You deserve little luxuries. But you also deserve food, shelter, utilities, and the peace that comes from being debt-free.
Be honest: How many times have you seen an image similar to the one attached on a social media site with a caption like “Indulge yourself,” or “Don’t neglect your self-care”? So often, no matter what our finances are currently looking like, the attractive advertising, and our own need to temporarily escape leads us to buying so many “little things, here and there” that we actually do not need. Worse, the want for the item usually dies sometime between getting the receipt and initial use of the product. Buying this thing failed to do what we secretly hoped it would, make us happy, and now we must take the additional L of yet another “little thing” that’s eaten into the budget.
When I ask clients why they buy something they don’t really need and may already have plenty of, I am sometimes met with the defensive response, “I deserve to treat myself!” My proclamation that self-care doesn’t require consumerism has been met with every emotion from hostility to disbelief, but it’s true. If you feel anxious, tired, or unhappy, that is not your brain signaling you to buy things. Rather, your body is telling you that it needs rest, nourishment, exercise, alone time or company, or even medical attention. These feelings aren’t calling you to get another handbag, your desperation to avoid addressing your issues is. But the cost of this avoidance, with a dwindling budget or rising debt, is a cost that most of us simply cannot afford.