Treat Yourself

The other day I saw an article about how millennials spend more money on coffee as opposed to investing in other “useful” things. While the article itself probably didn’t mean to antagonize millennials in any way or form, it does remind me of how most people tend to dictate us for being “wasteful.”

As someone who works her ass off every weekday from 9 to 5, I do not appreciate that.

First off, let us address the elephant in the room: we are facing economic downfall. Unless you are born a privileged princess or prince, money is something we all need to save and manage. I know this because I came from a family who never fed me with a silver spoon. I work hard for mine and am very independent and self sufficient individual.

I work as a Graphic Designer for 8~9 hours every day, sometimes more. I know what it’s like to be an employee and not an employer. I know that my paycheck will never amount to Google design employee paychecks but I work my butt off every single day to survive. So believe me when I say I know how money is hard-earned, not given.

This also means I know what it’s like to feel like I deserve a reward. Let me state this, I deserve to treat myself. Let repeat that – I deserve to treat myself. I deserve to buy a whole pan of pizza and binge on it while catching up with my favorite tv series on Netflix. I deserve to step up my game and buy better quality skincare products and purchase cups of coffee upon coffee. I deserve to eat good food. I deserve to reward myself with a pair of new shoes or makeup, or clothing. I deserve to buy a new design or horror book that I have been wanting to get for months. I deserve good things, happy things, tasty things. I deserve to laugh and smile by the end of the week because I worked hard all week if I wanted to. I deserve all these things without having to be torn down. I deserve these and I don’t need baby boomers to breathe down my neck, telling me I’m better off eating cheap ass street food every week just so I can save more.

Trust me, it may not be a huge amount but believe me I am dropping into my savings here or there. And as they say “a little goes along way”. If I could take every ounce of my money and just drop it in my savings I would but – reality check, I can’t. Why? No it’s not the things I want, its the needs, the necessities in life, the bills.

Here’s a thing or two about some baby boomers that I realized: they think we should live our lives the way they lived theirs, years ago. . They sneer when we reward ourselves by spending our paycheck – not all some – on things that can make us happy. They snort and get offended if we don’t invest our paychecks elsewhere. They call us wasteful and silly, young and naive, or just plain stupid. They disagree with how we reward ourselves after busting our butt off from Monday to Friday, from 9 to 5. They hate it when we use our paycheck to purchase new shoes, new clothes or new anything. They call us foolish for investing in temporary happiness and not long-term settlement. They think we shouldn’t save up for traveling and should do so for marriage instead. They think marriage, residential settlement and having kids is the way to live life.

Newsflash! No, it’s not. At least not for everyone.

People forget the basic law of cause and effect. The downfall of our economy, the struggles we millennials have to push through and the financial status we have to survive each day — these are partially caused by their generation. Think about it. How do they expect us to buy a house right of the back when really, employment is difficult enough and not everyone is privileged to be able to get paid $1000 or more every month? And trust me those that are (speaking from personal experience) am very grateful.

But really, when you think about it, no matter how much we save our cash, we’ll never be as rich as those who are born privileged. Basic life expenses are not cheap and we all have bills to say. Realistically speaking, it might even take me 10 years before I can even say I’m rich or even close to it. Even then, I’d still have bills and other expenses to pay. Telling me not to spend my paycheck at all just so I can buy a house is like telling me I shouldn’t let loose and reward myself for all those times I had to sit in front of the monitor with a sore butt and strained eyes.

The thing is, my friend, life in itself is expensive. And if you are a human being, I challenge you to look at me and say, “I do not need personal enjoyment or reward.”

Keep in mind that I am in no way telling you to be a huge spender. To reward oneself does not necessarily mean to waste cash. You aren’t stuck in a Vegas casino where you have to go big or go home. There’s a difference between giving yourself nice things once in a while in moderation and carelessly throwing away your dollars. I’m sure most of us understand what it’s like to feel proud of ourselves, of our paychecks. I’m also sure most of us know that we need to save and manage.

So the next time someone tells you that you shouldn’t spend your paychecks on a cup of coffee be it Starbucks, Dunkin’ or whatever, or they say you should’t spend your paycheck on a new pair of shoes or outfit, or a ticket to another country, don’t listen to them. We deserve to treat ourselves without having to feel guilty. We can stop munching on cheap fast food cheeseburgers and start eating on something better, cleaner and definitely healthier and that’s okay. We can start enjoying a newly opened eatery and stop buying instant, frozen food from the convenience store for lunch and that’s perfectly fine.

We should all start giving credits to ourselves by doing things that make us happy and ignore the haters who nag about about how we spend our hard-earned paychecks.

Do you treat/reward yourself occasionally?