I'm a HUGE Park's & Recreations fan, but when I saw the episode when Donna, Tom and Ben celebrate "Treat Yo Self Day" I both laughed and cringed. The reality is that many people treat themselves on items like mani-pedis, fancy lunches, expensive clothing, or a batman costume. While none of these items are inherently bad, they're typically the kind of items that almost immediately lose value.
Do you remember that fancy lunch you treated yourself to three years ago? Yeah, neither does anyone else.
Listen, I'm all about occasionally treating yo self, but what if rather than focusing on treating ourselves with these items that quickly lose value, we instead treated ourselves with appreciating assets? Appreciating assets are, simply put, assets that over time gain value. When you purchase these things, you're actually increasing your net worth over time.
What's that? Appreciating assets sound boring!? Au contraire, here are a couple of appreciating assets you could treat yo self with:
- Fine jewelry
Generally speaking, if you purchase fine jewelry with precious metals and stones, it's much more likely to retain its value, unlike that costume jewelry you picked up at Target last week. It's not necessarily the most powerful of the appreciating assets, but it's definitely better those clothes you ordered online at 2 a.m. the other night.
That's right, treat yo self with that painting you've been eyeing for a while now. Now, I'm not talking about that Jack Johnson poster you hung up in your dorm room freshman year. But if you can get your hands on some quality artwork to hang on your walls, that's much more likely to hold its value than say that bottomless mimosa brunch you treated yo self to last month.
Let's be clear here again, the definition of an antique is any work of art, a piece of furniture, decorative object, etc. created or produced 100 years before the date of purchase. So no, that bed frame from your childhood probably doesn't count; however, if that bed frame was originally what your great-grandparents used growing up, then you're in luck.
- Real Estate
I'm talking about your place of residence or investment real estate. I firmly believe Tom Haverford would describe owning rental properties as "dope." Besides, what could be more of a treat than walking into a house or condo that you own? So go on, treat yo self.
- A Stake In Your Buddy's Business
Let's say your friend has started a business that you think is better than waffles. If you're Leslie Knope (or, honestly, myself), then that's a really big deal. Why not see if your friend is interested in taking on investors? Then you could both treat yo selves.
Now listen, I understand that all of the above costs a good bit more than your typically mani-pedi and ladies' brunch or your boy's night out with beer and poker. That's the trade-off here. You can either save up and spend your money on something that will allow you to retain your money just in a different form and hopefully even increase in value, or you can just spend it and know that it's gone. That's a decision you have to make, and yet another reason it's called personalfinance.
Something else to keep in mind with this blog, I'm focusing on assets that you could treat yo self with, so I pulled some of the more fun examples. In reality, the above examples would hopefully hold their value; however, if you want some more heavy hitting appreciating assets, you might want to check out a couple of these blogs.
Ultimately, life is all about balance, so yeah, sometimes you should treat yo self to a fancy lunch out. However, next time you're planning your big Treat Yo Self Day, determine if you'd rather splurge on something that'll also grow your net worth.
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