Living within a budget and being smart financially doesn’t mean you have to be a miser and not enjoy a financial splurge now and again. Here are a few tips to help you save money but not be completely miserable in the process:

Set a budget and save for an item you want to splurge on. If you have your eye on a pair of designer jeans or the newest tech gadget, you’ll be able to enjoy your purchase if you save for it instead of using the house money to buy it sooner.

Ask three questions before you make an unnecessary purchase: Do I need it? Will I use it? Do I want it enough to actually pay for it? If you can answer a definite yes to these three questions then, by all means, make the purchase.

Stop and think. If you’re not sure about an item then leave it and think about it. Wait a few days and if you still feel the urge to purchase it as strongly as you did then go get it. This will help you avoid impulse buying.

Have a small snack before you go out to dinner. Also, many restaurants have “shareable” plates now so split a meal with your spouse to help save a little money but still enjoy a meal out occasionally.

Be honest with your children about what you’re trying to do. If you’re saving up for something special like a family vacation, let them know if they ask for something extra that  it’s not in the budget this month.

Money is a part of all of our lives but it doesn’t have to dictate our happiness. Live within your means and learn how to budget and you’ll learn that you can be frugal and not stingy.