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Love

Treat yo'self without breaking the bank


It's payday and you're on top of the world. You've worked hard and having the freshly topped up bank account to show for it fills you with confidence. It's the perfect time to splurge.

What good is money if you don't use it to treat yourself and those you love?

Maybe you buy those shoes that caught your eye in the store window yesterday, spring for the more expensive bottle of wine at dinner, or simply give yourself license to break free of the shopping list at the supermarket.

Acknowledging the moments when you feel at your best or most accomplished with a reward is gratifying. It can also be a great way to keep yourself motivated. But if you ride the high of payday throwing money to the wind only to find that you're scrounging for change the day after, it might be time to rethink how you treat yourself.

What calls for a treat in your book?

Is it making it through a particularly tough week at work, hitting a big milestone, or finishing a project? While we all have different reasons, unless someone else is footing the bill for your treats, it's helpful to think about why you're celebrating to determine whether the reward matches the achievement.

Treating yourself by buying things can feel good and well deserved, but if that feeling doesn't last or is quickly replaced by buyer's remorse, it might pay to think about the true value of those treats before indulging. Rewarding yourself now shouldn't mean depriving yourself of the basics later. Take a beat before heading to the checkout and consider whether there are other ways you could be recognising your efforts and achievements.

4 ways to treat yourself without breaking the bank

1. Choose experiences over things

Research has shown many times over that spending money on experiences tends to bring more lasting happiness than spending money on material things. Doing something new or different, and spending time with loved ones while you do it can feel more rewarding than a shopping spree. Grab a friend and try your hand at a new craft, find a free group fitness class in your community, or catch a mid-week movie.

2. Shop smart

If you've got your heart set on a certain purchase, take advantage of all the information that's out there to make sure you get the best price. If you enjoy the hunt, visit retailers' websites to scope out and compare prices. Sign up to receive their newsletters to be the first to find out about special offers and sales. If you don't have the time or inclination to do the research yourself, there are plenty of discount and deal finding websites and apps that will do the leg work and notify you when the items you want are on sale.

3. Join the sharing economy

Much like Airbnb and Uber, which have brought crowdsourced services to the masses, sites like OneWardrobe and Clothing Exchange have made a business of sharing. Rather than forking out the money for that new coat or handbag you can pay a fee to use the service and rent or swap it with something you already own but don't use. You'll get the thrill of a new purchase without the price tag.

4. Spend time, not money

Sometimes the best reward is downtime. If you feel like you deserve a treat for the hours you spent finishing a project at work or waking up at 5am every day in the past week to go for a morning run, why not forego the spending and take some time to rest and recover. Cook up your favourite meal and catch up on those TV shows you love, or dive back into that hobby you've been too busy to pursue.

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