We all make those purchases that we know we “shouldn’t.” Maybe you hadn’t budgeted for it properly; it was heavily discounted (but probably still too expensive to justify); or you actually went out looking for a gift for someone else, but wound up “self-gifting” instead.
What is self-gifting? It’s the marketer’s sneaky way of saying that you’re impulse buying and engaging in unnecessary spending habits. While it’s tempting to “self-gift” by sneaking a little something into your online cart while shopping for Uncle Joe, chances are you ended up cheating yourself without really noticing.
Not-Self-Gifting Makes You Happier.
First of all, giving really is better than receiving. Watch Michael Norton’s TED Talk that explains why we’re happier when we spend our money on others. While you can argue that “self-gifting” is still giving (to yourself) I’m calling you out on that one—no, it isn’t.
Call it what it is: impulse spending.
Maybe you’ve noticed how a lot of major retailers have made the switch to one long line that feeds to multiple registers. I see you, TJ Maxx. While this genius can explain to you simply why it’s more efficient both for customers and for retailers, it also has created a space for retailers to line with small, tempting items that look like perfect little self-gifts. Come on, we’re all too smart to fall for that in this day and age!
Remember that it’s okay to spend.
Spending money is not inherently a “bad” thing that should make you feel guilty or wrong. If you’re okay owning up to your purchases and your spending habits—to anyone you are accountable to in your household, including yourself—then you’re totally entitled to do it. It’s those little purchases that we say to ourselves, “It doesn’t count,” where maybe we should pause for a moment of reflection.
Use “That’s Interesting.”
With a little advice from the New York Times, try this easy exercise: pause after making a purchase and repeat the amount spent in your head, without passing judgment, but simply stating, “That’s interesting.” For example, you go to buy a coffee and it comes out to $6.50, you simply say, “One coffee for six-dollars-and-fifty-cents, that’s interesting.” How do you feel?
Look: you are totally worth every penny you spend on yourself, which is why we believe you should invest in yourself for the long run, by making savvy financial choices each and every day, no matter how small, and even if it means not spending at all. Cinch has no affiliates and has no bias about where you spend (or, more importantly, don’t spend) your dollars. The best self-gift is one of holistic financial well-being.