I remember as a child pulling a dollar bill from a birthday card. I ran to my room with it clutched in my fist. When I got there, I carefully folded it so it would fit into the Care Bear bank my aunt had made for me.
I’m not sure that I was exactly excited about saving the money. But I knew that later I could pull it all out, count it up, and see how many packs of baseball cards I could buy.
This post has been written by our fantastic staff writer, Jamie Jeffers.
4 Ways to Make Saving Money More Fun
If you aren’t the type of person who naturally gets a kick out of saving money, don’t worry! There are ways to make saving money more fun…and even a bit interesting as well! Let’s find a way that sounds like the most fun to you.
If you’re like I use to be, you probably think that saving up money is something you’ll get to some day. Even though you aren’t a spender, and you make sure you get the best deals when you buy things, that doesn’t mean that you’re good about keeping money in a stash somewhere.
The fact is, if you aren’t intentional about saving money, you will never do it. I always thought I would save whatever was left at the end of the paycheck. Do you know that story, too? There’s never any extra, is there?!
People recommend that you pay yourself first, but that’s hard. What if you put that money into savings and discover that you can’t cover the bills? Or you don’t have enough to fill your gas tank on the way to school?
What you need is a new way to look at saving money. Here are a few tricks I learned that make saving money more fun.
1) Use Your Imagination
The first thing you need to do is decide what you’ll do with your savings. Do you want to start an emergency fund? It’s a fantastic idea for everyone to have a rainy day fund. Who wants to worry about money when times get tough? Give yourself the gift of one less stresser.
- If you’ve always wanted to take a small trip with your family, make your goal to do it debt free.
- You’ve had your eye on a nice new couch.
- Or you’ve always wanted to learn how to play the piano.
This fund can help you make your dreams come true.
And once you get into the habit of saving, you’ll find that it’s addicting. It’s like a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it. Learning to buy things debt free makes your money go farther. It might be tough to believe when you want something now. But paying yourself while you anticipate a purchase is actually a lot more fun than making payments on something you already own or have experienced.
It’s just a boring ol’ emergency fund, but you can already see how you can make saving money more fun, can’t you?
2) Find a Place for Your Money Stash
You might assume that you should keep your money in a bank, and maybe that’s true. If having a good balance in a bank account is motivating for you, then do that. But make sure it’s not too easy to move that money into your checking account the next time you get a craving for ice cream cake.
However, it might actually be more fun to keep that money in a glass jar. Then you can see at a glance how well you’re doing! You could also make a thermometer and color it in as you fill your account until you reach your goal. Do a little celebratory dance whenever you drop more money in or color in the thermometer!
3) Play a Game
Keep saving interesting by making it a game. Some people save every $5 they get. (Not as easy to do if you rely on your debit card, but maybe it’ll get you into a better habit of using cash.) Or make it simpler and save all the dimes you find. You can keep them in an empty pop or water bottle.
You’ll be surprised how quickly that money adds up!
Another idea is to try to find one dollar every day. You might dig coins from the couch cushion, skip the candy bar you wanted to buy, or convince someone to pay you a buck for doing a small task for them. Get creative! If a dollar isn’t enough of a challenge, try $5 instead. (Or more!)
4) Challenge Yourself
If you are the type of person who has to win every competition (even if others don’t realize they’re competing with you!), this is the idea for you. There are tons of money challenges out there.
- Try an eat at home challenge for a month. (That should help you fill your savings account quickly if you have a habit of dining out.)
- Take a no spend challenge where you try to go a week, a pay period, or a month without spending money on anything but the bare necessities.
- Or start a money saving chart challenge. This one is fun, because it’s like a Bingo board. It’s also pretty forgiving so you don’t quit when you’ve had a bad week.
Which of those gets your competitive motors going? That’s probably the one for you! Stop thinking of saving money as one more obligation, and find a way to make it fun! That way, you’ll have a plan for the next bit of birthday money that comes your way!
How do you make saving money more fun?
AUTHOR Derek Sall
Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.