So you’ve successfully followed your budget for months and reached some of the financial goals you set out. Preparing a budget that you stick with is hard at times, so sometimes it’s ok to look for ways to reward yourself. After all, if you don’t reward yourself once a while, it could cause you to burn out at some point.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive splurge either. We’ll give you self-rewards ideas on ways to treat yourself that won’t break your budget!
Why It’s Important to Reward Yourself?
At times, you should take the “Pay yourself first” slogan literally to earn a reward. It’s not fun to be all work and no fun when you’re working hard to make money. A good way to do this in a fiscally responsible manner is to include it in your personal budget planning as a line item.
Add this fun money into your budget each month, so you have room to do things outside of meeting your essential needs. You’ll feel less guilty when you pay yourself first for those Starbucks coffee runs or new pair of running shoes.
If something specific you have in mind to do with this money, build it into your personal budget planning for a few months. You’ll keep on track to reach your financial goals and not feel guilty about your spending spree.
Many Ways to Reward Yourself
There are many low-cost, inexpensive ways to reward your accomplishments. Here are seven self-reward ideas if you need a few suggestions to work with.
Take a Night Out on the Town
One of the common things that we reduce when preparing a budget is how much you spend on going out to the movies, eating dinner at a restaurant, having drinks at the local bar, etc. Many financial advisors will give these types of financial tips for young adults because they tend to overspend in these areas.
You’re spending more time at home, cooking your meals, and watching Netflix instead. You’ve shown you can successfully change these spending habits, so now it’s time to have a little reward. Don’t go crazy and eat out at the most expensive restaurant with your entire family. You can spend on these types of things without spending an arm and leg. If you want to see the latest blockbuster, go to the movies and try to hit up a matinee showing. You could also find cheap or free concerts, especially during the summer that’s happening in your city.
Enjoy a Day Off
This type is a reward that may depend on your job and whether you have paid time off to take. Escaping the daily grind of waking up, getting dressed, and commuting to work gives you a chance to relax and recharge. Decide what things you enjoy to take advantage of this day.
You could sleep in, have lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, catch up on your shows, or take that cycling class you’ve wanted to take at your gym. A day to yourself is one of the ways to treat yourself without having to spend a whole lot of money.
Go to That Fancy Coffee Shop
For all those coffee drinkers who’ve started brewing at home to save money, give yourself the reward of a good brew. Head to that new coffee shop you’ve heard of or the one near your house that you used to frequent daily. Take the time to savor your reward by relaxing in the coffee shop’s atmosphere as you sip on your favorite double shot of espresso with oat milk. You might even be able to splurge and get yourself a sweet treat!
Have a Nice Night Staying In
Not everyone likes to go out on the town as a reward. If you prefer enjoying the comforts of your home, decide on something fun to do inside. Instead of going out to the movies, rent one on Amazon Prime or Redbox, order some takeout, and grab some snacks out of the pantry. Rent the first season of your favorite sitcom and have a marathon into the wee hours of the night. You save money on hiring a babysitter, and the pause button is in your hands, so you can take breaks as you need them!
Upgrade Your Shopping List
You may have had to turn to cheaper or generic brands to make your budget work. You may have even found some things you like even more than your usual go-to. Perhaps you’ve switched to box wine from your favorite bottle of napa valley cabernet. Or have forgone your love of imported cheese for pre-sliced American.
Whatever it may be, you’ve earned the opportunity to buy the product(s) that you really want. Give yourself the funds to get the everyday shopping items that you want for a week or more.
Plan a Spa Day
Pamper yourself with a day at the spa for some self-care. You could get a pedicure, massage, facial, or anything else that will help you relax. You could look for deals with apps like Groupon to save some money. If you find taking a bath a great stress-reliever and reward, plan a time when you can enjoy it. Buy yourself a nice bottle of bath bubbles, pour yourself some wine, and put your favorite music for maximum reward value.
Sign up for a Class
Another method on how to reward yourself is learning something or taking on a new hobby. Your local area likely has many different classes you could to learn a new skill or subject. Sign up for a cooking class, piano lessons, or learn a new sport. It’s also a great way to meet new people in your city.
You could even start a hobby that ends up being another stream of revenue. For example, you could learn how to knit blankets for fun, turn around, and sell those on a website like Etsy. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to learn almost anything through Youtube videos or other websites.
Host a Potluck
Invite your friends to let others celebrate your budget accomplishments. Having a potluck is an affordable way to go since others will pitch in with main dishes, appetizers, and desserts. If you have a grill and good sized backyard, you could set up some lawn games for entertainment. Otherwise, it only takes a deck of cards or a few board games to turn into hours of fun.
How to Reward Yourself for Free
You don’t always need money to have fun. Here are some financial tips for young adults, especially those who want to enjoy self-care with a smaller budget.
Head to the Library
The public library offers much more than just books. But if you are a big fan of reading, that’s even better! Check out a few books that you’ve meant to read. They may even have a book club to join for a fun way to engage with others. Many libraries also have audiobooks, movies, tv-series, and magazines that you borrow. There might even be some free programs that you could sign up for, like a genealogy class.
Take Advantage of a Free Trial
These days, a popular marketing ploy offers a free, limited-time subscription to try out a product. Audiobooks, streaming TV subscriptions, ebooks, and you can try those apps for free. Create the time in your schedule so you can take full advantage of checking out the offer. Make sure that you set up a reminder to cancel before the trial ends.
Head to the Park
Whether or not you have kids, there are many fun ways to reward yourself with spending time in nature. Go on a hike in a nearby park that you’ve never been to and have fun exploring. You could plan a pick-up game of basketball or another sport if that’s something you enjoy. If fishing is something you want and you have a license, head over to a lake and spend the day seeing how many fish you can catch.
Find the City Guide
Your city has tons of free activities that you probably never knew about. Look online or grab the city guide next time you see it at the grocery store to get some ideas. Some museums are free to enjoy and could be entertainment for the whole family. Many cities have events like First Friday that have free activities for all ages.
Play Free Games
If you’re a gamer, why not download a few game apps on your smartphone or tablet to indulge in some uninterrupted play for a few hours? Steam is a gaming platform with hundreds of games, of which a good number of them are free. You’ll need a computer or laptop with some decent specs to run more complex games, but there’s still plenty of free ones.