Frugality can get you far, but you shouldn't feel guilty for indulging in a luxury that actually improves your life. However, you have to define what "luxury" means to you. Nobody else can do that.
Picture: Richard Moross/Flickr
Ramit Sethi, author of one of my favourite money management books, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, explains:
Let's get one thing clear: Luxury doesn't have to mean a $50,000 dog house or a gaudy fur coat. YOU choose what luxury means to you.
I might think it's insane, your college friend might think it's insane, but if you're getting superlative value from it, that's luxury.
Instead of being dismissive of all luxuries (like I used to be), I decided to learn about the reasons behind why people pursue more, even when others might find it ridiculous or frivolous.
Luxury can be functional. (Sethi gives the example of flying first class -- sure, it costs more, but if you can sleep a full six hours and go to a meeting, it might be worthwhile.) Luxury can be economical too -- that pair of shoes that costs more will probably last you a lot longer and save you money in the long run.
In short: When money can buy happiness, use it. It may seem frivolous to some, but if it brings you real value, then it's worth it.
Just don't let other people define that value for you. You'll either end up with a bunch of crap you don't need, or you'll be missing out on the things that actually improve your life.
How I Spent Over $50,000 on Luxury Services Last Year [I Will Teach You To Be Rich]