Updated: Feb 22, 2020
I have to be honest, this brilliant idea didn't come from my head. In reality, it came from a number of people including posts on social media, in social media groups, through a podcast I listen to and...well...everywhere! But I will say that when the spark of inspiration hit me, it was when I was listening to a podcast hosted by a group of guys talking mainly about video games...but life gets thrown in there, too. Anyway,The podcast is called "The Backlog Busters" ( see how awesome they are for yourself at https://backlogbusters.podbean.com/ ) and, one of them, we'll call him Grrouchie, mentioned that to motivate himself to reach his reading goals, he uses a $20 bill as a bookmark. Every time he finishes a book, he takes that "bookmark" and uses it on whatever he wants, as a kind of mad money, or he saves it for something bigger. Of course, as soon as Grrouchie shared this, my husband, who was listening with me, looked over at me panicked and, very hurriedly said, "No!" before I could even open my mouth to comment! This was even more amusing to me as my husband may, or may not, be one of the new regulars on the show and, as such, was part of this recording session...so he knew it was coming!
Anyway, my mind started turning. The wheels were at work! This brilliant idea could be used in so many ways! The possibilities were endless! Before I knew it, my head was racing with slight alterations to account for a number of situations, each of which, I was super excited to share with you all! So let's start with the simple, basic concept of this brilliant system, shall we?
The basic principal is to encourage and reward yourself for setting and reaching goals, right? So, first, you must set that goal. It can be as simple as "I want to read more this year, " or "I want to read at least one chapter a night". Or you can go further and say something like, "I want to read 40 books this year" or "I'll read one book a week". The beauty is, it's your goals! You can make them fit your needs and your life style! You do you!
Then, decide on a reward. Will you earn $5.00 for every book you read? $1.00? Or will you go all richy rich like Grrouchie and earn $20 or more for each book you complete? Again, it's all up to you! Pick what you can afford, or what makes sense for your own goals!
Decide what/where that money will go. Is that going to be your book budget that you can use right away? Will it go into a jar to grow, forming your book budget for next year? Will it be your mad money? Or, what about vacation money? Again, the sky is the limit! Dream BIG!
From there, the details are all for you to choose! But, I do have some tips or ideas! Care to hear them?
In no order:
1. Instead of using an actual bill as your book mark, laminate some play money of the same increment you are rewarding yourself with. This way, you always have that reminder, but you don't have to worry about losing the money (and let's be honest! Bookmarks disappear quickly!) or someone stealing it. (get some here!)
2.Include your kiddos! Have them set goals and then, together, set rewards for achieving they goals just like you! This is a great way to reward them and help teach them money management, too!
3. Don't limit your goal/reward system to just books! Apply it to video games, working out or even cooking at home! (Okay! I seriously may need to talk to my husband about that! For every night I cook at home, I put $1.00 in a jar and that's "a-nice-dinner-out-with-the-family-fund"! I'm sold!) or any other goal you're trying to reach!
4. Be sure to make you goals and rewards reasonable. If you read three books a week on average, don't set your reward as $20.00 if you can't afford $60.00 a week to put aside into your fund.
5. Have fun and celebrate! I love this idea because it's fun and a great way to budget/plan/earn more books in your personal library. I know I'm having a hard time finding room for all of my books but I love buying new ones! By using a system like this, it allows me to reward myself for reading through my books with the promise of having money to buy the next in the series, or the new releases from a favorite author without feeling guilty. It also means my husband is behind it and knows that, even if he doesn't want more books in the house for fear of one morning waking up crushed beneath my book collection, that to get that new book, I had to read a number of books and, now that they're read, I may not be keeping them all. So, really, it's a win-win, right?
Well, that's a more organized, less wordy version of a brilliant idea then I feared you would get (I'm so soaking excited about this idea! I had to sit with it for a little bit to prevent incomprehensible verbal vomiting all over you). But now that I've shared some thoughts, I'm curious about yours! What tweaks will you be making to this strategy? Are you trying out this method? Did it work? Did it fail? Where you to eager to buy and forgot to stick to your budget (hey! It happens! We've all done it!) Please share in the comments!