The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Rewarding yourself can cost you your savings goal

Alexander Grey/Unsplash

managing editor

This month, I’m not spending any money. 

OK, that’s an exaggeration. My niacinamide is about to run out, and I won’t tough it out through a saving challenge and ruin two months of my six-step Korean skincare routine.  

I was watching YouTube when I got an ad for a budgeting app. I installed it to start my Dave Ramsey journey of financial freedom and currency consciousness. I linked the app to my bank account and was ready to create cute, color-coded spreadsheets and receive an ego boost for my savvy spending in 2023.  

Instead, I was hit with the cold, hard, fiscally irresponsible truth. I didn’t even think it was possible for a person to spend that much on Chick-Fil-A.  

I was — still am — in denial about how much I spent last year. So, I did what any sane person who is ready to take accountability for their spending habits would have done: I deleted the app and proceeded to drop $180 on two pairs of jeans and shoes. 

I’m not actually that irresponsible. I always save 50% of both my paychecks and I contemplate for months when making a big purchase. Food, however, is a different story. $10 on a three-finger combo here and $15 on a Chipotle bowl there. It’s the difference between a ton of feathers and a ton of steel. 

I decided a while ago to do “no spend February.” My cousin did it last January to give her bank account a break from Christmas shopping. I don’t know how she completed it because it seems that the tendency for unnecessary purchases is genetic. 

 I’ll still buy the necessities: groceries, gas and of course skincare. Choosing February was intentional. It’s the shortest month, I have no trips planned and certainly no pesky boyfriend to buy a gift for Valentine’s Day. And all men love Legos now for some odd reason. What ever happened to “it’s the thought that counts?” 

While I laid in my bed, broke and in denial, about my spending habits, I realized a common trend. Whenever I completed any task that brought me even the smallest amount of stress or anxiety, I rewarded myself.  

Whew, you sent that thank you email that you’ve been putting off for three days? Let’s treat myself to some boba. Wow, you went to the post office to send that crucial piece of your application? Here’s some Salata. What? It’s a salad. 

I’m like Pavlovian conditioning on crack. To complete any task, I need a reward. You do not want to know what it took me to write this.  

So, this month is dedicated to scaling back. A lesson in discipline, a red pill gym bro might say. Perhaps a new lip oil is out of the question, but making myself a batch of cookies after a hard week can be my reward. There’s no reason why I can’t reward myself. I just need to find ways that don’t have me eyeing my savings account whenever I’m in dire need of a sweet treat. 

However, you better believe that I will be at Sharetea at opening Mar. 1.

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