How many times have you made a purchase because you thought, “I deserve it“? If you have, speak up… so I know I’m not the only one!
Lately, I have noticed that I slip into this pattern far more often that is productive. It’s good to “treat” myself if I can afford it, and it’s fine to reward myself for a job well done, but “I deserve it” shouldn’t be an excuse to spend, spend, and spend. Unfortuantely, somehow, I have gotten into the habit of using “I deserve it” as a crutch, and excuse, to spend above what is prudent. I had a hard week at work, so “I deserve it.” I worked extra hours to earn some freelance income, so “I deserve it.” I saw that great deal to the spa that I’ve been waiting for, so “I deserve it.”
All those “I deserves” are standing in the way of what we truly deserve.
Instead of a beach vacation that we’d have to finance with a credit card, we deserve to greet our monthly bills with zen, because we know that we can pay off what we have purchased.
Instead of a leather bag (or, um, shoes) whose price tag sails above our budget, we deserve to have the peace of mind that comes with a 3-month, 6-month, or even 12-month emergency fund.
Instead of the newest flatscreen TVs or flashiest DSLR camera, we deserve to look at our online statements and see we are saving 10%, 20%, maybe even 30% for retirement.
Instead of a sleek new car that we can only afford with a 6-year purchase plan, we deserve to start upon the road to financial security by making smart choices today… even if we have to drive down that road in a very old car.
Today is Valentine’s Day, a time to celebrate love (it’s NOT a made-up holiday, says this Valentine’s Day defender). And what better way to show love to ourselves -especially our future selves- than to work toward what we truly deserve? I’m using this holiday as a wake-up call… and a chance to reframe my concept of what I “deserve.”