4 Ways To Make Saving Money More Fun
‘Budget’ is one of those words that has hardly any positive connotations to it, similar to other dreaded words like infection, tax and mucus. But what if I told you that budgeting could be fun? What if I told you budgeting could actually be thrilling? What if I told you budgeting could become your favourite thing in the world to do?
Well, I can’t promise the latter but I can definitely give you some tips on how to make the process an enjoyable. Or at the very least, far less boring.
#1 Visualise it
No, we’re not talking about The Secret. We’re just suggesting you find a way to remind yourself of what it is you’re working towards. You’ve gotta be motivated to budget for a reason.
It could be a new home, a dream holiday or tickets to Splendour in the Grass. Whatever it is, make the image your phone’s screen saver, or print it out and stick it on your bathroom door or your desk at work.
This way you will have a constant reminder of why you’re at home watching Netflix with vegemite on toast rather than out on the town making it rain with shots at the bar on a Friday night.
#2 Team up with a friend
There’s no better way to budget than making it a party with friends. If you have a mate who is in the same budgeting boat, team up with them and set some challenges around trying to save that money of yours. Hell, you could even put more at stake and bet on it.
Set yourselves some audacious saving goals for a set amount of time and knuckle down to achieve it. One way of doing this is could be to set a three-month timeline for you both to cap your spending each month and if someone exceeds that amount they lose the bet. There is nothing like a bit of competitive spirit to beef up your bank account.
#3 Make it a game
If your mates don’t want to play with you, gamify the process yourself. Look at how much money you spent the previous month or quarter and see if you can beat it in the subsequent months. If you spent $100 on your skinny piccolo habit last month, see if you can halve it by embracing that crappy instant coffee at work.
Or if your last electricity bill sent you broke last month, challenge yourself to finding ways to slash the price and save the environment while you’re at it. Romantic candlelit dinner for one, perhaps? This suggestion goes hand-in-hand with the next.
#4 Treat yo self!
Rewarding yourself with fun gifts and treats might seem counter intuitive to savings but it is an effective and fun way to stay motivated. For example, if you reach a savings goal by the end of the month, or simply stick to the budget you have set yourself you can give yourself a simple, cheap treat like dinner at your favourite restaurant, a massage, a movie ticket or maybe something as small as a chocolate bar.
The fact you have worked so hard to get to get your treat which means you’ll enjoy it a lot more. Over the course of a year if you constantly manage to crush your budgeting goals you can give yourself a big, potentially un-budget friendly reward – or perhaps after the 12 months you will finally be in a position to buy whatever it is you’ve been budgeting towards. And there’s no sweeter satisfaction than that.
Hannah is a corporate manager by day and freelance writer by night. Her work has appeared on websites like Virgin Australia, AWOL and Broadsheet as well as her own travel blog, Tales and Trails. You can follow her adventures and admire cute photos of her dog Marvin at @talesandtrails_