A Little (or Big) Something For You During The Holidays?

We like to feel good about ourselves and we want to like how we look. This may sound superficial, but it’s a part of life. A guy may not understand why we spend X amount on a handbag, but then again, do we really ‘get’ his purchases or understand how so much happiness can be brought on by his fantasy league?

One of my aunts has always told me, “Pay yourself first.” She’s an independent women for sure, and may have participated in a few bra-burnings back in the day. Nonetheless, that advice has always stuck with me. How do you pay yourself? Is it in vacations, handbags, electronics, desserts, shoes? Whatever it is, a tangible possession or not, make sure you are rewarding yourself.

I know this concept may be difficult, especially around the holidays, when we are to think of others. The messages we receive are an overload of store sales and promotions and a guilt trip of giving, giving, giving. Why can’t that girl ringing the bell outside the grocery store know that I do donate time, food and money to other charities. And please, little boy scout, I really did just donate to your troop at CVS yesterday. (Even though, I thought by paying $1, I would actually get the gummy bears. Oh, I’m a terrible person!)

What do you do when you don’t have the money or can’t spend the money on clothes but still want to look current? Have you been laid off from work? Have you started your own business? Are you paying for a wedding? Have you bought a house? Are you expecting a baby? These are all very real things that are happening in the lives of women. You are probably in one of these situations or know someone who is. It doesn’t matter at what age or where she is in life. We all have to make certain spending sacrifices. Knowing what you have to do and doing it, are two different things.

You know that you ‘can’t’ buy that (insert piece of furniture or thing you’ve been eyeing for your house) because you need to pay your insurance–or that jacket you can picture yourself wearing with virtually everything because you need to pay your web designer, but you want to.

How do you mix staying on your strict budget and making a few pleasurable purchases? You get strategic about it and go for it. It happens. You see the boot, bag or jacket of the season…then figure instead of paying top dollar for the designer option, you’ll wait ‘till it’s cousin version (aka, the knock off) is available at the discount store. That plan may work, unless of course that option is made of cheap material. In that case, you are better off passing on those lace up boots because you and most everyone else, can tell they are plastic and not leather.

An alternative method is to buy for yourself after Christmas. While you’re already out shopping for others, it doesn’t hurt to glance at pieces that intrigue you and make mental notes (or on paper if you’re forgetful). Retailers will send you a plethora of emails, by signing up for their lists, but still, you are made aware of discount codes and online shopping events. If your inbox becomes overwhelmed, it’s easy to unsubscribe when you want.

Do you enjoy buying things for yourself? If so, does that make you materialistic? In my opinion, no. Sure, some are more extreme than others, but I don’t believe spending money on yourself or others is wrong.

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