Spending money can certainly be a thrill, but have you ever had fun saving money?
If not, it’s time to rethink your approach. The more you enjoy saving, the more you’ll do it, and the same goes for your family. By crafting engaging ways to make saving money fun and giving yourself rewards for actively doing so, you’ll find the process to be as exciting as the benefit. Getting everyone involved means more awareness of the family budget, and more help boosting your family’s saving accounts.
Learn how to save money while having fun, and start teaching kids to save money the right way with these eight fun tips and games.
1. Who Can Save The Most?
You know that saving money now will help guarantee a sound financial future, but by turning it into a competition, you can boost your savings and have a little fun. Enlist a spouse, family member, or friend – or two – and challenge them to a savings contest. Whoever saves the most in a set period wins. Decide whether you will judge “the most” by the total amount of funds gathered, or by the percentage of your income saved.
But here’s the deal – if the prize for your savings contest is expensive, then the whole point is moot. Instead, try and come up with a free reward, such as the loser has to cook dinner or clean a room in the winner’s home. If you both saved some money, then you are both ultimately winners.
2. The Creative Savings Game
It might be hard to have a savings competition with your child, so instead, challenge them to come up with new ways to be thrifty around the house, turning waste into money saved. Perhaps they’re washing clothes in only cold water or hanging things to dry, reusing household materials, or eating leftovers for lunch; teaching them to be mindful of the cost of living is an essential lesson for sustainable financial soundness.
Again, you’re not going to spend a lot of money for prizes. Instead, get everyone together weekly to discuss ways they’ve saved, and then offer quirky awards like “Genius Saver” for a particularly creative idea.
3. Save Your Bills Or Coins
A surprisingly engaging way to save money is to set a rule where you will save a specific type of bill or coin. For example, if you choose $10 bills, every time you get one you’ll add it to your savings stash. Get your kids involved by doing the same thing with coins. Each person can select a particular coin amount, and you can set up jars to collect each amount separately. At the end of every day or week, you’ll see who has saved the most, and when the jars are full, your kids can help you take them to the bank or coin machine and watch them turn into cash.
4. Fix Bad Habits
It’s an old trick that works – when you financially penalize yourself or others for bad habits, they start to change. Whether you use foul language a little too often, or your spouse has terrible posture, whenever these behaviors happen, put a dollar in the jar. With the whole family involved, you’ll find yourself more aware of your habits, and you’ll have some savings.
5. The Progress Thermometer
When a company or school is trying to raise money, they’ll often put out a giant thermometer that “tracks” their progress towards their savings goal. You can do the same thing at home, which will serve multiple purposes:
- You’ll have a visual reminder of development that everyone can see.
- You’ll be motivated to keep going every time that line inches further up.
- You’ll color in sections when you’ve reached a goal which feels fulfilling.
- You can set a goal up top to give your family something to work towards.
6. Growing A Garden
Whether you have a yard or just a window, you can grow some of the things you use every day in your kitchen. You shouldn’t need to pay for herbs when it costs a fraction of the price to grow an entire crop.
But here’s a fun way to engage your kids in creating a garden – start planting seeds from fruit or vegetables you eat. Despite living in a city apartment, I’ve grown three crops of cherry tomatoes and two of green peppers in my window from seeds I saved, saving me on purchases for about two months. From lemons and other citrus, to apples and strawberries, you’ll be shocked at how seeds from many everyday items you have on hand will grow.
7. Play Financial Football or Financial Soccer
It’s 2018, so your kids may be more attuned to online games than they are to older board games. The NFL and Visa partnered on Financial Football to make an online game that helps children learn how to save money while still having fun, and now there is a Financial Soccer version as well. It’s fun for adults too, since you’ll need to answer questions about finances in order to progress and will have three levels of difficulty to choose from.
8. Play Road Trip To Savings
For another online game designed for teaching kids to save money, try Road Trip To Savings, which challenges players to navigate four weeks on the road, including necessary expenses, income, and savings. You’ll need to budget your costs or risk being stranded and losing the game.
If saving more money is one of your financial goals, stop thinking about it as a chore and start having more fun. Teaching kids how to save money can help prepare them for a future of successful money management and financial literacy.
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