6 practical ways to splurge

Time to get crafty

Crafters know something most of us don't: Creating something on your own can be a hobby, a relaxation technique and a way to cross people off your gift-giving list.

“Making your own gifts … can be a gift you give yourself, as cheesy as that sounds," says Jennifer Worick, author of Simple Gifts: 50 Little Luxuries to Craft, Sew, Cook & Knit (Voyageur Press, $19.99).

While knitting or needlework isn’t a cheap hobby, Brenda Stimpson, designer and owner of the website Needlepoint-For-Fun.com, advises looking at it “purely on a cost-per-hour-of-entertainment basis.”

After an initial investment in a sewing machine, you can create basic curtains or tablecloths and save on the cost of tailoring or fixing hems. A framed and finished needlepoint can decorate your home or become a future gift or even heirloom.