Thereupon I realized that in order for someone lacking in budgeting values to consistently adhere to a budget, perhaps someone who wasn’t brought up with those values, they have to have an incentive to do so. It should be something tangible they’ll receive every so often, or that they can look forward to receiving. Since most people associate budgeting with making sacrifices, having an incentive or reward would mitigate the sacrifice. It must be emphasized however, that the reward must be for good performance, and not be the goal of the budget. You can’t simply decide to spend lavishly just because you earned your reward. You have to stay within the budget restrictions until your goals are met. You’re not allowed to cheat, either, and claim the reward without achieving the budgetary objectives. That’s why it may help if two or more people share responsibility for staying within the budget, such as a husband and wife or two employees. It would be best done, nevertheless, on the honor system because, as confirmed by my CPA friend, self-discipline goes a long way towards helping an individual or individuals or an organization stay within a budget successfully, and become more financially responsible.
What can the reward be? It can be nearly anything within the bounds of good taste. Obviously, a small item like an ice cream sundae is fairly easy to materialize for most of us, but will need to be given repeatedly to continue to motivate the budgeter, while a larger item like a vacation trip will most likely be more expensive but will have more incentive value. The prospect of receiving a reward like a trip to France, Hawaii or Tahiti would make it easier and more pleasant for many people to live within a budget and achieve their other financial goals. This can be done by an organization on a budget, too: a manager with budget responsibility can be given an incentive as a reward for complying with the budget, or more than one employee, director, etc. can receive incentives for their individual roles in helping to meet budgetary objectives.