- Saving money can sometimes feel like a drag since it requires a lot of short-term sacrifices.
- It can actually be enjoyable to save money if you change your mindset.
- Savings games and contests can help inspire you to save more.
Feel like saving money is all about sacrifice? Try these tips to make it fun.
Saving money is vitally important to building a secure future -- but it can be a drag when you find yourself saying no to purchases that you want to make now just to accomplish goals that seem a long way off.
The good news is, there are ways to make putting aside cash in a high-yield savings account more fun so you can actually get excited about it instead of viewing it as a sacrifice. Here are three techniques I've personally used to make saving more enjoyable that have considerably boosted my savings rate over time.
1. I've made savings into a contest
The more I can reduce my spending, the more money I can put into savings. As a result, one of the easiest and most fun ways I have found to save more money is to make cutting spending into a contest with my husband. We've tried many different light-hearted challenges including:
- Who can make the most inexpensive but delicious meal in order to cut our grocery bill
- Who can go the most days in a row without buying anything new
- Who can find the biggest discounts on utilities or other services
- Who can rack up the most "no-spend" days in a month (these are days on which we do not buy anything)
Each of these different challenges has helped us to dramatically drop spending, allowing us to build up hefty savings. We do this in addition to our regular automated savings, so it's all just extra.
Of course, if you aren't married, you can do these challenges with a partner, a friend, a parent, or anyone else who is also interested in saving more money without it feeling like a sacrifice.
2. I play savings games
In addition to the challenges with my husband, I've also tried a number of different games that help me save more. This includes:
- A 52-week savings challenge. With this challenge, I put $1 into savings my first week, $2 into savings during the second week, $3 into savings the third week, and so on all the way up to week 52.
- A "Save Your Fives" game. When playing this game, I switched to paying for many routine purchases with cash and every $5 bill I got, I saved.
By making saving money into a game, it becomes a fun challenge rather than something I feel like I have to do.
3. I have dedicated accounts for savings goals I'm excited about
Finally, the last big step I've taken to make saving more money fun is focusing on the things I'm saving for, rather than the current sacrifices I'm making. I've made this easy by creating separate savings accounts for each goal I have and naming the accounts with the end goal in mind.
For example, when I was saving money to buy a car, I had the cash in a "new car" fund. When I was tempted to spend instead of transferring cash into the account, I'd browse around on dealer websites or read some customer reviews to get excited about my purchase.
Each of these three steps has helped me to save a lot more without feeling like it’s a burden. If you want to make savings more fun, you could try them too.
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