Buying "rewards" for myself always had a way of backfiring in my face or just end up being really frustrating so I really just don't do it any longer.
- A few years ago I'd found a new job. It was the first in over two years. My wife and I went on a cruise (it was already booked) and as a "reward" I bought myself a new Tag Heuer Indy 500 F1 watch. A week later the entire training class was fired.
That watch became a reminder of failure/bad luck instead of newfound success.
- I once ordered custom guitar parts (neck and body) as a gift to myself for really improving my playing. I got the body and there were some flaws in the paint. I expressed concern to the company and they blew me off, telling me "that's not covered." I argued and was just blown off, period. Every time I tried to explain the jerk on the other line just interrupted me.
TWO YEARS LATER I'd found a forum "dedicated" to these guitars and expressed my personal experience. It turns out a rep for the company frequented the site and saw my post. He contacted me and wanted the story, as he said at the time of my issues he was not there and he had been chasing down upset people for years to make things right. He told me he wanted to see the body so I shipped it to him.
A few weeks later after receiving the body I got a call from him and the problem was not a flaw in the paint, but a cracked body. All this time the body had been cracked. They replaced the body free of charge and even made some modifications to it for free that I'd wanted.
The process took around four months, which was a bit irritating, but the problem was fixed.
Yes, this turned out okay, but I shouldn't have had to deal with it in the first place.
- My grandfather passed away and left me a $1,000 inheritance. I purchased myself a 2011 Schwinn Paramount Series 7 bicycle. For some reason it kept having derailleur issues and wouldn't shift right. Performance Bike agreed to give me a replacement or bicycle of equal value. I really liked the bike so I took a replacement. I had the same issues with the replacement. After numerous trips back and forth to Performance Bike (60 miles away) the problem was discovered. Apparently the internal cables had been crossed and put stress on the derailleur cables, not allowing correct shifting. The cables were rerouted and I haven't had any issues since.
With the bike, it was an inconvenience for months. More bad luck.
- In April 2012 my wife and I were in a car accident and lost our MTBs. We just replaced them this year with my 2012 Cannondale Flash 29er 2 (Alloy) and her Specialized Jett Comp. So far, so good. Thus far, things have worked out well with the new MTBs.
- When we got in the car accident my 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STi was totaled. While I received $16,000 in a settlement for it, that still wasn't going to replace it with a car in as good of condition. Instead, I opted to get a new vehicle, a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. While the Jeep's been fun, it recently underwent some pretty serious repairs. The heater core was defective and in turn allowed sludge through the coolant system. Not only was the heater core replaced but the radiator, plus some a/c and heat plumbing needed to be replaced, plus the engine needed to be flushed out. If the vehicle was not under warranty it would have cost $1,800. UNACCEPTABLE for a vehicle with 12,000 miles on it!
I would have to say that my biggest rewards haven't come from treating myself to anything, but from making "lifestyle decisions."
- I quit smoking a few years ago and feel healthier.
- I started to change my eating habits and feel a little bit healthier and active.
- I started getting serious about biking again and am losing some weight, getting in shape, and feeling like I'm accomplishing something.