One of the very very bad recent additions to my life is online shopping. I was adamant for the last few years that I do not need to impulse shop nonstop. But in recent months I feel like my weeks are being divided into “weeks with packages” and “weeks without packages.” It’s not a nice feeling to have stopped being frugal and to have filled my life with unnecessary stuff.
I’m not saying all of it was unnecessary by the way. In a world where going shopping is a dangerous activity, I’m not regretting ordering a collapsible green screen from a store where I could drive up to the front door and they’d bring it to my car. I do nonstop Zooms and this was a great tool. (Ok. That started as an example of necessary online purchases but even as I type it’s looking more like a cry for help.)
Anyway. Moving on. Let’s talk about my life hack.
I decided to create a reward system based on tasks that advance my goals for the year. Since each of my goals has daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that need to be completed for my goals to be hit on target, I chunked them into small bites and put them on a bingo card. I randomized them as much as possible so my focus would be spread out over all three goals evenly. Then I made a list of my rewards. One line in any direction gets me something small and might be considered frivolous. (Assuming you consider buying literally beautiful shoes to be frivolous, but that’s on you.) If I fill my whole card, I get something big. My green screen, which I already own, is a good example of a big purchase.
I also went away from my three top goals and added some bonus ones in. Based on how reduced my impulse spending has become, I added squares for “save $X.” My point on each of these is they are small but significant tasks. I can accomplish them in a day, and possibly more than one. But it will probably take me most of the month to accomplish a full card.
That’s my life hack. Hopefully it helps you as well. I’m hearing similar new habits from friends that they are starting to spend without a plan. That’s great for the economy but not great for my long term needs. It combines my need to be productive and my love of a good reward!