Saturday mornings are a recharging period for me. I bring Ava to ballet and sit in the waiting area outside her classroom for 45 deliciously quiet minutes. Many of the other parents try to peek through the blinds or squint at the teeny computer monitor that broadcasts the ballet class, but not me. I sit for about 10 minutes gathering strength from the silence (introvert pride, woo woo!), and then dive into the pile of magazines waiting on the table next to my standard seat.
I’m not a real celebrity gossip kind of girl, so I skip over UsWeekly and People (though others in my house love celebrity “news”…), and go for the late 20s/early 30s version of Cosmopolitan-Redbook. I’m pretty sure I scoffed at this magazine in my younger years but now I’m old enough and confident enough to declare my affinity for this publication.
Recently, Redbook provided an article that caught my eye right away. It was titled, “3 Crazy Awesome Reasons Buying that Daily Starbucks is Actually Better for Your Finance.” An argument to spend $5 on a delicious beverage?! Sold.
In the piece, financial expert Nicole Lapin lays out three reasons to invest in yourself. I’ll provide examples from my own life:
- Your time is money. My husband says this one oh so often. He works in corporate finance, so I generally trust his judgement on such matters. Take for instance our decision to hire a landscaper to mow our lawn this summer. At first, it seemed like a waste of money. We had the lawnmower, and Matt was physically capable of cutting the lawn, so why pay someone else to do it? Turns out that not having to schedule weekends around Matt mowing the lawn, gathering the grass clippings, and bringing them to the transfer station is awesome. It means more time that we can spend together as a family, which is becoming even more precious as my kids get older.
- Little luxuries can pay dividends. I have several friends who get manicures every week. When I asked one of them (my best friend’s mother, in fact) why she always has ‘fancy nails,’ she told me that her hands are always on display when she is presenting at work. Lapin uses this example, too, as she explains that when she gets a manicure she feels more confident at work, and is therefore more productive. That made sense to me, but some of my manicure indulgent pals are stay at home parents whose hands are only seen by their children and spouse. So why spend the money? These friends explained to me that it was a way of recharging, and that allowed them to have more energy to parent and run their households. Got it.
- Denying yourself can backfire. I don’t get manicures, but when I work on this blog at Starbucks (versus the luxury of my bedroom) I am also more productive. My most popular posts came to life in coffee shops. But my money issues still get the best of me at times, and I don’t
buy that $4.00 chai tea. Then I get bitter, and resentful. Lapin argues that denying yourself a small purchase (like my chai tea) might lead you to make a compulsive expensive purchase to boost your mood later (i.e. instead of spending $4.00 on my beverage, I spend $140 in the shopping vortex that is Target.) For me it’s more likely that I would just be in a bad mood for the rest of my day.
If you know me personally you know I have money issues, and I’ll save those details for future (riveting, I’m sure!) post. But this article got me thinking. What if I spent just a little more on myself? Sure, we all know that financial experts tout the savings from “brewing at home,” but I’m thinking that my chai tea is more than that. It helps me write better blog posts. It stops me from overspending because I’m resentful that I don’t treat myself. It makes me feel like I’m worth that $4.
How can you invest in yourself? What returns might you see?