On Treating Yourself + Grown Up Purchases

I am something of a workaholic
. One of the good/bad things about being self-employed is that the harder you work, the more money you make/the more awesome things you create/the more opportunities come your way.  And even when I’m making enough money and I’m up to my eyeballs in work, it’s hard to turn things down.  Writing for a celebrity trainer?  Sure!  Article about how to speak Cajun?  Yes!And despite all this nose-to-the-grindstone working, I’m not great at treating myself.  Or rather, the ‘treats’ I allow myself are usually along the lines of $6 worth of Vietnamese food or a bi-monthly pedi at a dicey salon.  The thought of dropping more than $50 dollars on something that’s not totally necessary gives me The Guilts.  Hardcore.  Even when I can totally afford it.  And even when I totally deserve it.

But then!  Last week I happened upon these earrings.  And I’m fairly sure that they need to be a part of my life.  Every day for the next several years.  Despite having enough money to buy these without bouncing a check, I’ve spent the last week periodically visiting the website, forwarding the link to friends, imagining what I could wear them with, worrying about losing them.  Which is silly!  Most women I know wear wedding bands worth thousands of dollars!  And I could buy these without breaking the bank!

So I finally (finally!) bought a pair and now I’m waiting anxiously by the mailbox for them to arrive.  And you know what?  Clicking that ‘buy now’ button was the most adult I’ve felt in ages.  I’ve signed apartment leases on my own, I’m an LLC, I have an intern forpetessake, but purchasing Real, Grown Up, Not-From-Target jewelry (after probably excessive consideration) made me feel awesome and adult in a way that few other things have.

How do you treat yourself?  Do you ever find it hard to truly ‘splash’ out?  What purchases make you feel like an adult?


Eternal*Voyageur (Venusian*Glow)

The earrings are so gorgeous!!!
I do find it hard to splash out, though the ridiculous thing is that I might spend the exact same amount on a couple of small things here and there, cups of hot chocolate, etc etc.
I think that even if I do splash out on the bigger thing, I will still want the small crappy treats… and I can't afford both!
Which means I'm a quantity over quality gal?
I do own amazing gold and silver jewelry, but I have got all of it as presents or inheritance.


I know exactly what you mean. I saw a Minoux necklace on Cup of Jo, bookmarked it, and visited it about 20 times over 2 months before buying it. It was $70, which is a lot more than the Forever 21 crap that constitutes my jewelry collection. And I have a good job and cheap rent! I am glad you bought them. It is good to be thrifty, but also important to have everyday beautiful objects.


I've seen those on pinterest before and they're lovely! Enjoy wearing them!

Since I'm still in the grad school stage I don't treat myself very often beyond some fast food (and I'm letting that get out of hand because it's the only thing I really spend money on beyond gas).

Tomorrow though I have an interview for a few teaching positions so I was thinking today I might splurge on a hair cut or color. I also have a wedding this summer so I was thinking this could be a dry run for that… Basically it's my way of telling myself it's a good idea to do it now.

I was raised to be thrifty and I have panic attacks if an item is over $30. So instead I buy lots of cheap junk instead of fine pieces that are classy and will last a while.

Anyway, thanks for this, it's exactly what I needed this morning!


Those are beautiful earrings!

The most "adult" thing I ever did for myself was deciding I was worth the money and starting taking horse-back riding lessons a few years ago! I had ALWAYS loved horses, but could never afford them growing up. When I had my first 'real' job I decided it was time to do something for myself.

Since then horses have become such a hugely ingrained part of my identity. They have been worth every cent!


The most adult purchase I did was for my birthday last month.

Bought myself the Oval Arty Ring (gold cabochon glass on gold plated ring setting) from Yves Saint Laurent. I have been looking at it for 2 years online…on fashion blogs, the YSL website, net-a-porter…and the purseblog forum. I didn't buy it online though, I went to the YSL Jakarta store itself on my last business trip to Indonesia (there is no YSL in the Philippines).

I was intimidated at first when I entered the store, like I didn't belong, but oooh…..I tried the ring on, it was LOVE and instantly, handed my credit card.

I was instantly seated on a plush chair and handed a glass of orange juice while the Sales Assistant chatted brightly around me. When they found out it was my birthday, they greeted me as I was handed the shopping bag with my precious, precious gift to myself.

It was indeed a grown up moment. Why? Because it was the first time I bought something which is not consulted by anyone other than myself, and I know that I can pay it. I think it's that rush of being able to gain what you really really want and that really waited for it. It took me 2 years after all.

Now every time I wear the ring, it makes me giddy, and happy.


Can't wait to see the pic of you and your new earrings. I used to NOT splash out with treats, then I got over it 🙂


It DOES feel so grown up to buy yourself fancy things! Spa treatments and massages are my biggest indulgence – and they feel extra selfish because unlike a big designer bag – nobody even knows you spent the money…


Yeah, $138 is not too much to worry about losing. I'm sure it'll be fine.
I bought myself a nice quality, opera-length pearl necklace a couple years ago. I'm pretty sure it's the type of present a boyfriend is supposed to get you, but screw that shit. I'm not waiting on that nonsense.


learning to buy the expensive thing is also about learning not to buy a bunch of $10-$20 things so that you can buy the much more expensive thing. at least for me.

i finally stopped buying shoes at dsw, ross and the like in order to start buying hand made shoes and fluevogs. my feet are totally the happier for it, i own far fewer pairs but each and every pair was carefully selected, beautiful and most importantly comfortable.

EB of SpiceDish

Absolutely stunning and very very worth the price. You've worked hard for them and as long as you're not going into debt for them… TREAT YO SELF!


Those earrings are GORGEOUS! Great purchase! I really think there's nothing wrong with treating yourself every so often. You totally deserve it!

I'm about to buy a new car (I think!) to replace my 15 year old, super sexy Civic, and pay for grad school. Those are very adult, scary expenses. 😮


I have the problem with spending my money all over the place in small spurts: $10 for lunch, $30 for drinks, $15 for a sweater at TJ Maxx. And then when it comes to the big stuff, I balk. But like this weekend, I finally went to the store and dropped $200 on really lovely bed linens: sheets, comforter, throw pillows, the works. And we needed it, so badly, and I've put it off for so long because I was waiting for the paycheck that didn't run out before the next one. But now we have it, and I'm counting my pennies (I automatically deposit into my savings account every two weeks, so it's not actually *that* bad) til my next paycheck, but it's done and we'll be happier for it.

Hobo Siren

I love this post. First of all—those earrings are gorgeous. I completely identify with the dilemma of the grown-up purchase, but, like the other commenters, I've tried to train myself to avoid the stream of tiny throw-away purchases. Kady of (aladyrevealsnothing.com) and I did a podcast on this recently—about the mental exercise of analyzing a purchase. Our recommendation: after fantasizing about having the purchase as part of your life and still really really wanting it, ask yourself… If I leave "home" to travel the world, will I bring it with me, sell it, or store it? These earrings are coming with you I think, ha!


I just bought a couch on Saturday and it was the most nerve-wracking purchase. Owning a couch is such an adult thing to do. Also, now that I've spent all that money on it, sitting on the couch has become an incredibly exciting thing to do.

Amanda Cobb

Fellow self-employed person here, and I COMPLETELY understand where you're coming from on this. I have a hard time with that, too (and at about the same limit – anything over $50). I think it come from long practice of stretching money as far as you can (in the slim starting-off self employed years). So in my brain, it's like "If I'm going to spend $150, I better get a BUNCH for it. Not just this one thing, even though this one thing is really awesome and I really want it." I'm slowly getting better at this, and my personal indulgence at the moment is going for a massage. 🙂


Ohh, the amount of times I've sighed, put down something I really like – which probably cost max $40 and said "nevermind, I don't need it". Not saying I should buy everything that takes my fancy, that would be treacherous to my bank balance, but yeah, the only things I do seem to buy are $2 shop nailpolishes and coffees. Will step up and actually commit to something I love next time, if it really is something that I love.

Treat yo'self! <3 that show.


I find it hard to treat myself but buying others expensive presents isn't a problem at all. This is so silly, especially since I really am on a tight budget. Don't get me wrong, I don't buy expensive presents for my friends because they are expensive. Instead, if I see something which is just absolutely perfect for that person, I will get it. Even if I maybe can't really afford it. I'd never do the same thing for myself.


I have such a difficult time spending money on myself, no matter the cost! And when it cost a bit more, I usually talk myself out of it. Sad, huh? Why do we work for money, to not enjoy some luxuries!?

Hmmm, I think I need to treat myself. And be completely, 100% satisfied with my purchase!


Big purchases give me severe anxiety – anything from plane tickets to my big SLR camera. I think this is partially genetic because my paternal side is from very, very poor people – poor for hundreds of years. It was probably poverty that made us leave Rhineland. So instinct is to hoard money in jars and bury them deep in the yard.


First of all, LOL at that Parks & Rec vid. Hilarious! Treat yo self!

You totally deserve those earrings and I'm glad you bought them.

I on the other hand have no problem treating myself to frivolous things like shoes. But when it comes to major purchases (that I know I need) I get antsy and anxious on spending large sums of money… strange.


I completely understand you about the whole not-being-able-to-treat-yourself thing. As I am typing this… I am contemplating whether or not to return something that I bought yesterday as a reward for myself. It's been driving me insane since the second I bought it! It's so strange because I have no problem with buying things for others but I just can't buy things for myself without feeling incredibly guilty. 🙁

So the only way that I can truly treat myself without feeling any guilt is a delicious meal. 😀


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