Are you notorious for being more of a spender than a saver? Are you looking to change your saving habits but are unsure where to begin? Has saving money always seemed more like a chore? Follow along with us and within a few months, you’ll have better saving habits and won’t want to pull your hair out!
First things first, you don’t need to wait for the new year to begin a resolution and start being intentional about saving money. If you notice a problem with your spending and saving habits, address it as soon as you can. 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account and with that little in savings, most families would not be able to cover a medical emergency or a layoff. It is recommended to have three to six months of your earnings saved in case of these unforeseen circumstances.
With that in mind though, saving money can seem like pulling teeth sometimes. But, if you start with a set goal in mind, are motivated and can have a little fun with it too, you’ll see that saving money doesn’t have to be a nightmare. And when something feels like a game, we’re more likely to do it! “Let’s play a game!” sounds way better to us than “Stop spending money now!”
Come on, let’s play the Week-by-Week Money Saving Game!
The premise is simple. For the next year, you’ll set aside a certain amount of money into a separate savings account. The amount you put in will correlate to the week you’re in (Week 1 of the game, you’ll put $1 in savings, Week 2 of the game, you’ll put $2 in savings and repeat).
By the end of the year, you’ll have saved over $1,300, or more if you really get into it! If going week-by-week in sequential order won’t work for you, there are numerous variations to try. For example, if you’re starting in September and know you won’t have many expenses in the next couple of months, try starting at the end of the game. (Week 1 of the game, place $52 in savings, Week 2 of the game, place $51 and repeat).
Another way to make it feel more like a game is to create a money-envelope game board! If your income fluctuates week to week or month to month, this is another fun option to try. On a big piece of cardboard or cardstock, tape 52 envelopes to the front, all numbered 1-52. Then, at the beginning of each week, depending on your mood or your cash flow that week, pick an envelope and place that designated amount in savings. This allows you to place $32 in Week 1 but then $2 in Week 45, or whatever works for you. Just remember that by the end of the year, all the envelopes will need to be gone so plan ahead for what envelopes you choose when! This is also a fun way to show off your money saving game to your friends or family that visit.
If you already have about three to six months worth of your salary in savings, take the game to the next level. Instead of placing in $1 in savings at the start, place $2 and continue to put in double what week it is. (Week 1 of the game, place $2 in savings, Week 30, place $60 in savings).