A little careful splurging never harmed anyone and is good for the soul too; this is why we celebrate National Splurge Day in style each year on June 18. Held to encourage us to, you guessed it, crack open our wallets and splurge. This fun day is a respite from our 24*7 moderation, frugality, and budgeting. What are you waiting for? Come, spend a little money with us!
History of National Splurge Day
Trade and commerce probably existed as far back as man’s existence goes, say historians. People began with the barter system, exchanging cattle and livestock. This changed to money years later, as currency developed around the world.
America’s history with shopping and spending has also seen drastic changes. Pioneers began the trend of shopping locally and would visit the general stores around them. By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, mom-and-pop stores were aplenty throughout the U.S. These were followed by the great department stores a decade later. As America’s business and economic sectors changed dramatically in the twentieth century, agriculture was replaced with manufacturing and industry. This change saw employment opportunities increase, which put money in the hands of people. Naturally, more money meant people were able to spend more. Newly wealthy customers launched department stores into the stratosphere; these places sold more than ‘items,’ they sold a way of life. The second half of the nineteenth century also brought a new type of shopping experience — the malls. While the concept of people visiting multiple vendors in a common-place had been around a long time — Ancient Greeks developed one-place-for-all-goods type marketplaces called ‘agoras,’ the initial mall as we came to know them developed in this age. The rise of the malls was spurred by the rise in the automobile industry too; the more cars people could buy, the easier they could travel to these malls. The turning point in shopping history came with the rise of e-commerce. As access to the internet grew, so too did the people making purchases online. The e-commerce trend was soon followed by sales on social media; multiple brands can now sell their products directly on channels like Facebook and Instagram.
More than 20 years ago, Chicago native Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith decided she was fed up with traditional holidays. Calling herself ‘America’s Premier Eventologist,’ because she founded more than 1,900 different holidays — she came up with the idea for a lavish, one-of-a-kind holiday called the National Splurge Day, that we have been celebrating ever since.
National Splurge Day timeline
People exchange cows and sheep as currency.
The barter system gets replaced by proper currency.
In Ancient Greece, people develop marketplaces called 'agoras' where everything is sold in the same place, in a concept very like the malls we visit today.
Small, family-owned businesses are on the rise throughout America.
A change in jobs and standard of living brings many department stores to America; stores like Macy’s (1858), Bloomingdales (1861), and Sears (1886) establish themselves in cities like New York and Chicago.
Saloon keeper James Ritty invents this machine, which uses metal taps and simple mechanics to record sales; a bell sounds when the sale is completed, leading to the famous phrase 'ringing up'.
Cards are issued by hotels or individual businesses; however, these can only be used within their companies.
The Bank of America starts the very first bank-run credit card.
Mirroring malls as we know them today, an indoor shopping mall springs up in Edina, Minnesota.
Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith establishes National Splurge Day.
Amazon is established as a simple online bookseller.
Facebook launches; along with other famous social media sites, becoming platforms where brands can sell their products directly.
National Splurge Day FAQs
What are some expensive items people splurge on?
Some of the most expensive items people splurge on include gold-plated staples, chocolate truffles, Swarovski-encrusted toilets, and even entire islands.
What was the first store in America?
The first American department store was Arnold Constable in Pine Street in New York City; it was founded in 1825 as a small dry goods store.
Where does the word splurge originate from?
This noun ‘splurge’ meant ‘ostentatious display’ in 1828 and was in the class of words considered characteristic of “Western” (i.e. Kentucky) dialect. A new definition emerged in 1928, which saw ‘splurge’ go on to mean ‘extravagant indulgence in spending’.
How To Celebrate National Splurge Day
Splurging does not mean you have to wipe out your savings. Treat this as an occasional, or even a yearly event. Want to add whipped cream to your dessert? Dying to try out a new sushi place? Dreaming of going on vacation? Want to upgrade your car? Take a moment to give yourself a little gift, and never mind the shape this splurge takes. Go ahead, savor the indulgence(s). You’ve earned it.
Treat someone else
Who says splurges are for yourself only? These can be experiences with loved ones too, whether you explore the wilds together, or plan a day at the spa. National Splurge Day encourages us to make incredible memories with loved ones and treating others to your generosity and thoughtfulness.
Share the splurge
Enjoyed making yourself feel good? Share the feeling with others; let them know how a well-timed splurge has you feeling the warm and fuzzies. Post pictures of your splurge online and talk about it with people you know. Encourage them to plan their own splurges too!
Fun Facts About National Splurge Day
A seat for my hat, please
Bono — the lead vocalist of the popular rock band U2, spent $700 to buy a seat on an airplane for his hat.
My own shopping mall
Barbara Streisand turned her basement into a shopping mall.
I see ghosts
Lady Gaga bought a portable ghost detector worth $47,000.
This party is from outer space!
Katy Perry spent $200,000 on two tickets for a Virgin Galactic flight to space for Russell Brand's birthday.
Sir Elton John spent £293,000 (approximately $300,000) on flowers over 20 months.
Why We Love National Splurge Day
Splurging keeps the doctor away
Our lives are chock full of anxiety, stress, and mental health triggers. Self-care, any kind of self-care, redirects our attention to what is most important and reminds us to stop worrying. Intermittent and yes, strategic self-indulgence in the form of a quick splurge now and then reduces the effects of toxic stress and keeps us happy mentally. We are all for the dopamine this brings, honestly.
It restrains impulsive behavior
Splurging, when done right, can actually help us keep our spending in control. At least when it comes to things we want, but don’t always need. National Splurge Day shows us the benefits of a little self-indulgence while reminding us that constant splurging causes financial stress and promotes unhealthy social behaviors.
Teaches us to create a splurge fund
If we want to indulge in a little self-care, we need to have the moolah to do it; not always, as there are multiple ways to splurge even without money, like a luxurious nap, a bubble bath, etc. Creating a fund, however, frees your mind when you choose to indulge yourself. You might not need the money, but you can take comfort from knowing it is there.
National Splurge Day dates