This past week, I took a long, hard look at my iPhone. Dozens of apps slotted into folders on my home screen – some apps are overused, some never used, and an overwhelming amount of apps that fell somewhere in between. Midway through my quest to clean up my smartphone a la Marie Kondo and Christopher Mims, my index finger hovered over a green and white app. Last fall, I agreed to pilot using an app that seemed to be the perfect blend of motivation and finance. Almost six months later and more than any other app, Tip Yourself still sparks joy with every click.
What It Is -The Short & Sweet Version
I’ve reviewed Tip Yourself at length before here and over at The Jenny Pincher* when I first got involved with the beta test. In short, Tip Yourself, a nifty little app that recently made its App Store debut, allows you to celebrate small wins throughout the day. Every time you tip, you designate an amount of money to be transferred from your bank account to your Tip Jar. Cash out whenever you want. Easy peasy…and so much fun. I dare you to scroll through the feed without smiling.
Five Reasons It Sparks Joy
It motivates me. Much ado has been made over Jerry Seinfeld’s “Don’t Break the Chain” trick. You know why? Because it absolutely works. There is nothing worse that starting a streak of something, seeing all of those days checked off in a row, only to skip a day. If you don’t record it, it’s so easy to skim past the slip-up. When it stares back at you on a calendar, it’s much harder to ignore. Plus, scrolling through the feed of other tippers is such a great reminder of everything that can be accomplished in a day.
It keeps me focused. I love keeping track of my progress. For fear of allowing Post-Its to take over my
desk house life, this app is a neat way to track my progress towards my goal. I can use the calendar feature to see how often I’ve tipped throughout the month, and my comments allow me to see all of the different reasons I’ve tipped. If I start slipping up (read: spending more time on the couch frantically catching up on Scandal than running jogging walking on the treadmill), one quick scroll through the feed reminds me to get back on track.
It helps me save. I’m a saver by nature. But I’m really bad at saving for simple things. I’m much more likely to sock away my side hustle money for a mortgage payment than I am for a massage or a manicure**. But Tip Yourself has become a microsavings account for me. While cashing in my Tip Jar won’t produce a windfall, I definitely have enough to treat myself to a little fun when the mood strikes.
It reminds me to slow down and celebrate. If I’m not busy every minute of my day, I am utterly convinced that I have forgotten to do ten different things. Not only does keeping up this frenetic pace go against the premise of my blog, but it makes for a really dizzying existence. Taking a few minutes to review my day and document a triumph really helps me regain some much-needed perspective. Truthfully, I’d put this reflective practice on par with meditation. It works that well for me.
It makes me happy. There are days when I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing or everything has gone wrong. I have nothing to celebrate. Even if I’m not actually tossing a tip in my Tip Jar, I have yet to be able to scroll through the feed without bursting out into a full-on smile. Now that I’ve been on the app for close to six months, I can honestly say it is full of some of the nicest, most supportive, funniest people I’ve never met in real life. It’s social media without all the pessimism, drama, or Donald Trump debates.
There’s no doubt that we live in a world where there are apps for everything. Yet, if you feel that simplicity reigns supreme, you won’t find a more streamlined way of combining money and motivation. If you’re looking to spark some digital joy and accelerate your goals, Tip Yourself is the app for that.
* Look, Ma! A guest post. I’m such a legit blogger, I can’t even handle it.
**Seriously. My students are offering to paint my nails for me. It’s that bad.
Note: Tip Yourself did not compensate me in any way for this post. I wrote it in the midst of a cell phone decluttering spree when I realized Tip Yourself was one of the only apps on my phone that my palms got all sweaty over the prospect of deleting.