Recently I got to thinking about how each of us choose to spend our hard earned money and what exactly is "personal value".

Thoughts of the Month

It’s no secret I love fashion.  I began this blog as an outlet to talk about fashion, my style and my latest fashion acquisitions.  I choose to invest heavily in clothes, shoes and bags, partly because what I wear is an expression of who I am and partly because if I feel I look great on the outside then it makes me feel great on the inside.  Interestingly, I often get (judgemental) gasps from my friends, family and colleagues about my spending choices which they sometimes see as extravagant.  I’ve also had my fair share of criticism on social media and via my blog.  While I don’t believe I have to justify my choices to anyone else, I do have to justify them to myself.   Recently I got to thinking about how each of us choose to spend our hard earned money and what exactly is “personal value”.

I am a big proponent of “personal value”.  What each of us perceive as “value” is different and for this reason we really shouldn’t voice judgement on what others choose to indulge in.  Having said that, I do think value derives from the same things.  The most obvious is happiness.  We treat ourselves because it makes us happy.  Whether it be a naughty 4pm chocolate pick me up or an expensive designer handbag, both can result in delight and enjoyment.  While I understand these two examples won’t stir the same emotions in everyone, I do believe that anything that brings you sheer happiness offers good personal value.

Convenience is another proponent that can result in someone deriving good value.  For example, I choose to order my breakfast from the nearby deli every morning, rather than making it at home, for one simple reason, it’s convenient.  Convenience and value are intertwined.  I may pay a premium to have my coffee and eggs but the ease of not having to do it myself to me is worth the spending the additional few pounds.

Comfort is another reason behind people’s spending habits and what could be viewed as value.  Flying first class or staying in a luxury hotel is a perfect example of this.  I can completely understand those who wish to spoil themselves with comfort.

There are others who choose to spend all their surplus income on the “experience”.  By this I mean holidays, dining out, theatre trips, etc.  For them it is all about the enjoyment which comes in the moment and the memories which come after.  Some may blanche at the idea of spending £200 on a meal (me included) but for others this results in a memorable night and there is reoccurring value every time they look back on it.

Whatever you choose to indulge in is ultimately your choice.  If you are one of those people who feels guilty about spoiling yourself, then ask yourself this; will is bring me happiness, convenience, comfort or a memory I’ll never forget? If the answer to any of those is yes, spend away and enjoy yourself.  I know some people think its bad taste to talk about money and I understand that, but I wanted to write this post, not just because I’ve had negative comments, but also because I’ve had comments which have been along the lines of “I wish I could have a [bag, pair of shoes, dress, etc] like that but I could never justify it”.  Yes, you can! Work hard, earn it, treat yourself and enjoy it!

Finally it goes without saying, everything comes at a price.  The majority of us can’t have everything and anything we want at a whim.  Personally I choose to work very hard to maintain my lifestyle, I am constantly pushing myself and I do forgo a lot of things to compensate my spending elsewhere.  I thought I’d add this in as devil’s advocate, as I really don’t want to encourage reckless spending!

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