Treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself!
OPINION: I've started to realize the importance of spoiling myself as much as possible because I’ve earned it.
Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.
There was a time when I rarely shopped for myself.
Being broke and in school makes you prioritize things differently. That new shirt may look nice hanging on the rack, and I know I looked good when I tried it on in the fitting room, but faced with the choice of having that stylish shirt or being able to eat and get around for the next few weeks generally meant I was choosing survival over wants.
Immediately after school, things were a bit better. I had a great job making decent money, but I was still afraid to splurge on myself.
I had heard too many lectures from the elders in my family about the importance of saving money and not being frivolous. Big purchases are nice, they would say, but don’t you think it’s smarter to save for a home/rainy day/emergency?
All of that was good advice, but there is nuance to conversations about money that sometimes gets lost between generations.
As I have gotten older and more advanced in my career, stability is no longer a question for me. I make enough to pay all my bills without struggling. I’m comfortable. I have a nice car; I live in a very nice neighborhood, and all my needs are being met. While I am considering purchasing property, it is not something that keeps me from enjoying the fruits of my labor.
Because when you get right down to it, why work every single day if you can’t enjoy the money you make from it?
Don’t get me wrong; I understand there are plenty of people who are not being paid livable wages and are struggling on a daily basis. I am by no means disregarding them or suggesting that they blow their budget buying things they want over things they need.
What I am saying is that if you are in a position to treat yourself to nice things, why aren’t you doing it?
If I am honest, I love shopping. I love traveling. I love eating in fancy restaurants and going to shows, buying expensive handbags, adding to my ever-growing collection of Chuck Taylor Converse and living my best life. Doing these things motivates me to work harder because I realize the more I put into earning, the more I am going to get out of it.
It’s capitalistic, and I admit that but we are trapped in a capitalist system that isn’t going away any time soon, and I have decided I am no longer going to feel bad about spoiling myself and indulging in the things I want.
We work hard for our money. We deserve to enjoy it.
Treat yourself; don’t cheat yourself, and keep in mind that it doesn’t always have to be big-ticket items. If your splurge is getting gel polish for your manicure or a big bowl of ice cream from Coldstone, then so be it! The point is you deserve. Hell, I deserve. Dammit, we all deserve.
This country is going into the toilet every single day. Finding joy in little things helps keep you from going insane. So buy that dress. Buy those shoes. Buy that purse. Go to that concert. Take that trip.
At the end of the day, you can’t take the money with you. While having a savings plan is always a good idea, remember that your most important asset is you.
Spoil yourself. It’s worth it.
Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at moniquejudge.com.
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