I was talking to a person who was in the midst of a financial management makeover where he was attempting to cut a lot of bad habits that has been causing him to be in constant debt. For the most part it sounded like he was doing all the right stuff such as trying to avoid dining out, paying off those credit card bills, etc. Even with that though, it seems to be a cycle where he just starts from square one all over again money wise.
This is what I saw which was interesting. Basically, his motivation to keep going was to go with the reward yourself route where when you do something great such as accomplishing a certain milestone you will then reward yourself for it. Like in this case, maybe dining out just for a day. His rewards were pretty enormous though. Iâ€™m talking about things like buying a $200 pair of sunglasses or spending a $100 night drinking/dining.
So when you think about it, all that effort that went into saving the money just got spent eventually in a different where the only difference is that where he spent it was more apparent since he was able to save more and make bigger purchases. Itâ€™s almost like working out for a week and then eating 5 whole cakes afterwards.
There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself as in many instances you need that motivation to keep going. But I guess the key is you need to limit your rewards too as it is not a time where you can completely jump off track even if it is just for a day. I think this holds true for almost anything. Sometimes it is better to avoid the rewards all together if it directly affects the habit that you are trying to change in the first place.