I was lucky enough to get a nice year-end bonus this year, which just dropped in my bank account this month. I spent the holidays fantasizing about a shopping spree at Anthropologie, Madewell or Barnes & Noble, but in the past week or so I’ve had a change of heart. Maybe it’s that my partner and I have been talking about moving — across town, this summer, and maybe somewhere else, more permanently — causing me to experience my material things differently, or just a desire to break my spend-shame cycle. (I talked about my January no-buy resolution here.)
So, I paid down some debts, tucked some money away, and had a little left over to treat myself. After the anxiety and health struggles I’ve gone through over the past year, it felt important to me to spend a little money in the name of self care. I mean, Donna said it best.
But… how to treat myself without acquiring more shit? Here’s what I brainstormed. I hope it can inspire someone else!
- Instead of new shoes, book some time with a financial professional. A lot of my anxieties are money related. I’ve been blessed enough to move into a higher tax bracket over the past year, but as someone who did not grow up with a lot, or into a family with a lot of financial literacy, this has caused a lot of stress for me. I’m booking some time with a financial consultant and a tax professional, for some much-needed advice and peace of mind. A sanity check to help ensure that my life goals are on track is a better gift than any new pair of boots. (And I have my eye on some beautiful boots.)
- Instead of a Sephora splurge, treat yourself to more permanent beauty treatment. Listen, I get it. I’m a compulsive lipstick buyer. I want that new Fenty as much as anybody. But maybe instead of dropping over $100 at Sephora (how is it so damn easy?) you could invest in a permanent beauty solution whose effects will last past hot yoga? Laser hair removal, eyelash extensions, microblading, teeth whitening… even Botox or a Kim K laser facial if that’s your thing.
- Instead of a pricey night out, get a deep house clean. A few years ago, a night out buying rounds of expensive cocktails for my friends would have been a thoroughly satisfying way to drop a few stacks. These days, the hangover isn’t quite worth it for me. I mean, sure, there’s a new speakeasy with $15 cocktails and an all-night dance party across town, but have you ever tried waking up to a clean house? Spend some money to have a professional deep clean your house, including all of those awful annual tasks you dread doing (oven cleaning, baseboard scrubbing…) That is self care.
- Instead of a shopping spree for yourself, go on a shopping spree for someone who needs it. I love a shopping spree. It turns out, it feels just as good — maybe even a little better!? — when it’s not for you! I went to a bookshop and picked out a bunch of books for a program I volunteer with that donates books to inmates, but there are so many ways you could go with this. Nice winter clothes for homeless shelters, toys for kids who need it, makeup and professional wear for women in domestic violence shelters who need to look nice for job interviews, etc.
- Instead of an expensive spa treatment… tbh, I’m still getting the spa treatment. Hey, I worked hard this year! Hot stone pedicure and detoxing mud wrap, here I come…