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Money Management

Treat Yourself, But Only Within Reason

Little treats are nice, but less so when you can’t afford them.

I think I’ve heard the word “treat” more in the last ten years or so than I had in my entire life prior to that. The “treat yourself” mentality has definitely become more popular nowadays as people put more priority on their mental and emotional wellness over their work lives. I see this as a good thing, and not just because I also like treating myself now and then. That said, as with pretty much any good thing, it is very possible, and even worryingly easy, to overindulge.

Something that some people seem to forget is that a treat is, by definition, “an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.” Note that first part there, out of the ordinary. Some people have a tendency to overindulge in unnecessary purchases, rationalizing each one away as them “treating themselves,” but if you’re spending all of your money away on frivolous things, that’s not treating yourself, that’s just shopping.

Like I said before, I like treating myself! It’s nice to just buy something cool for myself when I want it. But the caveat to that is that, even when I’m treating myself, I never spend money I don’t already have. If I’m not caught up on bills, groceries, or other important expenses, then that’s no time to be frittering money away. This is why I’ll occasionally put in some work to earn some extra cash, and then treat myself with that. That money is specifically earmarked for the treat, and is safe to spend.

The point is that it’s okay to buy yourself something nice once in a while, and for a reasonable price. But if you start doing it every single day, you’ll find you have a house full of random crud and bereft of food and running water.

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