Treat yo'self: The most expensive thing you've ever bought

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When Kanye West and Kim Kardashian want to splurge on something special, they don’t hold back. From gold plated toilets, to a $400,000 Rolls Royce (Kim’s got to get around somehow!) to a dining room replica of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, when Kimye treat themselves, they go big.

But for those of us that don’t have a successful music career or a reality TV empire, it can be tough to justify a bit of indulgence without the guilt. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about being responsible when it comes to your bank account—but we also believe in balance. Life is short and it’s okay to buy a gift from you to you every now and then. Go on, you deserve it.

We asked five Atlantic Canadians about the most expensive, non-essential item they’ve ever bought. It turns out that with a bit of planning, you can have champagne tastes—even if you’re on a beer budget.

Treat #1: A trip to Montreal and tickets to see the Killers

For Casey, her treat was a once in a lifetime chance to see her favourite band live. “I’m a life-long Killers fan and when I found out they were coming to Montreal for a concert, I thought, ‘Why not!?’ Atlantic Canada wasn’t on their tour schedule, so I knew Montreal was my only chance to see them. I bought the concert and plane ticket and that was that!”

Thankfully, the concert was well-timed and Casey was able to put Christmas and birthday gifts to good use. “I didn’t really have a savings strategy. Rather than pull out my credit card, I took advantage of the money I received for Christmas and my birthday. I also chose to stay in an affordable Airbnb and made sure I didn’t splurge before the trip. This helped even out my spending.”

Treat #2: A brand new PlayStation® 4

As a big-time gamer, investing in a PlayStation® 4 was a no-brainer for Alex.

“A game console can be expensive, but it also lasts a decade and provides non-stop entertainment. I knew I could make it fit in my budget by trading in my old console and games—this dramatically reduced the price of the newer model.”

Treat #3: A tropical vacation

“Life is about more than working and paying bills,” said Ruth. “It’s possible to splurge while still being responsible.” Her treat is an annual trip to somewhere warm and sunny—preferably with a beach nearby.  

“By the middle of winter, my husband and I are desperate to have a break and enjoy some sunshine. I’ve heard that studies show that travel provides longer term happiness than buying physical goods. The memories last a lifetime! In order to fit the trip in our budget, we usually take advantage of our tax refund. We’re flexible on the destination, so deciding where to go is based on where we can get the best value for our money.”

Treat #4: Italian leather over-the-knee boots

If you’ve ever watched Amy Poehler’s sitcom, Parks and Recreation, you know that fine leather goods are a staple when it comes to treating yo’self. For Shelby, her treat was a pair of gorgeous Italian leather boots.

“I had been looking for boots that were pretty and functional. When I finally found them, it was a lot easier to justify the expensive purchase knowing they checked both boxes. In order to buy them, I worked extra hours and took on some side projects to earn the money. Putting in the extra time was totally worth it—they’re a staple in my closet.”

Treat #5: A vintage credenza

When Emily moved into her new, open-concept home, she knew she needed one eye-catching piece of furniture.

“I bought a beautiful vintage credenza for my living room. It’s hands down the most expensive piece of furniture I’ve ever owned! When my partner and I got married, a few of our guests gave us money as gifts. For the most part we were responsible and used it to pay down our debt, but I couldn’t resist buying something special too. Now, it holds our record player and family photos and is a real centerpiece in our home.”