This might not be interesting to anyone else but I’m trying to collect my thoughts on pledge amounts.
I started out using Beeminder with defaults of $5 pledges, $30 cap. And right from the start, it seems like I’m relatively careless when it comes to Beeminder–I know lots of you have these beautiful charts that just go up and right and I’m over here with some goals that look like a sawtooth blade of derailments. Therefore a few of my goals reached the $30 cap.
What I noticed is that the difference (in the moment of “oh crap I might derail on that goal today”) between a $5 pledge and a $30 pledge wasn’t that much mentally. It definitely wasn’t 6x greater. And I was STILL losing $30 every once in a while on pledges. This was painful, so I decided to lower my pledge amounts to $5 across the board. My thought process was that since a $5 derail was roughly the same disincentive as a $30 derail, I would save money and barely increase derailments (if at all).
There are a couple issues with this. First, I think this has affected my derailment count somewhat more than I expected. Second, part of me thinks this is exactly the opposite of what I should do. $30 wasn’t enough money to make me say “AAAA! I have to do that now! It doesn’t derail for a week but I can’t lose that much!!!” But the whole point of Beeminder’s increasing pledges is that, surely, there is some number at which I would drop everything and handle beemergencies ASAP, not wait until the last minute and have something come up and–oops! another derail.
But I’m also terrified that this could be a very expensive experiment.
Has anyone had a similar experience? Has anyone bit the bullet and just let their pledges climb to something terrifying? Did it work?