What is your bad habit? Mine is nail biting. For as long as I can remember, my nails and their delectable nature have been the bane of my existence. I don’t know what it is because I consciously recognize that it is a gross habit that I want to quit, but something about those moments filled with anxiety and nervous energy, or, let’s be real, boredom, makes me want to chow down. I have tried and tried to quit but I always fall back into this habit. I tried keeping my nails freshly painted so they’d be so cute I wouldn’t want to bite, but I peeled off the polish and kept on biting. I tried getting fake nails so I couldn’t bite at all, but I managed to chew through acrylic to get to the goods, and let me tell you, that stuff is not soft! I even tried tying a hair band around my wrist and snapping it as hard as I could every time I bit, but that didn’t help either because I got used to the sting and kept biting. Nothing worked.
Now, why am I monologuing about my nail biting habits? Well, it’s because I have finally learned how to make myself stop! Charging myself every time I bite my nails! That’s right, I created a “Nail Biting” Jar on PennyProfit and each and every time I find my hands in my mouth trying to bite off more than I should chew, in goes a dollar. Since I’m trying to break a bad habit I figured that money should go somewhere I don’t like so it’s a loss I want to avoid. I decided that I would send the money in that jar to my cousin, who I’m not particularly fond of, on his birthday. This way I really don’t want to bite! The first 30 days I bit every single day because as they say, old habits die hard. The second month I cut that down to about 20 days biting, and here in month 3 I’m hoping I can reduce that even more! Turns out mean cousins are a great motivator! Whatever your bad habit is, you can do what I’m doing and give the money to a person/cause you’re not particularly fond of so you definitely avoid your habit. You could also donate to a charity you do support as well. In donating to charity you’re “losing” out on the money personally, but there is still a net good. For me, I work very well with negative motivators so it was more important to have something I didn’t want to have happen to deter my nail biting. You will have to experiment and find what motivates you most!
I also think it would be neat to use this strategy to start a positive habit rather than ending a bad one! One idea I’ve seen floating around Pinterest recently is to put a dollar in a jar every time you exercise. While this idea sounds awesome and motivating, how many of us have enough physical dollar bills lying around to make this work more than a week or so? I am far too lazy to go to the bank, get a bunch of one dollar bills, and then begin exercising. Phew, I would have been out of breath by the time I walked out the door to get my cash! With PennyProfit, you can use this awesome motivator without having to rely on physical cash! Create an “Exercise” Jar and every time you work out for 30 minutes, add a dollar. If you do something every day by the end of the month you will have $30 to spend on whatever you want. This could be a cute skirt you now look fabulous in, a water bottle to hydrate you during your killer workouts, or a subscription to a fitness based magazine to motivate and inspire you. Your Jar is yours to build positive habits and reap the rewards!
Have you ever tried combatting bad habits or creating good ones using monetary consequences and rewards? What was that experience like? Any other tips for breaking bad habits? Let us know in the comments down below!