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How to Reward Yourself Without Blowing Your Savings

Rewarding ourselves is a crucial part of staying motivated and practicing self-care. After reaching a goal, finishing a big project, or having a hard week, doing something enjoyable makes all the effort worthwhile. However, it’s not easy to reward yourself without blowing your savings.

The key is balance – finding affordable and meaningful ways to celebrate achievements that align with our financial priorities. We can craft rewards that fit our budgets and still enjoy life's special moments.

In this post, we’ll explore a wide variety of ideas for rewarding yourself without spending a fortune. Discover free activities, experience-based rewards, smart spending tips, and overspending pitfalls to avoid. With some mindful planning and effort, you can indulge in life’s special moments without breaking the bank. Let’s dive in!

Rewarding Yourself Without Blowing Your Savings

Free Activities

One of the best ways to reward yourself is by enjoying free hobbies and activities. Here are some great options:

Reading: Get lost in an intriguing novel, motivational book, or your favourite magazine. Visit the local library and check out new reads for free. Load eBooks on your phone or tablet for easy access anytime.

Writing: Journal about your thoughts and feelings. Try poetry, fiction, or simply writing letters to loved ones. Expressing yourself through writing is tremendously rewarding.

Explore Nature: Head to local parks, gardens, hiking trails, and nature preserves. Wander, take photographs, sketch scenes, identify birds and plants. Soak up vitamin D and fresh perspective.

Learn Photography: If you have a DSLR or smartphone, watch online composition tutorials and head out to practice. Experiment with landscapes, macros, black and white, and more.

Attend Free Events: Most cities host regular free arts and cultural events like summer concert series, museum days, craft fairs, and food festivals. These are fantastic excuses to dress up and enjoy entertainment without spending much.

Practice Self Care: Draw yourself a nice bath, light some candles, sip tea or wine, and soak. Give yourself a facial or pedicure. Spend time meditating, stretching, exercising. Prioritize rest and recovery with extra sleep or lazy mornings. Simple acts of self-care make excellent pick-me-ups.

Connect with Loved Ones: Plan game nights or cookouts with friends. Schedule video chat catchups with long-distance relatives. Share memories over home-cooked meals with grandparents. Laughter, good conversation, and quality time are the best rewards.

blowing your savings

Experience-Based Rewards

In addition to free leisure activities, focusing reward spending on experiences rather than material goods tends to lead to more happiness long-term.

Learn New Skills: Enrol in local classes on topics that interest you, from pottery sculpting to salsa dancing, mixology or axe throwing. Sign up for one-day workshops to get your feet wet. Teach yourself via online tutorials – coding, knitting, watercolour painting, or embroidery are extremely rewarding to try.

Explore Your City: Wander lesser-known neighbourhoods for a change of scenery. Ask locals their favourite spots and hidden gems – Mom and Pop shops, street art trails, tucked-away cafes and bars or reading nooks. Sign up for obscure walking tours. Let curiosity rather than plans guide your steps.

Volunteer: Offer your time, skills, and compassion to organizations aligned with your values – animal shelters, youth mentoring programs, community gardens, homeless assistance groups, and more. Giving back provides a wonderful sense of purpose.

Attend Free Events: As mentioned above, most cities host regular free arts and cultural events. These make excellent rewards, getting you out of the house to enjoy entertainment, food, people watching, and more without spending much.

Smart Spending Rewards

If you wish to spend a little money, focus on intentionality and mindfulness. Plan rewards into your budget, keep splurges small, and use tools to save on bigger goals.

Planning and Budgeting

Set Aside a “Rewards Budget”: When planning your expenses, include a line item for occasional treats and self-rewards. Choose a small, reasonable amount per pay period – even $20-50 goes a long way. Develop the habit of intentional indulgences.

Track Expenses, Cut Back Where Possible: Keep an eye on spending habits – brew coffee instead of buying it, eat out less, walk rather than Uber. Identify areas where cutting back even a little bit could free up extra “reward money.” Building reward funds while maintaining healthy financial habits.

Leverage Loyalty Programs and Cash Back: Credit card points, airline miles, restaurant reward programs, and cashback apps offer easy ways to earn a little extra splurge money while spending on normal purchases. Take advantage of these by using appropriate cards and apps whenever possible.

Small Splurges

Here are some examples of minor upgrades that make excellent feel-good rewards without breaking the bank:

Gourmet Foods and Beverages: Pick up fancy coffee beans, loose leaf tea samplers, imported chocolates or artisanal snacks from specialty grocers. Far cheaper than going out, these items make everyday indulgences.

Ingredients for Restaurant-Quality Meals: Cook yourself multi-course gourmet meals at home for a fraction the dining out cost. Grab premium ingredients like fresh seafood, quality oils, exotic spices. Nurture your inner chef.

Wishlist Items Under $XX: Review your ongoing gift idea/wishlists. Select one modestly priced item you’ve been eyeing – perhaps a bestselling novel, luxury bath products, high-quality kitchenware, picture frames, or even wearable tech. The anticipation and joy of finally owning something special after waiting patiently makes for wonderful rewards.

Avoiding Overspending

While small splurges can be part of balanced, budget-friendly rewards, take care not to overindulge. Utilize mindfulness techniques and set firm limits around impulse purchases.

Mindful Shopping Habits

Set a Budget Before Browsing: Knowing exactly how much you have available to spend makes it easier to control impulse purchases. Stick to your limit no matter how tempting the sales and deals.

Compare Prices, Wait for Discounts: Online tools like Priceblink assist with price comparisons across retailers so you can buy items when they hit low price points rather than overpaying. Exercise patience – sign up for sale alerts, check regularly for promo codes.

Use Cash Over Cards: Studies show people spend significantly less when using tangible currency rather than cards or payment apps. The physical payout is more emotionally felt. Use cash to curb impulse buys.

Alternative Reward Ideas

Delay the Reward, Save Up: If you find yourself eyeing an expensive item beyond the budget, delay buying it. Be patient and let the money accumulate in your account towards a larger goal. Use the anticipation of eventually earning a major reward as encouragement.

Celebrate Milestones: On the way to major goals, celebrate incremental successes. Did you save 25% of the amount needed? 50%? 75%? Reward the progress itself with fun, budget-friendly activities.

Practice Gratitude: Spending too often comes from a place of wanting more. Take time to mentally appreciate belongings you already own. Recognizing abundance cultivates contentment.


While rewarding yourself is important, overspending can quickly sabotage financial goals and priorities. The solution is balancing occasional small splurges with frequent free and low-cost indulgences. We can craft fulfilling rewards aligned with budgets and values if willing to get creative.

Savor life’s special moments with:

  • Fun hobbies, quality time with loved ones
  • New experiences like learning, volunteering
  • Planning mindful treats into budgets
  • Leveraging loyalty programs and cash back
  • Prioritizing needs over wants, practicing gratitude.

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