Seeing that first $10,000 in your retirement account should be a jump-out-of-your-chair, punch-the-air, spill-coffee-on-your-desk moment. And as with any major milestone, it calls for a little celebration. Here are five fitting ways to reward yourself for reaching your goals—and spur you on toward that next $10K.
1. Reward yourself with items that pay you back
In the spirit of investing in your future, you might want to rejoice with something less fleeting than a party. It’s merely self-care to reward yourself for saving so much—but even more caring to purchase an item that will pay you back, in one way or another. Maybe one reward for achieving your goal is to buy something from a local artist that makes you happy, even if it’s not recognized (yet) as a great work. That bargain might just gain in value one day.
2. Invest in your physical health
Saving your first $10K gives you the perfect excuse to upgrade your home gym (also known as your bedroom floor). You’ve already seen fitness instructors online. Well, with some new hand weights, a yoga mat and a foam roller, you might actually act on their instructions and resist the urge to splurge on a fancy gym membership. Consider this inexpensive fitness equipment not only a way to reward yourself, but also a rational investment in your health and well-being. Burpees may even teach you a thing or two about saving.
3. Invest in yourself
To celebrate making your first big step investing in your retirement—the ultimate way to reward yourself is investing in you. A cooking class or two-day massage therapy course is a way to have fun while learning new skills—potentially opening up ways to make more money. Or turn an existing hobby, like making bibs for baby showers, into a part-time gig. A sewing class could give you the confidence to finally open that Etsy store you’ve always dreamed about.
4. Take more ownership in your investing
To mark your $10K milestone, consider taking more ownership in your investing. First, make sure you’re saving enough at work to get your employer’s full match. So, if your workplace plan will match some percentage of the contributions you make up to 6% of your paycheck, for example, save 6% at least—increasing your contribution every year until you reach the contribution limit. (You may not notice much of a difference in your take-home pay if you do this gradually.) After that, consider putting more savings in an IRA—and researching your investment choices, learning along the way about risk and fees. You’ll be rewarding yourself for reaching one goal while pursuing another.
5. Give back to your community
There’s a cause close to your heart, and you’ve always wanted to make a meaningful donation—but you felt unsure about writing that check while trying to save for your own future. Now that you’ve proven that you can do it, what better way to reward yourself than by contributing to others?
With your saving batteries recharged, you’ll be in great shape for reaching that next milestone—$20K in your retirement plan!