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Treat Yourself

Dec. 30, 2015
Personal Finance
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Sticking with a plan, whether you’re trying to get financially or physically fit, is how you get results. But being too strict can backfire (how’s that resolution to hit the gym every single day going?). Indulging every so often can keep you motivated and on track.

So, how much should you treat yourself for your progress on financial fitness? Just keep your treats in line with where you are in your financial shape-up journey.

barbell3xLevel 1: Honestly, rewards are the only thing keeping you going

If you’re just starting to get your money matters figured out, choose small treats that you can pair with your plan to stay excited. Like grabbing some down time to watch your favorite TV show after you’ve looked over your budget for the week and made sure you’re sticking to it. Or hitting happy hour for cheap drinks with friends to celebrate paying off your credit card.

barbell3x-2Level 2: Ready to treat yourself and make life a little easier

At this level, you’ve got your finances in pretty good shape and you’re following your plan for a financially fit 2016. Since you’ve got big things, like debt, under control, reward yourself by making life a little easier. If you don’t have a car, take Lyft or Uber if you’re tired and the bus doesn’t sound fun (does it ever?); or splurge on grocery delivery when you’re too beat to go foraging.

barbells3x-3Level 3: You’re on Tom and Donna’s ‘treat yo’self’ level

Plan an annual treat, like a trip or new gadget. At this point, all your debts and savings goals are taken care of, so you can afford to splurge on something luxurious. But just because you can afford to spend doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for deals on hotels and flights. The more you stay on top of your money situation, the more you can enjoy the finer things in life — and isn’t that all anyone wants?

So, how will you reward yourself for starting out 2016 with healthy financial habits?

Keeping up with your financial resolutions is a lot easier if you occasionally do something nice for yourself as a reward. Of course, don’t add to your debt —  but don’t forget to treat yourself, either.

More tips: Get Financially Fit in 2016

Heather Yamada-Hosley is a content strategist at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @Curious_Heather.

Top image via iStock; barbells via 530 Media Lab.