In the latest issue of O, the Oprah Magazine financial guru Suze Orman tackles the topic of treating yourself – and defies her reputation for strictness by giving readers permission to splurge.
"Just like a weekly cheat day makes it easier to maintain a healthful diet, a treat here and there can help you stay committed to long-term financial goals – and in the short term, deliver an extra shot of happiness"
See, Suze Orman admits it: shopping can bring happiness! Still, I can’t help but wonder what she would make of my plan. I meet some of her guidelines (I'm not spending money I should be using to pay credit-card debt) but generally speaking, she's not keen on splurging on clothes. (Research shows you get a bigger bang for your buck by spending on experiences or giving to others, two approaches I'll definitely be exploring this year.)
The thrill of shopping is short-lived, she argues. Orman suggests taking out all the purchases you haven’t worn in a year and thinking about why you bought each item.
"Most of those unused and untouched purchases will likely fall into one of two categories: God, I was having a bad day, or Hey! I was on vacation! All of them should be a reminder of how fleeting the spending high can be."
Spending high, eh? I feel plenty of emotions when I shop (guilt, remorse), but I can't remember the last time I set out to shop to cheer myself up. I'm curious to see if I do experience a shopping high this year. If so, will it leave me forever chasing that euphoric feeling I experienced when I spent my first $1,000, until my spending spins out of control and I end up like those heroin addicts iin Trainspotting? I guess I have 12 months to find out...