Monday, March 7, 2011

Ravishing Rewards

I was at a comedy club last night and laughed my bum bum off with my new yogi friends; what a blast! I guess this is a good time to mention that I did end up getting that volunteer position at a yoga studio which gives me unlimited free yoga! Did you hear that? Free! An unlimited yoga pass can cost as much as $160 per month at this studio so this is a big deal for me. I’ve been going nearly every day and only having to dedicate 4 hours of my time per week to my volunteering. Now let me tell you, I’m starting to look and feel good again. There’s nothing like looking in the mirror knowing that you’re working hard at something and all that effort is producing the reward that is a hot yoga body! Now I know that you all want me to post pictures of my hot yoga body, but I don’t know if a camera lens can capture such a big, um, ego. This takes me to this week’s topic of rewards.

Listen, I know as well as you know that you are working hard, achieving your goals, taking names, and you’ve already bought and mailed the postcard of accomplishment to all your bee eff effs. However, the key ingredient to any success story is that you acknowledge all the hard work you do along the way. In my egotistical story about yoga and my hot body I take the time to note my successes and feel proud of all the work that I put in. The same thing applies to when I’m paying off my debt. In the past 5 months I have made a lot of sacrifices for the sake of becoming debt free. I’ve cut out eating out at restaurants to the bare minimum, I haven’t bought myself any clothing in a long time, and I avoid home d├ęcor stores as if they were a Nicolas Cage movie. Seriously, does anyone really enjoy his acting? Does anyone else find his annoying “Ross from Friends” type of whiny voice to be a source of frustration?

Check out those implants! And look at her shoulders!!
Anyway, back to the rewards. For me, since I am depriving myself of the things I formerly had no problem dumping cash on to; I’ve made myself a little rewards list. Nothing crazy like a diamond grill or Lady Gaga inspired shoulder implants, but rather, more simple things that cost under $100. If you want to reach a difficult end goal and you have little restraint when it comes to paying off debt, then you need to focus on more here-and-now types of mini achievement. Frankly, I’m finding it to be quite the challenge to get this debt paid down to a reasonable rate. Currently I have only paid 11.6% of my debt in 5 months which would mean that it will take me far more that 3 years to get this $hit banished into the hellfire from whence it came; and that’s certainly disheartening. I’ve decided that my rewards are kicking in for every $5000 of debt that I have paid off on my credit card. Right now I have only paid off $2,236.34 on the MasterCard which would be higher if I hadn’t booked my flight to Vegas for over $500! But you know, life happens and sometimes we have to bend over and let the credit card companies have their way with us to get what we need.

I love Catan!
So what qualifies for a good reward? That really depends on the person. Maybe for you, a nice massage would be the bee’s knees. For someone else, it might be a Rita MacNeil sex tape. Either one would tickle my fancy (in completely different ways if you’re picking up what I’m laying down) but the important part is that you find that something that works best for you. Since I am a HUGE nerd, I’ve decided to reward myself with the wooden version of Settlers of Catan. Those of you who are unfamiliar with Catan should stop reading this immediately. Seriously though, why do you not know about Catan? It is quite possible that I have spent more hours playing Catan that most people spend breathing which is all-the-effing-time!  I really love to play board games and they provide some of the cheapest entertainment around. Not only is it cheap to play board games, it provides you with time to spend with your friends on any day of the week. Anywho, when you’re thinking about rewards, make yourself a list of what you want to purchase and then line them up with each goal you have. For example:

When I:                                                               Then I get:
Pay off $5000 on the MasterCard                  Wooden Catan
Pay off $10,000 on the MasterCard               New Record Player!
Pay off the MasterCard                                    A huge party!

Once you have this list, figure out how much it’s going to cost you to acquire these wonderful items. There’s no point in rewarding yourself when you have to pay for the bloody rewards using your credit card. If wooden Catan is going to cost me $150, then I need to put away $25 per check just for this game (and I think it’s worth it) for a total of 6 checks. This is the right way to buy big ticket items too, such as a TV or a couch, or a trip to Easter Island.

My message to you in this post is simple – don’t forget to take care of yourself every now and then with some good old positive reinforcement. If you’re not paying off debt but working toward another goal, like going to the gym 3 times a week for a month, when you meet that goal, celebrate that success with a pedicure or better yet, a day off lying on the couch and watching some of your favourite movies – you deserve it!

3 comments:

  1. thank you! nicolas cage is the WORST!

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  2. Debt free is the way to be! I remember how great it felt the day we paid of the last thing. Pure freedom. Good luck!!

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  3. Yes, I just came back from Easter Island with the wife and kids after I bought my new top hat and gold-encrusted cane, and I can tell you I spent a whole week's worth of my pay on all of those aforementioned expensive things, and, my word, was it ever a grueling, torturous week indeed!

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