Subscription Boxes: Splurge or Save? (or both?!)

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IMG_3807Okay, it’s pretty clear that I am slightly mildly just a wee little bit obsessed with subscription boxes right now. I promise I will have more to share, but it was kind of a fun way to get started here at MommySplurge.

Subscription boxes are the hottest trend right now. And I ain’t no trendy mama! Why am I totally gaga over signing up for them?
  1. Probably because I didn’t get anything for Christmas. That’s right. My MacBook Air got stolen and I told my husband not to get me anything for Christmas. It was insured, but I was still out $500. But he didn’t even get me anything tiny! I am a small child and like to splurge on myself.
  2. It’s a low-investment way to try new stuff. Like many people I’ve spent the last couple years managing a really tight budget. The budget is still really tight. Even after saving, though, there’s a little room to splurge on both me, and my kids. My family needs routine – we thrive on it – but we also need the opportunity to try new things. Sometimes that’s new experiences, but sometimes it’s a new toy, a new taste, a new trinket.
  3. I’ve been neglecting myself. Like most moms of small kids, I haven’t spent a lot of time on myself. I just recently bought a Clinique eyeliner from their recent free shipping sale and realized that it was the first makeup I have purchased since before my oldest child was born. Ummmm…. yeah.
  4. I’m used to “subscribing & saving!” Yep, I’ve been using Amazon.com Subscribe & Save for years. I quit doing diaper coupons when Amazon Mom came along. It’s easy, fast, and affordable. I love shopping online and having my stuff come directly to me.
  5. I live in a large metropolitan area and I don’t have a car. That’s right. No hopping in the car to go shopping on a whim. Besides, taking a 2 & 4 year old shopping never ever happens on a whim.
So, when should you splurge and when should you save?
Reasons to Splurge: Just get the box!
  • You need something new.
  • It’s a free or heavily discounted box.
  • You’ve reviewed the past boxes and determined that it is a least a decent value, if not an excellent value. [pullquote]You’re open to a little serendipity in your life.[/pullquote]
  • Spending a minor amount of predetermined money will prevent you from a wild binge (did I really need a FIFTEEN DOLLAR eyeliner? No. Maybe I’ll get one in a box though!).
  • When it comes directly to your house, you won’t be doing any impulse shopping (an eyeliner AND a lipgloss… that can add up fast!).
  • You know you want to try new products but aren’t sure where to start. Perhaps you’re open to updating your skincare regimen and want to try new things!
  • There is a rewards program.
  • It saves you time. Perhaps you know you want to splurge, you just don’t know what you want. Subscription boxes are a great way to sample without having to actually endure a retail experience.
Reasons to Save: Step away from the box!
  • Previous boxes don’t look interesting.
  • Previous boxes don’t look like they were a good value.
  • No rewards program.
  • Startup box that doesn’t have a track record of reliability and value.
  • It’s for items that you just won’t use.
  • You are already subscribed to too many boxes.
  • The money isn’t in your budget. Really, don’t try to justify it.
  • It’s for an item that you can get elsewhere for a better value (hello tampon boxes, I’m looking at you!).

Subscription boxes have a purpose but you can definitely have too many. Do you really need every box every month?

When do you splurge and when do you save?

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