Life Lessons by Breanna Rose | Treat Yourself

On more than one occasion, you’ve probably seen me tweet out a link to my favorite “Treat Yo’Self” video from Parks & Rec. It’s a phrase I like to remind myself of whenever things get stressful or I’ve completed a big project. But the thing is : I’m frugal. And when I say frugal, I mean … my mind still thinks I’m a poor college student living off of cereal and yogurt. And although that’s not the case anymore + we actually DO eat like normal human beings, I can’t always shake the feeling.

So for the longest time, I didn’t allow myself splurge on anything. Well, okay, I did buy an iMac right out of college, but that was about it. Luckily, over time, I realized that it was absolutely okay to buy nice things every once in awhile. Especially when you’ve been working really hard and need a little pick me up! Now, I don’t go crazy or anything like that. Trust me, I’ll always be somewhat of a frugal person. I’ve simply come to realize that if I really want to eat out – it’s okay. Or if I’ve had my eye on a certain pair of jeans for awhile – it’s probably okay to just go ahead and buy them already.

I don’t mean to sit here and preach that you should buy all of the things. Or to talk about finances and money. Not at all. I’m here to confess my own frugalness and acceptance that it’s okay to indulge sometimes. After all, life is short. You should maybe have that mimosa.

  1. Jennifer says:

    I am so in the same place you are with this! My frugal self is striving to stay away from quick, cheap items (as much as I love Target) and go for quality items, esp. with clothes! Also, I was totally craving a mimosa yesterday, funny!
    Oh, and I see you went to UWSP? Me too! :)

  2. There is a whole chapter on this concept in The Artist’s Way. It’s all about recovering a sense of abundance and how allowing ourselves small luxuries helps us to nurture our creative self-worth. It’s a great book.

  3. I’m so bad when it comes to shopping. I have to go back to the shop 6 times, make sure that I actually like the item even more everytime I see it; check 5 times if I actually got the money; think if wether I’m gonna regret it or not. I actually act like it was a hudge investment everytime I buy something, even a 10 Euros pair of socks.
    And that’s how I ended up waiting 2 years before buying the bed cover I was dreaming about. Then I realized how stupid I was, going throught all of this mind torturing process. If I really like something, and if it can make my day brighter, or make me feel pretty and if I can afford, I’m going for it.

    • Jennifer says:

      Yes! Saaaame here!

    • Sarah says:

      What also happens pretty often: After looong overthinking and visiting the shop multiple times, you finally decide to really purchase the item, but it is SOLD OUT! :D When this happens, I am always telling myself that it’s some kind of faith, that it wasn’t meant to be and so on. But deep inside I know that I just should’ve bought it the moment I saw it first.

  4. Karen Murray says:

    Yeap, I’ve been very much like this my whole life as my mother always pushed the importance of not spending what you don’t have. Having to self-support myself through university, and then a few years where my partner and I were making very little money, it became an entrenched behaviour to the point that, despite being very comfortable currently, it takes me a push to actually spend money on something that isn’t a need (though having a certain amount of pocket money a month does help relax my spending). I’ve actually found the treats work in more ways than as a little pick-me-up; if I don’t spend money I find that, being self-employed, I don’t work as hard as I don’t crave the treats as much and don’t feel the guilt of buying those things, which in turn can often motivate me to working harder to bring in more income!

  5. Danielle says:

    As a grad student abroad, I’m currently frugal by necessity, but I try to find ways to treat myself in small ways–a cup of tea before bed, long shower in the morning. And after saving up for a bit, I too enjoy that meal out. Still waiting on the jeans though ;)

    I love that Parks & Rec episode SO, SO much.

  6. Nesha says:

    I’m veeeery similar. Since taking on more bills I’ve barely spent a penny n myself. My treat = one Starbucks HA! I know I’m being really stupid so from now on I’m going to buy something if I really want it. Come to mama, skinny Cos jeans!

  7. Allison says:

    1) Pretty sure it’s impossible to say “treat yoself” without doing Tom + Donna’s dance 2) This illustration is adorable and 3) “You should maybe have that mimosa” – think I just found my new mantra.

    I had a conversation with my mom about this (kind of) the other day… The furniture in our home of 20+ years has barely changed because she and my dad invested in such solid pieces since the beginning, but our generation is much more likely to buy lesser quality pieces + keep replacing as they wear out or trends change.

  8. Alecia says:

    I million percent agree to this treat yo self phrase. I even had the phrase on my drink straws at my wedding. Good reminder.

  9. Brittanny says:

    You’re right. Even if it’s getting yourself a latte at Starbucks, just give yourself a little gift. It’s so helpful.

  10. Lisa says:

    My background is Amish-Mennonite, and my mom grew up really poor, so I feel like I’ve internalized a lot of that just from growing up around the culture that I did. I’ve definitely gotten better about it, but I still agonize about spending money. I love clothes, but in the past I tended to buy things because they were cheap, not because they were awesome. I’m getting better at spending slightly more money (and still no outrageous splurges), but only on things I love or have wanted for a long time. It’s definitely a mental battle.

    • Maggie says:

      I have a similar financial state of mind, Lisa! I think I have a natural tendency to spend, but I was brought up to be very frugal, so I hit a weird middle-area when it comes to treat-yo-self. Usually it just means I feel a lot of guilt when I buy anything my mother would have deemed too costly (which includes pretty much anything that isn’t on sale). I’m getting better at allowing myself to spend, but defining my own financial habits has definitely been quite the process.

  11. Rachel says:

    I designed a shirt for “Treat yo Self” this past spring. I loved that episode!!! Seriously should go get that design printed haha

  12. Shannon says:

    Want to switch places. I have absolutely no problem treating myself and in fact I’m regularly mapping out my next purchase. Read my post How To Spend A Month’s Allowance On Your Lunch Break,
    http://www.brasshoney.blogspot.com/2013/09/dark-night.html

    Maybe we can swap secrets and meet in middle :)

    http://www.brasshoney.blogspot.com

  13. sharon says:

    i’m a college with a college budget but i try to treat myself like you mentioned. instead of always purchasing something new, i’ve learned to treat myself without really spending (having mc donald’s for lunch instead of water and a granola bar HA). but sometimes, i can’t help but just really treat myself especially after exams. thanks for the reminder!

  14. I used to be the very same way. I still have trouble investing in myself, but in the end life is too short to spend it all wishing for things instead of making them happen.

  15. Adriana M. says:

    That Parks & Rec video turned into a full-on YouTube session that streamed on for like, 30 minutes! Haha. I’m in the same shoes as other college students with low (to non-existing) budgets but I try to treat myself once in a while. It can be frustrating when you feel you deserve it but don’t have the money for it. In those moments, I try to tell myself that I’ll still get the chance to treat myself, just not right now, and when it happens, it will be glorious!

  16. Jess says:

    I LOVE that episode of Parks and Rec and I totally know how you feel. You wrote exactly how I feel and thank you for the reminder that it is ok to Treat Yo’ Self every once in a while! :) Love the illustration too!!

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