So why have I never considered tipping myself? Probably because, until now, no one has ever said those words to me — “tip yourself.” Instead they said, “save money.”
“Save money”? That’s a completely foreign concept to me, and something I’ve never felt good about.
Well, my money issues go deep, obviously, but thanks to the Tip Yourself app, tipping myself is a thing I do now. After all, I’ve always prided myself on tipping. At restaurants, I tip. When I order a cup of coffee at my favorite indie roaster, I tip.
Money is the best reward
So, here, we have yet another personal finance app coming to my rescue — remember Penny? You know how much I love Penny.
What’s more, Tip Yourself has solved one of my lesser problems.
Recently I came to realize that I didn’t really have a way to reward myself for good money behavior. The problem is that I don’t really want or need much anymore. In fact, I’ve been working hard to simplify my life and my possessions. In other words, it hardly makes sense to reward myself with clutter.
The solution? Reward myself by tipping myself. Money is the answer.
Tipping: “Yea” or “Nay”?
Speaking of tipping, I’m always curious to know other people’s rules for tipping.
Do you tip in all the usual places — barber, cafe, restaurant? I do. A friend and I have a standing debate about whether or not a barista who simply fills a cup with pre-brewed coffee should receive a tip. I saw it his way for a while, but still feel better when I tip at least 50 cents.
By the way, tipping is not a custom in every country. For example in Brazil, tipping is unheard of. I’m told that in Japan, tipping someone can be taken as insulting.
Do you tip 10%, 15%, 20% or more? I’m usually 15%-20%.
My Rules for Tipping
While I tip others readily, I decided to develop a set of rules for tipping myself. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just throwing money around the way the “old me” did.
Never reward bad behavior or neutral behavior, and never tip “just because.”
For example, this is not an acceptable reason for tipping: “I’m just really proud of all the improvements I’ve been making with my money behaviors.”
Feeling proud is its own reward. And since I never usually feel money-proud, it’s an even greater reward than a monetary tip.
Also, not an acceptable reason for tipping: “Well, I shouldn’t have bought that coffee at the cafe, but at least I didn’t buy a scone too.” I consider that kind of reasoning to be a huge #FAIL.
Only reward positive behavior, behavior that builds good habits, or behavior that breaks bad habits. And once the new habit has been successfully installed, stop tipping for that.
As you can surmise, I worked on making coffee at home and taking it with me instead of buying it on the road. So, at least a couple of times, I tipped myself for good behavior. But once making coffee at home became a habit, I no longer tipped myself. At that point, I focus on a new good habit.
For example, I’ve been working on eating better — quitting sugar, in fact, at least as much as is humanly possible. And then one day I was offered free cookies. I declined, but gratefully accepted one for my wife (no, I didn’t eat it, haha). Tip: $1.
Never reward more money than I can afford.
Thankfully, I always have a buck around. So far, all my tips have been $5 or less. I look forward to the day I can tip myself $100.
One month I spent $230 LESS over the previous month’s eating out spend! That was a huge accomplishment for me. Tip: $5. Big tipper, haha. Yay me.
State clearly why I’m tipping myself.
From time to time, I look over my entries to see where I’ve been and think about where I’m going. It serves as a clear record of how I’m growing.
I’ve only tipped myself seven times as of this post. One post reads: “Wrote three blog posts in 2.5 hours. Celebrating with a $1 tip!”
What are your tipping rules? And how are you using Tip Yourself?
Six of my favorite things about Tip Yourself
— ONE —
Members can read my posts about how and why I tip myself and I can read about their tips.
— TWO —
Encouragement in the form of “PROPS” — which attach a heart to a post — can be given and received.And who doesn’t love hearts?
— THREE —
Better yet are comments, because a comment represents, to me, a tiny gift of time and can lead to a conversation, sharing, and learning.
While the conversation abilities within TipYourself are still in their infancy (for example, I can’t tag other users in my comments yet), I’ve still been able to converse with users and learn more about tools, such as podcasts and websites, that have been helpful to them on their own money journeys. I look forward to more robust features in future updates to the app.
— FOUR —
I’m finding great power in community. After years of turning a blind eye to my money situation, followed by years of no group support, this is just what I need.
Money has become a catalyst for me to work out some emotional issues. But I’m not alone, I think.
Today I read Amanda’s post: “I finally got my deepest memory out. It took 2 years to get myself to spit it out. Now I feel 50 pounds lighter.” It’s probably the most powerful and real thing I’ve heard someone say all year.
Blogging about my money issues feels, at first, embarrassing. Then, once that passes, it still feels unsafe. I feel vulnerable.
So, I’m grateful to the creators of Tip Yourself for helping me to find others, perhaps like myself, among a community of people all connected by money.
Haha, ok, I know, I know, it is just an app. However, it is an app that is accomplishing great things for me.
— FIVE —
Sharing posts to Twitter from the app. There’s a community of money bloggers I’ve tapped into there.
— SIX —
Most of all, I finally have a method of rewarding myself in a way that adds to my way of life and to my goals. It’s as if the Tip Yourself app is urging me to “be good, be good…”
Additional features I’ve yet to fully explore
Finally, — and these features have not become important to me yet — Tip Yourself provides some statistics, by month and in total, related to my tipping, including how much money is in my tip jar, biggest tip, total tips, average tips per week, etc. Additionally, a savings goal can be set by the user and the app tracks preset savings milestones.
I’m curious to see how Tip Yourself grows with me throughout various stages of my financial literacy. Right now I’m just trying to pay off debt. But what happens when I’ve paid off debt and I’m aggressively saving? I look forward to finding out.
Photo credit: All my gratitude to the fine folks at minimography.com for making fine, royalty-free photographs available to bloggers like myself. Photograph 070 by Ashley Schweitzer.