How can you treat yourself without over-spend? One of my favourite personal development books is Gretchen Rubin’s “Better Than Before” about habit change. In this book, Gretchen talks about the importance of treats when trying to build and enforce good habits. She also makes a clear distinction between treats and rewards. A reward is something you get in return for good behaviour which can be dangerous for habit formation whereas a treat is something you get just because. Treats are important for building ourselves up and relieving the sense of deprivation we may feel when trying to keep to our good habits.
You can apply this strategy to create greater adherence to your budget. When you create a spending plan or a debt pay-down plan that you are trying to stick to, treats can be a great tool to keep you on track without making you feel deprived and without breaking your good habits.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It has helped be figure out how to customise my environment to align to my personality and help me create and stick to many good habits. Link to the book here. It is available on paperback, kindle and audiobook.
Here are some ideas for treats to use to boost will power and keep you on track:
- A spa treatment at home, such as a manicure, pedicure or facial
- Take a long hot bath with candles and essential oils… and peace and quiet 🙂
- Watch a funny YouTube video
- Watch an episode of one of your favourite shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime (my personal favourites are the US Office, Parks and Recreation, Catastrophe, How I Met Your Mother and Friends) or find a new series to binge watch
- Buy fresh (inexpensive) flowers for your kitchen
- Reminisce on old photos or make a photo album online
- Spend time playing with or cuddling pets
- Do a small good deed for someone else
- Clean or organise a space in your home – even doing one drawers makes me feel energised
- Listen to upbeat or fun music
- Make plans to spend quality time with friends or family
- Find an delicious recipe to bake for some treats to enjoy with a cup of tea/coffee
- Do a puzzle (I like Sudoku) or play a game on your phone (I used to be a big fan of Candy Crush and Temple Run)
- Do something creative like scrap booking, doodling, drawing or painting
- FaceTime or phone someone you miss
- Track your savings progress against your goals to see how you are improving over time
- Go on an inexpensive date night. See list of ideas here.
What are some of your favourite ways to treat yourself?