By: Revanche

A little sumpin’-sumpin’?

April 27, 2010

My friend asked me if I was going to buy a token something for myself when I got my first paycheck. Suggestions abounded. They sounded awfully nice but nothing really blazed up my desire. Well, a netbook, but that’s no kind of a “little” treat running between $400-500.

It’s just stuff. I just spent two weeks organizing, cleaning, and weeding out stuff with still more of it to do.

Besides that? I have a job. I’m facing down huge challenges and I’m getting paid to do what I wanted to learn how to do. I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of at least a few people. 

What object is necessary to “symbolize” my intrinsic satisfaction? By its very nature, my “accomplishment” suffices. What need do I have of obtaining an object as a reward for doing a job? [That’s what payday is for!]

I’m not above enjoying goodies like the new clothes that were necessary, and I sure don’t mind having the pocket money to have a meal out once in a while. But a reward simply for having a job? The truth is, I don’t need any rewards for doing my job. A job is a contract wherein I ply my trade and the employee pays me a fair wage for that. I’m ok with that.

13 Responses to “A little sumpin’-sumpin’?”

  1. Ruth says:

    I understand getting something to celebrate…but then I’d probably go out to dinner or get ice cream or do something like that rather than buy something. We did that when my dad got a job after getting laid off in his mid 50s (scary). But I agree, buying something as a reward isn’t really necessary.

  2. mOOm says:

    Not a reward but if you are working hard it’s nice to spend a little on feeling more comfortable the rest of the time. Otherwise if you are always meeting bills and saving for the future it can get rather exhausting/frustrating I think.

  3. We “reward” ourselves for working through annual vacations. My husband and I do not have rewarding careers, so we do treat ourselves to happy memories in between. If we absolutely loved our jobs, I still hope we’d take vacations…great memories and helps with stress.

  4. Shelley says:

    I’m impressed at how well you are able to ‘keep your eye on the ball’. I suppose the graph (or whatever measure) that shows your increasing net worth is sufficient reward? Well done, anyhow; so many lose the whole plot about work and money.

  5. Ciawy says:

    I was tempted to get something for my first paycheck (for this new job), but decided against it. Like you, I’m just glad that I have a job and to be learning a lot from it. But, maybe on my next paycheck, I’ll get a new work outfit. =)

  6. “What object is necessary to “symbolize” my intrinsic satisfaction?”

    I love this line. I read once that people who grew up being ‘rewarded’ with food as children for achievements, good behavior, whatever, grow to have weight problems later in life. Perhaps it’s something of the same when it comes to the idea of buying something new as a signal that you are ‘worth it’ or ‘deserve it’ or as a means of rewarding yourself.

    Great topic!

  7. Jersey Mom says:

    I completely agree with you on this and like your attitude regarding your job/career. A physical object to celebrate isn’t necessary when you don’t see a need for it. Your reward is your achievement at work and in life. =) Of course, I’m not saying that I don’t buy anything to celebrate with when we’ve achieved a milestone ~ usually a $10 Asti sparkling wine.

  8. Abigail says:

    I am sort of on the same page. I can think of plenty of things that I *want* but none enough to divert funds from debt reduction — especially not to celebrate getting a full-time job. How about just celebrating by paying off debt sooner?

    And I’m still kind of stymied about what to do to celebrate being out of debt. Besides breathing easier.

  9. I love the idea of separating the “reward” from a particular time. So you can put your money in the bank now and then get your reward when you actually want something!

  10. Confused says:

    I found your blog today and I love your posts so much that I had to subscribe! Congrats on your new job and like others, I agree that just being fortunate to have a job is a reward enough.

  11. That is a really mature way to look at your situation.

    For me, I am still learning lots on my job, and I am thankful that I am being paid to do it. Kinda like going to school but 9 – 5.

    Though I am still lusting after a netbook. *sigh* *drool*

  12. Maybe instead of never getting a little sumpin’-sumpin’, you can save towards one. That netbook, relatively speaking, is not that expensive. But if you put a little bit aside with each paycheck, you can have it. So instead of it being a splurge, it will be something you’ve worked to have over time. I’m just against the idea that you shouldn’t reward yourself, especially since you are just awesome. LOL. I tell myself that everyday…it gets me through the rough patches.

  13. Revanche says:

    @Ruth: Getting time to myself or with close friends would be a good reward. I just like to wallow with my books or playing with my dogs or just knowing I have the freedom is good enough.

    @mOOm: That’s true, and I’m not opposed to living with slightly looser purse strings. I’d actually just rather have the money saved for when there’s something I’d really like instead of going out on the hunt for something to buy specifically for this purpose. It’s like clothing shopping.

    @Budgeting the Fun Stuff: Vacations are absolutely a worthwhile reward! Not exactly appropriate for first starting a job but definitely for an annual anniversary sort of thing.

    @Shelley: It gives me peace of mind, yes, knowing that I have that level of security. I like not having such a direct link between money as a form of happiness.

    @Ciawy: That’s not a bad idea! I like waiting to make sure it’s going to work out and catch up on savings before splurging, too!

    @Simple in France: Thanks! I think that’s true, I was only rarely rewarded as a kid for “accomplishments.” Otherwise, performance was a basic expectation.

    @Jersey Mom: I have my new “reward” wine, a $5 bottle of white wine from Trader Joe’s. But I STILL haven’t opened it up.

    @Frugal Scholar: Exactly!

    @Confused: Why thank you for the compliment.

    @Aspiring Minimalist: You and me, both!! If I called that a reward, we BOTH know that’s just an excuse!

    @Investing Newbie: Oh I’m not opposed to EVER getting something, it’s just there’s no need to reward myself RIGHT NOW specifically for this specific situation. I want the freedom to spoil myself whenever and that’s more important to me than getting anything now. Plus I would get into the habit of relying on *things* to make me feel better on a regular basis instead of finding a more constructive way to handle the frustrations like exercising or reaching out to supportive people. I’m totally prone to that.

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