Figure skater Adam Rippon reveals his $6,000 pre-Oympics splurge

For U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, spending hard earned cash on yourself isn't a waste, it's an investment in self-care.

His most recent splurge is a gold Cartier Love Bracelet, which currently sells for $6,300 on the jeweler's website.

"A year ago, I broke my foot and I just needed a little pick me up, so I bought myself this bracelet," Rippon, 28, tells CNBC Make It, holding up his wrist to show off the bangle he seems to wear everywhere — even while competing.

Adam Rippon on day seven of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games
Getty Images | Jean Catuffe
Adam Rippon on day seven of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games

Rippon, who attracted the spotlight at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and helped the U.S. figure skating team take home a bronze medal in February, says he used the splurge as motivation to do well at the Games.

"I do this thing that's terrible," Rippon explains. Instead of celebrating an accomplishment with a reward after the fact, he buys something special ahead of a big opportunity (like the Olympics) as a way to make sure he performs his best.

Getty Images | Marianna Massey

"Because I'm like, 'If it doesn't go well, I'm still going to want it!'" he says. "So I would treat myself with this thing, and I'd say, 'Now, okay, I have to get to work.'

"It is sort of like a mentality that I put myself into to force myself to just work and train like crazy," he laughs.

An occasional indulgence is also about self-love, Rippon says.

In 2017, Rippon struggled with finding a healthy weight. Then he broke his left foot in a warm up. He says a lack of substantial nutrition may have contributed to the injury, according to The New York Times. So Rippon decided to start putting his health first.

He also decided to spring for the bling.

"It's called a Love bracelet, and it actually screws on," he explains about how to fasten the jewelry. "Somebody who loves you is supposed to buy it for you, and then they screw it on [your wrist], and it's sort of like you can't take it off so the love is eternal.

"So I bought it for myself," he says. "[I] slapped it between my knees and screwed it on myself because nobody is going to love me as much as I love me."

Rippon hasn't always been able to treat himself. In the early years of his career, he was living in his coach's basement and stole apples from his gym because he couldn't afford groceries.

Today, he says he's still frugal about "a little bit of everything," but he's taking care to reward himself for years of dedication and hard work.

"I think that it's important to spend money on yourself," Rippon says. "If you have the money saved up, and you're not doing something crazy, then you should go out and you should do that. That's what making money is for."

For him, it's about balancing responsibility with reward: "You should be saving money, you should be doing everything you can to plan for the future, but I think that it's important to celebrate what you have now."

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—Video by Mary Stevens

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through the year 2032.