5 Ways to Reward Yourself for Good Personal Finance Habits

Posted Sunday, March 28, 2021

A pink gift to reward yourself for having such great personal finance habits

I am frugal by nature. I don't like to spend a lot of money just for the sake of spending, and I feel legitimate excitement seeing that I have extra money to save and invest at the end of every month.

That being said, every dog needs to be let off the leash once in a while.

Every now and again I'll have a frivolous expense to reward myself for persistent personal finance habits. I think it's important to put things into perspective and understand that it's okay to let loose once in a while, as long as you remember the big picture and stay committed to the plan you've made for yourself.

Here are 5 personal finance habit reward ideas that I have found helpful in my own life:

  • Open a splurge savings account
  • Take a vacation
  • Plan for one or two big purchases a year
  • Treat yourself to a nice weekend meal
  • Make a (very small) risky financial play

Open a Splurge Savings Account

A woman showing off several shopping bags. I'm assuming she bought all of that using her splurge savings account

I budget every dollar. This means whatever I don't spend by the end of the month gets invested or saved. To balance this out I created a "Splurge" savings account to which I contributed around $25-$50 each month.

This was an account I could dip into guilt-free at any time for any reason.

I found that this habit helped encourage and justify fun purchases without the guilt piled on top, while also reinforcing good financial habits at the same time. It was a win-win!

Take a Vacation

Paris, a great destination to celebrate an achievement or take some time off if you can afford it

Step away from your home, your city, maybe your country, and take a breather for a minute.

I get this can sometimes be hard to do if you're accustomed to saving everything you can, but decompressing and taking time to yourself will help remind you what you're doing all this saving for.

Also remember: just because it's a vacation doesn't mean it has to be expensive.

Rent an Airbnb in another part of the state.

Book a hotel down the street and explore your own city.

Stay home, treat yourself to some good food, rent a movie, and chill.

The point is to take time to decompress, recalibrate, and enjoy the moment without stressing about money.

Plan for One or Two Big Purchases a Year

A PS5, an item that's a pretty great gift you can manage to actually find one that you buy

Last year around my birthday I randomly decided to go all out on a speaker system for my living room entertainment center. It was one of the few expensive purchases I made last year, and it was by far my favorite.

Take time to figure out what you want and set a goal that you need to hit before you can get it. Whether it's saving a certain amount, budgeting for a certain length of time, or whatever else that you need to work towards.

Once you hit that goal, turn that penny-pinching switch off momentarily to just celebrate your accomplishments.

The excitement of having something shiny and new while simultaneously understanding how hard you worked for it makes those rare purchases so worth it. Just don't forget to think the purchase over for a day before pulling the trigger!

Treat Yourself to a Nice Weekend Meal

A beautiful meal that I'm going to have to treat myself to at some point

This one may seem small but it's one of my favorite ways to reward good financial habits. During the week I always meal prep my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am pretty strict about avoiding takeout or fast food during the week, just to eat a bit healthier and avoid wasting groceries.

That being said, every weekend I have at least one meal from a local restaurant around Seattle. It's not always expensive because that's not the point. The point is always to satisfy whatever craving I've had during the week and discover some tasty new food from around the city.

It gives me something to look forward to every weekend and it really scratches the fast-food itch.

Make a (Very Small) Risky Financial Play

A figure that looks like it would say

A word of warning: depending on the type of person you are this may not be the best suggestion. If you have been known to have an issue with gambling then just stop reading and skip to the conclusion.

I'm a very risk-averse investor. I mostly stick to my traditional index funds and each month I set it and forget it. But every once in a blue moon I do a little research and buy a fun and risky position.

For example, I jumped in on the GameStop hype knowing in my heart of hearts it made no sense, but I had fun and I made out with a little profit.

As someone who endorses the index fund life through and through, I feel like it's fine to have a couple wild bets as long as you're playing with money you're willing to lose.

Index funds are often referred to as boring and this is a way to add a little spice to your portfolio.

Now with that being said, you do have to be careful. You need to make sure you know when to quit. You need to make sure you always come back to your core investment values no matter what kind of profit or loss you take.

I understand that sometimes that's hard for people to do, so I really wouldn't recommend this reward strategy to many people.

Give Them a Try

Thinking about money 24/7 can be draining and honestly a little bit defeating. Working towards something you know you won't reap the benefits of until years down the road is tough.

That's why rewarding yourself for good habits is important.

Hopefully at least one or two of these reward ideas makes your personal finance journey a little more enjoyable.

Do you have any special rewards you do for yourself? Reach out and let me know what they are!


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