Your jewellery box is looking bare. The only piece of fine jewellery you own is your engagement ring, and you’ve begun browsing stores, lingering over the necklaces, bracelets and rings tucked away in those perfectly clean glass cases. However, not knowing what kind of budget you can justify is keeping you from making a decision.

Spending money has made 72 per cent of Australians feel guilty at some point, according to the Digital Edge survey run by the Evolution Media Group. So how do you put a price on a gift to yourself that leaves you feeling good instead?

How much should you spend on a new piece of jewellery?

There’s no easy answer to this question as the factors that go into the decision vary from person to person. However, the good news is that this means you are in control and can decide for yourself.

The reason why you are buying a gift for yourself influences how much you should consider spending on it. If it’s celebrating something important, give yourself a larger budget to work with. However, if you’re looking for more of a pick-me-up, maybe a smaller spend should be considered.

It also depends on what you are buying for yourself, and what you will use it for. If you want to invest in a bracelet for special occasions, then this will require more budgeting then a pair of earrings you wish to wear everyday.

Figuring out what this gift will mean to you will also give an idea on how much you should spend on it. For example, you may be looking for something particular, that represents who you are and carries emotional weight. Here, it is worth investing more so you can choose a piece of unique jewellery that fully embodies this, a perfect gift to yourself.

However, if all you want are some simple and cute dress rings that are excellent for any occasion, you won’t need to spend as much.

And don’t stress – even if you want something special but aren’t sure you can afford it, you don’t have to purchase it immediately. Waiting until enough money has been put aside means there’s time to figure out if it’s something you really want, while building up the sense that you’ve earned it as well.

Creating a budget

Knowing what jewellery you want to buy for yourself means that you can focus on finding ways to budget for it.

One tool you can use is the 50/20/30 rule, which works on a simple, easy-to-understand premise. After tax, necessary expenses should account for 50 per cent of your income, and another 20 per cent put aside to pay off loans or build your emergency funds. The final 30 per cent is for flexible, guilt-free spending.

You may find that some of this amount is already being used in small daily splurges, like coffees out with friends or indulging in gourmet ingredients when shopping for groceries. Cutting back on these can help save for that captivating sterling silver necklace you’ve been thinking about since first seeing it. Additionally, re-allocating money that you are already spending is an easy way to minimise any guilt you may be feeling over buying jewellery for yourself.

When you know you are getting a bonus or a raise at work, consider using some of it in your budget. Spending this money on a piece of jewellery for yourself will reward you for the hard work you’ve put in, and remind you of your achievement each time you wear it. Knowing that the money is separate from your usual income is an added benefit as well.

The benefits of treating yourself

Regularly choosing to spend money on something you want can help stop you from splurging when in an emotional state. Just like food shopping when hungry, you are likely to spend more than you want or need when impulse buying.

Treating yourself can give you a mood boost when you need to get out of a slump, or provide motivation in the form of a reward when working towards an objective. It can also be a reminder that you are someone worth investing in.

Justifying spending money on a present for someone else can be a lot easier than doing so for a gift for yourself. Often, this links in with putting a higher value on other people, and being less aware of self-worth. However, buying jewellery for yourself can serve as a reminder that you are someone that also deserves to be taken care of, and treated well.