One totally normal Sunday afternoon, Ryan asked if we could go to Nordstrom. It’s my favorite store, so I’m always up for a trip to Nordy’s. But, I knew instantly what this was about. My heart sank a little, I got butterflies in my stomach and I questioned if it was the right move. This was the first time I started thinking about writing a blog on the big question everyone has, “Does money make you happy?”
For months, Ryan has asked to buy me Christian Louboutins. I keep declining, admitting I’m not ready and have no need for such expenditures. After all, part of the reason we’ve reached great financial health at our age is that we’ve been conscious about how we spend our money. But, it’s Louboutin!!
I have a deep appreciation for expensive things. Luxury items, houses, cars all appeal to me from an aesthetic perspective. I don’t just buy anything because it’s expensive though, I have to really love it. Louboutins maybe aren’t every girls dream, but they are mine. There is art to the design of these shoes and it’s something I’ve appreciated since I was much younger. Ryan knows this and that’s why he wanted so badly to gift me with my first pair.
Some of you may be thinking, “Oh girl, if you want them go get them yourself!” But, it’s more than that. It is a gift that means more than just buying me an expensive pair of shoes. It’s almost a way of expressing that we have made it to a point in our lives we never could have gotten to without each other. This is the first time I can answer the question.
Does money make you happy? Well, it makes me happy quite often.
To Save or Not to Save
Ryan and I have always been big savers. We value the money we put in our bank accounts, and we don’t spend frivolously. There are a few general guidelines we stick to when organizing our money and this is probably some of our best advice if you’re wondering if you should save it or spend it.
Create accounts that meet specific needs and always ensure you have the cash to spend. One of my hard and fast rules is that everyone needs an Emergency Fund. You should not spend or invest without first beefing up this part of your bank account. And, you shouldn’t spend money you don’t have. Credit cards are not loans, they should only help you earn points or rewards.
For years, my father preached the importance of saving up for emergencies. And, like diligent children, Ryan and I obeyed. We both worked on building a significant savings by being lean with our spending and focusing on a goal. Once we hit that goal, we started to branch out to other accounts, saving for other things like a new car, a new house, travel and fun. Now, we have bank accounts for everything and we only spend out of that account if it’s for that purpose.
Why You Should Treat Yo’Self and the Answer to, “Does Money Make You Happy?”
Now, you get to the fun part. Let’s start first by reflecting on one of the best episodes of Parks and Recreation. In this episode, Tom and Donna take Ben on a spree because “treat yo’self!” It’s a classic Tom and Donna move and it’s brilliant. Once a year, they go out and spend a bunch of money treating themselves to things they deserve. Their answer to the question, does money make you happy, is a strong yes in this case.
There are a few reasons this idea of giving to yourself is important. And, if you’ve reached a point in your financial health where you can really enjoy your money, then this is a totally acceptable way to treat yourself. (PSA: Tom is not the most savvy with his money and has admitted multiple times in the show’s history that he is in lots of debt. Don’t be a Tom. Be a Donna.)
Here are a few reasons it’s important to treat yo’self:
- Recognize that you work hard and you deserve rewards too. Sometimes, people don’t recognize you enough. In this life, you can’t count that you’ll get recognition enough. So, be there for you!
- A reward or treat can bring you some mental and emotional relaxation. In fact, spending time reflecting on yourself and your needs is an essential key in self care.
- No one is going to treat you as good as you treat you. Remembering that you’re important and recognizing yourself as important is a good step in building self esteem and confidence.
How to Start Treating Yo’Self More
You don’t have to spend an entire day at Nordy’s buying things for yourself or for your significant other to feel like you’re treating yourself. Sometimes, it could just be about sitting in your favorite chair and reading a good book uninterrupted.
You decide what treating yourself means. For example, Ryan and I enjoy spoiling each other. In fact, I think we both have a portion of our budget that we allot to making each other happy. It’s part of how we keep our relationship fresh and it brings us joy to see the other person happy and content.
The first step is discovering what makes you happy. What moments in your life are the ones that bring you the most joy. It doesn’t have to require money, but let’s be honest, money is usually want makes things happen. For example, being with my nieces and nephew makes me a very happy person. I know that the average flight to Dallas costs $300. If i want to see my family often, that means I need to save significantly to do that. But boy does the result of spending that money make me happy.
How are you going to start treating yo’self?