Should You Reward Yourself for Good Financial Behavior?

Let’s face it. Creating good spending habits can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you are used to buying whatever you want. Cutting yourself off from spending binges takes a lot of discipline. Yet, controlling our spending is a must if we are ever going to whip our finances into shape.

If you’ve been working hard at crushing your finance goals, it’s time to reward yourself. You know what they say: “All work and no reward make for one burnt-out budgeter,” or something like that.

You might think rewards sound expensive. The truth is rewarding yourself can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

Reward Advantage #1: You Stay Motivated

One of the biggest problems people have with paying off debt is motivation. It is like anything thing new you have to train yourself to do it. Going to the gym, running a marathon, or other physical activity takes time to train and build muscle memory. Personal finance is the same way you have to train yourself into good habits.

Reward Advantage #2: You See the Light At the End of the Tunnel

Another advantage of rewarding yourself is that you can visually see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know about you, but when I get close to a goal I want to finish it right then and there. If I knew there is a reward at the end of my small goal I am more apt to dig in and just get it done. I can see the light, breakthrough, reward myself, and then move onto the next goal.

Reward Advantage #3: You develop good habits

Which in return for developing this good habit of paying off debt, you train yourself to never go back to being back in debt. Here’s another gym euphemism; once you start training and eat healthily, you don’t want to start eating junk food and counter-act all the hard work you’ve done. Sure cheat days are great here and there (just like rewarding yourself for good habits) but keep it to a low minimum and don’t go overboard.

Free yourself from the shackles of debt. But you also have to live. You can’t just be in the debt tunnel forever.  You have to have some fun. You have to have some life. So that is why rewarding yourself (again just a small reward) for meeting a debt goal is ok

Ways to reward yourself for a low-cost:

1. Stay-at-Home Movie Night

Going to the movies can add up quickly: tickets, sweets, popcorn, drinks. If you have kids, you’re adding in babysitting fees. If being in the actual theater for the release of a major film is your thing, there are plenty of ways to save on that expense. But there’s also a cheaper option—one you can enjoy on your own couch in your pajamas.

You can have a movie night at home for just $5. Buy a few snacks and you’re set.

2. Dollar Store Shopping Spree

When was the last time you checked out your local dollar store? We’re talking about the everything-for-$1 kind. These places carry a lot of junk—but they’re also a treasure trove for smart shoppers. A lot of useful things can be found at dollar stores. Hey, you can even buy your snacks for your stay-at-home movie night!

3. Buy Yourself Something Nice (and Cheap)

We often get stuck in the rut of thinking nice things are always expensive things, but that just isn’t true. Think about things you love; then consider what you can purchase that would add to or upgrade this passion. Give yourself a dollar amount that you can’t exceed. Maybe it’s a t-shirt you’ve been wanting or a new bath rug, whatever it is, make it worth your while.

How do you reward yourself for good spending behavior? Do you find that it motivates you? Let us know!