Excerpts from Self Care Spending for “Moneyish”, Dow Jones and Co.

August 9th, 2018

Americans spend a whopping $143,280 over their lifetime to treat themselves, but are more likely to feel guilty about buying material goods than experiences, a new study finds.

  • Funto Omojola

Americans really care about self-care.

The average American spends $199 a month — 22% of their disposable income, or about $2,388 a year — on non-essential items to “treat themselves,” according to a recent surveyby ticketing platform Eventbrite and research company OnePoll. Those younger than 25 reported spending even more of their disposable income (33%) on material items or luxury experiences. And 62% of people reported wanting to treat themselves even more than they currently do, according to the survey of 2,000 adults.

“Many Americans feel spent because they work hard and seem to feel like they never get ahead,” Kathleen Gurney, president of Financial Psychology Corp., told Moneyish. “So spending money on ‘treating themselves’ gives them that momentary lift and good feeling.”

But women seemed more prone than men to buyer’s remorse: Sixty percent of women surveyed admitted that they felt guilty after buying material items, while under half (47%) of men did.

“Women, in general, are more aware of their feelings and tuned into their emotions,” said Gurney. And because of this difference, she added, many women report making impulse buys that feel good in the moment but then end up having feelings of guilt in the aftermath.

“Being self-aware and mindful of the cost, both financially and emotionally, is essential to feeling a sense of well-being and contentment with how we’re managing our money for both the short-term and long-term,” Gurney said. “Self-education, planning and being aware in the moment allows us to treat ourselves with our money without sacrificing our sense of taking good care of ourselves.”

© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Kathleen Gurney consults with individuals, financial professionals and institutions.  You can contact her at info@financialpsychology.com and 941-346-7558.

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