Earn for your gadget

Earn for your gadget

This post is also available in: Polish

I like gadgets. Who doesn’t? I used to buy too many of them based on a simple impulse – I see something I like, I ponder purchasing it for a few hours, and buy it. Because of this, I’ve ended up with many things I don’t like or use often. I’ve had to come up with a tactic to choose gadgets I really want and really need: I have to “earn” money for them.

“Earn” is in quotation marks because it is referring to the time, rather than the money, I need to earn to get the gadget.

Let me describe this tactic based on the example of the gadget I am earning for right now – Jawbone Up3. I saw it and I thought “I want that!” Then I thought about the last thing I bought in a similar situation, something I’m not even using any more. So I decided that instead of buying the Jawbone Up3 right away, I would collect money for it. How do I collect money? I priced some habits I want to develop , and every time I practice one of these habits,  I put aside a small amount of money. That way, I have more incentives to do what habits are about and I am closer to buying the Up3 :)

Here are the prices for a few of my habits:

  • going out for a run – 2PLN
  • exercising for 10 minutes – 2PLN
  • getting up at 4:30 in the morning – 2PLN

The price for each habit has to be small enough that I won’t collect money too fast. I need to have enough time to think about whether or not I really need the gadget. But the price also has to be high enough to motivate me  to

Every time I do one of these things, I transfer the given amount of money to a separate account. Believe it or not, I have already collected 200PLN and I run, exercise, and get up at the desired time more often. I’ve estimated that I need about 5 months to collect enough money for the Up3. That means that I have 5 months to see if I really want it. If I still want it in 5 months, then I’ll buy it. If not, I’ll have some savings and a few new, good habits. It’s a win-win situation!

Can this work for you? Just try it.  Do you have other ways of checking if you really want a gadget? Let me know in the comments!

Photo by  JD Hancock/ CC BY


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  • Awesome idea Dominik.
    By the way I see more and more people waking up early. Is it the age or the world changes?

    • dominik

      Definitely it is the world that is changing ;)
      But seriously, the more you have to do each day (family, work, hobby etc) the more structure you need. Getting up early in the morning gives you the structure or at least help you to structure your day.

  • Marian

    Great post, Dominik!
    I started quite a similar system a few days ago, perhaps I even got inspiration from you somehow.

    My “prize” is something that I always wanted, but the common sense told me that it’s just a waste of hard earned money – brand new, shiny XBOX to be even better FIFA badass :)

    Anyway, your model is good and that’s great that you pointed out that you shouldn’t earn money too fast. The only thing that I enriched my model with, is not only to reward myself for something that I had done well, but also to “punish” myself if I’d done something wrong. It matches perfectly with “your” longest-chain method. If you get up at 4.30 regularly, you reward yourself with 2PLN each morning, but try to mobilize your conscience even more by taking away 5PLN if you got up later than at 5 more than two times a week without any sensible reason.

    I challenge you! And in a few months we can compare our results :)

    • dominik

      I’m happy that you like it! And I keep my finger crossed for you :)

      regarding punishing yourself – if that works for you do it ;) I’d rather challenge myself in a positive way than negative :D