Day #236: What Do You Consider a Splurge?

Today I decided to spend a little money on me. All the boys were out of the house and I decided to get a manicure and pedicure — just because. I can’t remember the last time I treated myself to a mani-pedi and I was dreading walking around the pool next week with feet that look like they were from a horror movie. It was time. I was pleasantly surprised that my favorite little salon had been remodeled since my last visit. The lobby was adorned with a sparkly chandelier. There were giant massaging pedicure stations and all of the finishes were first class. Being the geeky finance professor that I am, I couldn’t help but take it all in wondering how much more my mani-pedi would cost so that the owner could pay for all of his upgrades.

These Toes are Ready for the Beach
I picked my polish and climbed into one of the pedicure stations and let my technician work her magic. Seconds after the magical chair started vibrating, kneading and squeezing my achy muscles, I forgot all about how much this was going to cost. In fact, all I could think about was how badly I needed this time and how goooooooooood that massage chair felt. Then, my phone rang. My husband wanted to let me know that they were on their way home. “That’s great! See you soon!!” I said as I hurried him off the phone. Next, my best friend called. “I was just asked to meet a potential employer for dinner” he said. “Should I go? What should I wear? What do I say?” I gave the best advice I could possibly muster as the magic chair was squeezing my backside and kneading my neck while my technician was massaging my feet. After making his wardrobe selections and planning a few conversation starters, I returned to my bliss. Unfortunately, by then, the pedicure was just about over.

When You Talk with Your Hands, They Should Look Good
I slid on my “flippity floppities” (any Andy fans in the house?) and headed over to the manicure station. My hands usually look like I’ve been digging ditches without the help of tools, so this was certainly a treat. I was trying to keep my costs down, but couldn’t help but admire the special treatment the woman next to me was getting. She shared with me that her manicure was still natural but would last nearly a month. Chaching! If I pay twice as much for a manicure that lasts twice as long, it’s still a good deal because I save time. As I worried about the price, my husband called to ask about dinner.  I told him to go on without me and when I hung up, I decided to live a little and go for the special ‘gel manicure’.  I have to say — it’s pretty awesome. I actually look like a grown-up and not a pretender.  As I was waiting for my nails to dry, my babysitter sent a text message to ask about arrangements for next week.  My technician laughed that I was able to crane my neck to read the message while my phone was tucked in the side pocket of my purse.

Was It Worth It?
I forked out what I thought was a hefty chunk of change at the salon. Now the question is, “was it worth it?” I think so if for no other reason than the fact that it made me feel good. Sometimes, that’s important too. Was it a splurge? I would say so if I planned on doing this every month. As much as I would like to, my husband and I have made the conscious decision to limit our weekly ‘allowances’ until we pay off our credit cards. Since making that decision at the same time I started this blog, I’ve limited my spending on salons. I take care of my own hair and nails as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong — I’m really bad at it, but that’s what it takes for us to stick to our budget. I’m getting a little better at grooming myself as time goes on, but it sure is nice to let someone else pamper me every now and then. I think that’s what makes sticking to a budget bearable — saving up a little cushion so that you can afford to splurge every now and then.  I thanked my technician and apologized for keeping her in the shop after closing time.  She said “Oh honey, it’s fine.  I was worried about you.”  Puzzled, I asked her what she meant.  She said “It seemed as if you never got a chance to relax because your phone was always ringing.”  I smiled and headed home.  I guess I still need to work on how to do “me time.”  Next time, the phone stays in the car!

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