Nov 3, 2014

Paying it Back - Motivational Monday

Sometimes, not nearly often enough, I think about how fortunate I am and all the positive things I have in my life. Usually that means people; my family, friends, and even strangers that enter my life briefly for one positive interaction. On very rare occasions, I also think about the resources that have been provided to me at low or no cost.

I know that, as a designer, if I gave everything away for free, I wouldn't be able to survive. And yet, some developer just threw together the Lightbox interface (for image galleries) and said, "Here you go! Hope it works for you."

I love Game of Thrones. It's the only show I've ever made a point of watching on the days the episodes come out. But you have to pay for cable, just to get an HBO Go account, in order to watch. Yeah... that's a little steep. So we find other ways to watch it.

The problem here is this: how long are these resources going to be provided to me, and others, if none of us are willing to pay for them? If we appreciate them so much, why are we unwilling to invest a little in our future enjoyment?

Here's my new goal: to find all the things that have made a difference in my life, and pay it back a little.

Now, budget-wise, this could be a little tough. There's a reason we seek out free resources after all. But there's nothing saying I need to pay them back all at once. So I think I'll make a budget for this, like my charity budget, that allows me to spend some money each month on something that I've benefitted from.

And it's not all about money! There are a lot of free services that I can pay back in other ways. For example, apps and books. Getting a good review is more likely to bring in other consumers, and it really doesn't take that much time.

So here's my list of the first 6 things I'd like to return the favor to and how I plan to do it.

6 Things I'd Like to Stick Around a Bit Longer

1. HabitRPG

I've talked about this website before and how awesome gamification is.  I still love it, they make it fun to be productive, and the value of the paid upgrade is totally worth it.

2. Lightbox

It's a fantastic interface that I have used on every site I've made that needed an image gallery. The tool might be provided for free, but I can certainly donate a little to the creator to show my gratitude.

3. Game of Thrones

I might not be willing to pay for cable, but I can certainly pay for GoT blu-rays as they come out.

4. Facebook

I hate the ads in my newsfeed. As I'm sure you all do, too. But here FB is, providing this service to all of us, and we don't give them a dime for it. So maybe, just maybe, it's not that big a deal that we have a few ads to deal with.

5. Your Blogs

Same thing here. I might not start throwing money at bloggers, but I can certainly click a few ads every now and again. Especially if it's clothes; I'm always tempted by those anyway.

6. Musicians

I'm not sure how they're still around when none of us buy music anymore. Or maybe everyone else does and it's just me. But it'd be nice if my favorite bands were able to keep cranking out the music. Honestly, I'm not even sure what new stuff they have, because all my music is 10 year old CDs.

What are you willing to pay for even though you can get it for free?  Do you believe in paying it back?

Oh, and I finally have something for Kelli's photography linkup, Picture Practice!  This week's theme: Halloween.
Cupcakes courtesy of Roommate

Carved by moi!
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