In grad school, I started this not-uncommon annual tradition of rationalizing a purchase by classifying it as a birthday present to myself. Tons of people do this. But I tried to rationalize it even more (I shop a lot, guys), by focusing on an item I knew I’d have for a long time.
Four birthdays later, I’m still in love with all of my collective birthday purchases. Not only did none of them end up on eBay six months later, but I still wear them all the time, and I still get compliments on them. My pair of brown booties I bought my first September as a grad student are, if anything, even more pleasing to the eye now that they’re lovingly worn and have a broken shoe-lace or two. Maybe it’s because my birthday is in September or maybe it’s because I just have a sick addiction to sweaters and boots (bet on the latter), but me buying a gift for myself usually involves one of the two. Usually a sweater.