As the holiday season approaches us, one of the trends that is growing is called self-gifting. Have you been annoyed in holiday seasons past because you end up getting gifts that you’ll never use or a drawer full of gift cards from stores you don’t really like? We get so cautious about telling people what kind of gifts we want because we still like the element of surprise, but more often than not you end up dissatisfied because your expectations are unmet by gifts that just don’t cut the mustard. So, is self-gifting an indulgence or is it an investment that will help us flourish going into 2020? Is it time like they say on Parks and Recreation to treat yo’self?
Probably the most famous investor is the Oracle of Omaha who said, “By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.” Last year, I wrote a significant piece that made the front page of the Wall Street Journal around why you should always invest 2% of your income back into yourself. The purpose of this article was to share that investments don’t necessarily mean getting a master’s degree or hiring a personal trainer. Sometimes, investments can be getting a new watch, a trendy handbag, or just simply a day at the spa. Our minds and bodies need nourishment and affirmation, and sometimes this concept of self-gifting can put us on this path.
Ironically, last year during the holiday season almost 80% of people surveyed who shopped on Black Friday or Cyber Monday openly admitted to doing some form of self-gifting while they shopped for others. It’s not just these holidays that may be a good time to self-gift. By becoming a member of reward clubs, joining point programs, and exclusive lists, you may also be able to get deals on experiences that will allow you to fulfill some of these self-gifting experiences. Recently, I got $119 a night rooms because I was a member of the OMNI Hotel program. If you are willing to hit different cities at off peak times or pay attention when tickets go on sale, you could snag yourself some self-gifting opportunities that will be tremendously rewarding.
Now, there is a right way and wrong way to self-gift in my opinion. What we are NOT talking about here is simply randomly making impulse purchases. That will put you and your family in credit card debt you don’t need. What we are talking about is making yourself a budget for the upcoming year and setting aside an ‘allowance’ line for this self-gifting or investment opportunity in yourself. If you have a spouse or partner, I highly recommend getting separate bank accounts set up for this, so you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder or reading your credit card statements asking about every single purchase that you make.
Black Friday is right around the corner and now you have some answers about whether or not you should self-gift. Make sure you can afford it, but if it helps you nourish or flourish you might just go for it this week.