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Reward Yourself for Frugal Behavior

Today, on my way into work, I was listening to some morning radio show talk about how 47% of British men give up six months of sex for a 50″ plasma television [3]. It sounds ridiculous (that’s why they did the study in the first place!) but the interesting part is what followed. Approximately 25% would give up smoking and 25% would give up chocolate for the 50″ plasma television. That’s when one of the hosts said that if you gave up smoking for six months you could buy the television.

So why not reward yourself for frugal behavior? If you’re a smoker and you want a new 50″ plasma television, why not give yourself an added incentive to quit? If you smoke one pack a day at around $5/pack (my guesstimate), it would take 268 days to save up the $1,339.98 for a Samsung HPT5064 50″ Plasma HDTV [4]. That’s a little under nine months at $5 a day. If cigarettes are more expensive in your area or if you’re a heavier smoker, you can save up even faster (and that’s not even taking into account all the positive health benefits you get!).

Don’t smoke? Don’t want a 50″ plasma television? Replace smoking with another dirty little secret habit (mocha lattes?) and replace a plasma television with something you’ve always wanted (trip to Europe?). Having a goal always helps you be frugal [5].