe speaks volumes of you as a parent 🙂 Which I think means you’ve earned a bit of splurging on yourself! I’m a bit 50/50 myself when it comes to splurging on myself. Some days I will talk myself out of what I want, and other days I tell myself I only live once, and that I need to enjoy life! If I splurged on myself more often, I would be buying a lot of plane tickets to travel to places I’ve never been!

  18. I have such a hard time splurging on myself! Thanks for sharing your story. It is worth doing once in a while.

  19. Oh man…this one hit me in the feels today. Why is it so hard for us to treat ourselves but we don’t have to think twice about indulging on the ones we love? It’s interesting food for thought, in any event.

    Oh your daughter–what an incredibly sweet gesture that was for her to want to treat you to those placemats you put aside. It’s incredible what kids pick up on.


  20. How cute is it that she realized you needed that splurge. It makes you really think that sometimes self-care means splurging on yourself, whether it is some ice cream or placemats.

  21. First – I love everything your daughter says. She’s so thoughtful and wise–I can’t wait to hear who she grows up to be!
    Second – I find that I don’t have trouble when it comes to splurging with money (hah), but it’s with my free time that I struggle sometimes. I feel like I always have to be productive, so even when I do have free time to relax, I spend it worrying that I should be using it for something else.

  22. So perfectly said, and what a sweet, sweet girl you have! It’s hard when we’re adults and have to split our money and time amongst all of the people/things we care for and need. It’s important to take care of yourself, though. It refreshes you to continue through the grown up world!

  23. I have a terrible time spending money on myself. Though I f we’re counting sleep as a splurge, I’m taking pretty great care of myself. Sleeping in is my jam!

    Your daughter sounds so sweet. Enjoy your time with her – that should always be guilt free.

  24. I honestly need to splurge less on myself. I buy things that we don’t need at times and need to rein it in better. I loved your sweet story!

  25. It is so true that before kids I had no problem splurging on myself. Now it is easy to find little things for the kids but so hard to do something like that for me.

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