As consumers in the 21st Century, our desire for the instant gratification that comes with purchasing something new, is inherent. That feel-good feeling that goes hand-in-hand with shopping is what keeps us coming back for more.
When you’re trying to reach important financial goals, however, discretionary spending tends to be put on hold. After all working towards goals, such as creating a solid savings account, purchasing a car or home, or even saving for vacation, is that much harder if you continue to spend on a whim.
That being said, those that tighten their wallet too much in favor of a financial goal, might find themselves getting off track. Like in your diet, restricting yourself too much, often leads to worst splurges than if you treated yourself more frequently.
So, when you do reach one financial goal, even if you’re continuing to work towards others, you should still find a reasonable way to reward your accomplishment. Next time you reach a milestone, consider these six inexpensive ways to reward yourself.
1. Treat Yourself to a Night Out
One of the first things to go when you’re trying to save is often nights out for drinks, dinner, movies, concerts, etc. You might have found yourself staying in more often, cooking at home, and using your Hulu account as your source of entertainment.
If that’s been the case for you on your journey towards your financial goals, then treating yourself to a fun, night out can be a wonderful reward. As long as you don’t go crazy and opt for $400 concert tickets, or choose the most expensive restaurant in town for your whole family, then a night out can be an inexpensive reward.
Go out to dinner, find a cheap or free concert in your town to enjoy, or take the opportunity to go to the movie theater. Planning nights at home can still be fun, but it’s exciting to go out on the town nonetheless.
2. Pamper Yourself
The older you get; the crazier life seems to be. It can be difficult in the chaos of everyday to find time for everything you have to do, let alone finding space to relax.
That being said, nothing is more of a reward than taking the opportunity to pamper yourself and decompress.
If you can find a Groupon or deal for a spa near you, you might consider a massage, facial, or manicure and pedicure for a reward. Or if there aren’t any great deals or you’d like a more inexpensive option, consider getting a few supplies to do so in the comfort of your own home.
Draw a relaxing bath or give yourself a manicure. And if spas aren’t your thing, there’s no doubt some other way you like to pamper yourself that you could use as your treat.
3. Enjoy a Day Off
This reward is of course dependent on your job and any vacation plans you might have coming up. Still, sometimes the best reward is simply to have a day to yourself without the stress of your everyday job.
If you can afford to do so, and probably if you didn’t have to take it unpaid, then reward your accomplishment by taking a much-needed day off.
Plan a day around everything you love to. Whether you sleep in, go to the workout class you can never make, have a movie marathon, or if you have great weather, spend the day outside. Whatever you choose to do, spending the day doing all your favorite things can be a great and inexpensive treat.
4. Splurge on One Thing You Want
Reaching one financial goal shouldn’t be grounds to go on a shopping spree. However, if you’ve kept all shopping to a minimum, you could opt to reward yourself by splurging on one item you’ve been dying to buy.
After all, if it’s something you’ve wanted for a while, it’s not an impulse buy, which likely means it’s something you’ll get your money’s worth out of.
While this shouldn’t mean that you purchase yourself a new car or even an expensive piece of jewelry, if you have an item in mind that’s reasonably priced and on your want list, then rewarding yourself with a small splurge is ok.
5. Let Yourself Upgrade Every Once in a While
Depending on your budget, you might choose generic or cheaper brands in your everyday shopping needs. Buying generic is good for your budget and there’s nothing wrong with generics, in fact they often are the same. However, it could keep you every now and then from buying the product you really want.
When you reach a financial goal, use it as an opportunity to upgrade for a week or two. Purchasing the groceries and toiletries you really want, even a short time, will feel like a well-earned reward.
6. Learn Something New
Learning something new or acquiring a new hobby can be a great way to reward yourself for savings well-done.
Find a cooking class, treat yourself to a book, sign up for guitar lessons for a couple of months, or find a new sport to learn.
Taking up a new hobby or class can be a fairly inexpensive reward that’ll benefit you in the long-run. Moreover, thanks to the Internet and sites like Youtube, you might not even have to sign up with a professional to pick up a new interest.
When you set your financial goals they can sometimes seem like they’re eons away. Ergo, when you finally accomplish one, it’s no doubt cause for celebration.
Although you should keep yourself from taking on extra debt or splurging too much, you should still take time to reward yourself for accomplishing a major goal. Choosing to reward yourself a little bit can be a way to treat yourself after months of discipline and renew your motivation to accomplish even more.
How long has it taken you to reach financial goals? What would the ideal way to reward yourself upon reaching one?