Over at the Simple Dollar, Trent has posted about material rewards in Should You Give Yourself Material Rewards For Meeting Certain Milestones. Rewards can be powerful motivators and come in the form of verbal kudos, food treats, material treats, debt payoffs, etc. In Trent's case, his posting discusses the change between material treats to being rewarded by debt payoffs and meeting financial goals while on his quest to become financially savvy.
In my quest to payoff my debt quickly, I'm finding that I feel guilty if I want to treat myself to something I really want. I'm not a techie. I don't need to have the latest gadget. I don't collect anything. Honestly, I get lectured at work because I don't spend any money on myself. So where is the balance? I just bought a new to me car, so that is my latest splurge. I could have bought a cheap car, but I've wanted a CRV for a few years. Is this considered a reward? Probably not. It wasn't set to be a reward.
My compromise? For each bill I pay off, I will invest $50. That way, I will be working towards a goal and still feel that thrill of getting a reward. If there is something I want, I will use the extra money I earn to purchase it. Otherwise, Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough is an inexpensive and tasty treat.
What rewards are you motivated by?