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Top 7 Small Rewards for Yourself (Self-Care On a Budget)

Did you reach a goal, so now you’re looking for small rewards for yourself?

Maybe you’ve started saving up for your emergency fund, and you want to give yourself an incentive.

Or perhaps you made some money from your passion project, so you deserve a little treat.

It doesn’t matter what the exact situation is. What matters is that you’ve set up a goal for yourself and you’ve reached it. That’s why it’s time to reward yourself. 🙂

Why You Should Reward Yourself (As Needed)

How often do you reward yourself?

According to psychology, rewarding yourself is important to train your brain to repeat your behavior.

Also called “positive reinforcement”, giving yourself tiny rewards for accomplishing a goal motivates you to move forward and advance to the next goal.

That said, rewarding yourself doesn’t have to be super expensive. Sometimes, even the tiniest treats can do wonders in inspiring you to complete more goals in the future.

10 Small Rewards for Yourself for Reaching Goals

Looking for small rewards for studying, or self rewards you can give yourself without spending too much?

Here are 10 immediate rewards you can treat yourself to today.

1. Your favorite cup of coffee

One of the reasons why I love my morning routine is because I get to look forward to drinking a nice cup of cold brew coffee after waking up.

small rewards for yourself

It can be a cup of coffee or tea — even hot chocolate! Just make sure to include your favorite drink in your morning routine so you have an immediate reward for waking up early.

2. Small slice of cake

Managed to maintain a habit streak for the week?

You can treat yourself with a yummy slice of cake (or pain au chocolat) to motivate yourself to do the same next week.

3. Your partner’s wish-list

When we say “rewarding yourself”, it can also come in the form of making yourself happy by buying your partner’s favorite gifts.

For example, if you can’t think of any reward for yourself, you can sneak into your partner’s Shopee account and look at their wishlist or shopping cart.

The look on their face when you surprise them with their much-coveted Kimetsu no Yaiba figurine or affordable skin serum is one of the best feelings you can have. 🙂

4. Milk tea or fruit tea

This one works best when you want to reward yourself for your hard work — and you want to do this consistently.

small rewards for yourself fruit tea

For example, since I’m working from home, sometimes I have a hard time getting myself to start working. Especially when there are tons of things I need to do.

To combat this, I “bribe” myself a little treat after working:

  • “Once I’ve worked for 5 hours today, I’ll get this fruit tea!” 
  • “I need to complete 30 items and I’m still at #5. Once I finish this, I’ll get the Panda milk tea. Lol.” 

Try this. It’s super motivational. 🙂

Need more ideas? Here are 10 more affordable items you can buy for yourself today.

5. Something nice and practical

Want to know tons of ways to reward yourself without food or alcohol?

I’ve got you: just buy something nice, cheap and practical for yourself.

Make sure to get something that’s nice enough so you consider it a “treat”, but still affordable enough so you’re not negating your hard work in saving.

Plus, this treat needs to be practical enough so that you actually use it and it’s not just collecting dust in your cabinet.

For me, whenever I complete a financial goal, I get myself a relaxing scented candle or a revitalizing night cream for my evening routine.

Pro-tip: If you value experiences over material things, you can also consider a relaxing massage or a dinner date for your reward.

6. A handy book or e-book

Do you believe that the “best investment you can make is education”?

If so, then you’d really love this next reward: knowledge! 🙂

Since buying a book and reading it properly both take a lot of time, I tend to think of books as a not-so-frequent reward whenever I complete a financial milestone.

For example, I just finished my emergency fund goal of ₱XXX,XXX, so I treated myself to Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figureoutable book.

Want something else you can buy when you’re in the Philippines?

You can also check out my book Adulting Accomplice at bookstores near you.

adulting accomplice

7. Planning your trip itinerary

Here’s another way to reward yourself without spending money:

Plan your dream trip’s itinerary!

Now, when I say “plan”, I don’t mean you need to buy yourself a ticket already. Although if there’s a seat sale like this one where I got a ticket to Korea for only ₱2,300, then do it! 🙂

I meant visualizing yourself going on the trip of your dreams, checking out some accommodations and even looking at some of the popular tourist spots you can go to when you finally get there.

It’s an affordable activity you can do guilt-free.

Plus, it’s also an inspirational way to get yourself to save more for your travel fund because looking at the tourist spots and planning for your itineraries can get you excited for your trip.

How I Reward Myself for Hard Work

Everyone who’s an avid reader of The Wise Living knows what I’m a Lead fangirl. 🙂

Whenever I manage to add another ₱10,000.00 to my Emergency Fund, I give myself permission to be able to splurge. Basically, to “splurge” means to indulge oneself in one’s luxury. I mean, who wouldn’t want to splurge, right?

Well then, why am I advocating it if I am trying to practice frugality and good money habits?

This is because I believe that the key is balance. I will only practice splurging whenever I manage to reach my 10k pesos milestone.

So this makes me look forward to saving so that I will be spending something?

I think of it as motivation and discipline, too.

I am motivated to save at least 6 months’ worth of my expenses.

I am also disciplined to wait until I have reached the milestone to be able to splurge.

Here is my list of splurge items:

(Obviously, I will only entertain one item per reaching the milestone).

1. Lead CDs and DVDs. (Worth ₱3,000 or less only per splurge)
2. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf items (Worth ₱1,000 or less only per splurge)
3. Eating out (Worth ₱2,500 or less only per splurge)
4. Fiction or Nonfiction books (Worth ₱1,000 or less only per splurge)
5. Clothes (Worth ₱1,500 only per splurge)

What about you? Any other reward items you can think of to treat yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “Top 7 Small Rewards for Yourself (Self-Care On a Budget)”

  1. Pingback: 5 Tips to Build Emergency Fund (So You Can Actually Have One)

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