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8 Ways to Turn Saving Money Into a Game

So, you might think pinching pennies is a chore, but who says you can’t learn how to make saving money fun?

Here are eight ways to turn this task into a game—one you will win!

1. Have a “no spend” month.

First of all, a “no-spend” month doesn’t mean you stop paying your rent or electricity bill. Then you’d be out of a home, in the dark, and have much bigger fish to fry than playing our little saving game. Don’t do that.

A “no-spend” month just means you focus on the essentials and skip the extras.  So you still cover the Four Walls (food, utilities, shelter and transportation) and other necessary monthly expenses.

You can make a game of it by coloring in each day on the calendar that you make it through the challenge, or texting your accountability partner a funny gif every time you resist a spending temptation. 

And the real winner will be your bank account after you take the money you saved and drop it in your savings!

2. Put a reminder in your wallet.

Make yourself some funny memes with the overall theme of “Do I really need this?” Put one in your wallet. Wrap one around your debit card. Make one the background of your phone. Basically put them wherever you need the reminder—before you make a purchase.

Every day you resist an impulse buy because of the meme, make a note of how much you saved from skipping that purchase. Can you laugh your way to $100 saved in a month? A week? You got this.

3. Save all your loose change or dollar bills in a big jar.

Is it flashy? Nope. Is it a nod to the water jug of coins your dad saved back in the 1980s? Maybe. But it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re saving money.

Every time you have to break a dollar or you find loose change in your pockets, dump those extra coins into your jar. You can even start a competition between your family or friends to see who can save up $20 first!

4. Increase your savings by $1 each week.

Here’s a fun savings game for math nerds (or anyone)!

This is a really good one to start at the beginning of the year. You can start out slow with $1 on the first week of the year, $2 on the second week of the year, and so on. Work all the way up to $52 on the final week of the year.

If you keep that up all year long, by December 31 you’ll have saved $1,378! Happy New Year to you!

5. Get competitive.

A little competition can be an awesome motivator in a savings challenge. Face off against your spouse, sibling or friend and see who can save up $200 first. Or set a date as a finish line and see who can save the most by then.  

May the best (or quickest) saver win!

6. Test how far you can stretch a dollar.

Can you and your spouse eat for under $20 at your local restaurant? Can you each spend only $20 on your upcoming anniversary? How long can you make that full gas tank last?

Make it a challenge to see how far you can stretch your dollar. You might be surprised at how creative you can get while you’re having fun saving.

7. Do a pantry challenge.

Ready, set, don’t buy any more groceries! For a while, anyway. See how long you can make the food in your pantry last and think outside the box with the meals you make.

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First, look in your pantry to see what you’ve already got. Then look online or ask friends about their favorite recipes. Now for the best part—plan your meals based on the recipes you find and your existing pantry items.

8. Build a sinking fund to save (with rewards along the way!).

Got a specific purchase in mind—like, say, a vacation you’ve been dreaming about? Create a sinking fund so you can save money for it, little by little.

Here's how: Let's say your dream vacation costs $2,400 and you can afford to save $400 toward your goal every month. That means you’ll have what you need in six months. Set up your sinking fund total as $2,400, and plan to save that $400 every month.

Each month when you hit your planned savings, enjoy a little reward. Not an expensive one, of course. That’ll defeat the purpose. But a budget-friendly way to treat yourself can help you stay motivated along the way!

Be Smart While You’re Having Fun Saving!

A final word to the wise: Don’t get so carried away with the fun and games of saving money that you forget to be intentional with the money you save. Put it to work!

Stick the hard-earned money you saved in the budget. Give it a job by putting it toward paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or saving for a big purchase.

Make it easier to stay on top of your savings goals by using our budgeting tool, EveryDollar. You’ll be able to track your progress, create sinking funds, and watch your savings add up. Literally. Get started for free with EveryDollar. Pronto.

Let the games begin!

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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