20 cheap ways to treat yo' self

treat yo' self

If you know me, then you know that a) I am an avid Parks and Rec fan (I’ve watched the entire series twice and am not ruling out a third run) and b) Leslie Knope is my spirit animal. And while I would have to say that Galentine’s Day is the best new holiday to come out of that show – yes, I celebrate it every year with my ladies – Treat Yo’ Self Day is a close second, and guys, it’s right around the corner.

Per the show, this holiday officially falls on October 13th and is essentially a day where you are supposed to treat the s#!% out of yourself. I’m talking new outfits, shoes, a makeover worthy of any Glamour Shots session, fancy food, great wine…you get the picture.

However, while the show makes it seem like it’s common for government employees to be able to afford shopping sprees on Rodeo Drive, we all know it’s not. And neither is it common for we non-civil servants (especially those ballin’ on a budget like me) who go into a panic session just thinking about the damage a day like that could do to our bank accounts. No, thank you.

So what are we money-conscious ladybosses to do? Well, still treat ourselves. Just not in a no-holds-barred kind of way.

For instance, maybe you love, love, LOVE a coffee mug from a local boutique but can’t pull the trigger on spending $25 on something when you have perfectly good mugs at home. Well, on Treat Yo’ Self Day, you buy the damn mug. Simple as that. This is the beauty of this holiday: it’s not about the price but the feeling of giving yourself something that you normally tell yourself “No” to in your everyday life.

I love that all of you ladies out there are working hard and trying to absolutely kill it with your budget, but I also don’t want you to miss out on rewarding yourself for your good behavior (or just taking a sanity break) every now and then; thus, I’ve compiled a list of cheap ways you can treat yourself without breaking the bank. I mean, life is to be enjoyed, guys, so live it up (but in a super responsible way).

20 CHEAP WAYS TO TREAT YO’ SELF

COFFEE

Go ahead and get the Starbucks.

SOAK IT UP

Dim the lights, light a candle, and drop something lush in a hot bath. And then just soak for as long as your little heart desires. Locked doors are a requirement for those of you with kiddos.

CANDLE + A GREAT READ

I think we’re all so worried about self-improvement that we’ve forgotten what reading for fun feels like. So go to your local library, find something that intrigues you, and then curl up on the couch with it while your fav candle burns next to you. Bonus points if you add some chocolate to the mix.

IGNORE YOUR ERRANDS

Yes, your bathroom probably needs cleaned. But ignore all of that for 24 hours and go do something you love to do, like hike or bake or thrift store shopping. I mean, you’re the only one that sees it anyway, so who really cares?

CHANNEL YOUR INNER WINO

Grab a friend and head to a wine-tasting – you normally get to sample most of their wines for free and then can buy a nice bottle and share it while you catch-up. It’s day-drinking at its classiest (and cheapest!).

HIT UP A MATINEE (AND GET THE FREAKING POPCORN)

Maybe it’s just me, but going to the movies seems to just keep getting more and more expensive, especially when you factor in those snack counter purchases. However, you’re not worried about that today, so go see a matinee of your choice (hello, rom coms), get the popcorn, and enjoy yourself. It’s $20 well spent.

CHANNEL YOUR INNER PICASSO

I’m an accountant by day, which generally means that my creativity runs at an unusually low level; however, even I can’t begin to describe how much fun I have painting or drawing or even coloring for that matter. So if you find yourself in the Crayola aisle at the store, grab some supplies, pour yourself a glass of wine (once you get home, of course), and let your creativity run wild. It’s definitely soup for the soul.

BUY THE FANCY MASCARA

Or lipstick. Or eyeshadow. Or contour kit. Whatever it is that will make you feel more confident, get you one of those. And then rock it.

TAKEOUT + NETFLIX NIGHT

My dream Friday night: picking up a to-go plate from a local restaurant and then vegging out on it while in the midst of a Netflix marathon session. Can you think of anything more wonderful?

GET THE ESSIE

Even I sometimes don’t like to spend $8 on a bottle of nail polish. But hey, you’re still saving a ton by doing your nails yourself, so pick out a favorite color or two and have at it.

…OR JUST GO AHEAD AND GET THE MANICURE

I mean, we are treating ourselves here, and if it doesn’t cause harm to your budget, I’m all for it.

PICK UP YOUR FAV DESSERT

Or bake it. Either way, give yourself something decadent to munch on. The gym will be there in the morning.

BUY YOUR OWN FLOWERS

Who says you have to wait on someone to give them to you? Plus, this way you get a bouquet you actually love. I mean, red roses are getting a little out of fashion, right?

GET THE CHAMPAGNE

And drink it on a Tuesday. Just because.

SIGN UP FOR THAT SLIGHTLY EXPENSIVE EXERCISE CLASS

$20 for one hot yoga/Pure Barre/kickboxing session? On a normal day, I’d pass, but when I’m treating myself? Sign. Me. Up. Plus, it’ll help me justify all that dessert and champagne I’ll be consuming.

PLAN YOUR NEXT VACA

Did you know research has shown that simply planning a vacation gives you a significant boost in happiness? Yep, you don’t even have to step foot out your door – just start planning where your wanderlust is going to take you next, and you’ll get an extra shot of joy.

GET THE FANCY FACE FASK

Spa days = expensive. DIY Face Mask = cheap AF and works just as well. Plus, it’s nice when both your skin and bank account love you at the end of the day.

TAKE A DAY OFF WORK FOR NO REASON AT ALL

And don’t do any work/errands – just sleep in, stay in your PJs, have a marathon movie session, make all your favorite foods…you know, just relax and have fun. If your boss asks, just say it’s for your mental health ;)

ACCESSORIZE

$40 for a necklace does seem like a splurge, but if you’ve been eyeing it for a while, it obviously means you want it. And this is your chance to get it.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: THE LESLIE KNOPE

Make some waffles. Top them with whipped cream. And eat them in bed during a Parks & Rec marathon. Trust me. You’ll love me for suggesting this.


Treating yourself is all about partaking in the little luxuries that you normally deny yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to break the bank. And it doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your goals when you want to reach them. Just keep it in check and think about what will truly give you that feeling of living on the luxe side…at least for a little while.

If you want to up the ante next year, start planning for it now. Allocate $10 per month towards Treat Yo’ Self Day, and by this time next year, you’ll have $120 to do with what you want. The best part? You won’t even miss that $10 each month. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too, and you know how I love win-win scenarios.

Happy “splurging,” ladies!

treat yo' self