Ok, I’ll put my hands up and admit that recently I’ve become a bit of a ‘treat yourself’ addict. I just can’t seem to resist that hit of Dopamine I get every time I splash the cash on some aesthetically pleasing novels or a fancy cocktail. So when I read Beth’s brilliant post about the issues with our ‘treat yourself’ mentality I found myself pondering whether or not those bottomless brunches in Chelsea and late-night shoe splurges are really worth it…
And you know what? As much as I would love to have a more ‘responsible’ outlook on my finances I just can’t. As Beth mentions, the likelihood that our generation is going to be able to afford to buy (and maintain) our own homes is just laughable (unless you’re earning crazy figures, or your parents can lend a helping hand). Sure, something may go catastrophically wrong for us and we may find ourselves regretting the money we frittered away on frivolous things but, personally, I would rather fill my life with things I adore than my pocket with money that’s gathering dust.
I used to scrimp and save every bit I could, and in reality it left me feeling miserable and unfulfilled. My bookshelves were empty, and I lusted after statement pieces I longed to fill my wardrobe with, but couldn’t bring myself to, just in case I needed that money later on.
Now, I’m not saying we should all disregard our bank balances and spend, spend, spend until our cards get declined (that would be a TERRIBLE idea) but I am suggesting that we loosen the chains of ‘financial responsibility’ just a little bit, and allow ourselves to enjoy life and the money we work so hard to earn.
I’m just a little bit (VERY) Neurotic when it comes to money. I lay awake at night mentally spending (and un-spending) the money in my bank account. Every penny and pound is worked into a weekly budget, and if I do decide to splurge a little bit I find myself mentally calculating the morning lattes and Sunday brunches I can skip to ‘make the money back’.
For me, treating myself is therapeutic. It encourages me to enjoy my life, and the things I desire, instead of worrying about how much I’ve spent all the time. Some months I’ll go all out on the spending, treating myself to a pair of heels, or novel I’ve been dying to read, on a weekly basis. Other months, I’ll stay in over the weekend to save a bit of money and pop some in my savings so I have something to rely on if it all goes tits up.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think we should demonise the ‘treat yourself’ mentality. How we each spend our money is only our concern, and as long as your looking after your mental and physical wellbeing I really don’t care if you spend that fiver on a McDonald’s or save it for a rainy day.
So, if that caramel iced latte is the true highlight of your day (or the only thing that keeps you from rage quitting your job) GO FOR IT! Spend what you want, when you want, and don’t feel obligated to save a penny unless YOU want to.