Americans spend 22% of their monthly income treating themselves

A recent survey found that we spend about $199 a month, or 22% of our disposable income, on non-essential items for ourselves.

Treating ourselves to a nice dinner or a fun concert may help us feel good, but it can come at a high cost. A recent survey of 2,000 Americans by Eventbrite and research company OnePoll found that we spend about $199 a month, or 22% of our disposable income, on non-essential items for ourselves.

All those pedicures, massages, and nice fancy “treat yourself” moments quickly add up to $2,388 a year.

We would rather pay more for experiences

We feel less guilty about paying a premium for once-in-a-lifetime experiences than for luxury retail items. Participants said they felt twice as guilty for spending money on material goods than for experiences, which may explain why Americans spent a high average of $368 on special one-time experiences.

Lately, self-care has become a popular catchphrase that encompasses everything from self-esteem and self-improvement to material luxuries we use to self-soothe our weary, worried brains. The business of self-care — all those wellness institutes, motivational speakers and self-help books promising to heal us physically, mentally, financially or spiritually — are clearly convincing us, or at least, our wallet. Self-care is estimated to be a $9.9 billion dollar industry. It’s no wonder that we are tempted to spend more to attain a better self.

After a long day at work, it is good to wind down and treat yourself kindly. Just remember to not get played by the expensive temptation of self-care. It is possible to make a self-care routine that feels extravagant without the price tag of extravagance.

Monica Torres|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at mtorres@theladders.com.