Saving money can be hard sometimes. Spending money on a new suit or going out to new fancy restaurant can sometimes win. Throw on top of that an increasing debt load or unexpected expense. It can make it hard to save any money at all. That is why nearly half of the United States can’t cover a $400 unexpected expense.
To get ahead, you really need to have a savings account that has money for emergencies. You should also get in the habit of paying in cash for larger expenses like vacations, appliances, furniture, or vehicles. You will have to build a pile of cash to pay for these items.
I like to play games with myself to trick myself into doing things. I see how many words I can write in a blog post in 20 minutes. Seriously, I race to fold clothes or vacuum the house. At work, I see how fast I can build Excel reports.
If I don’t do these little games, I easily get distracted by the internet. I can waste an hour reading about Chip and Joanna Gaines, stock market reports, or watching 1990’s basketball highlights.
With technology today, you can easily send any amount of money to any account on your phone or over the internet. It makes all of these games easier to hold yourself accountable. You will be surprised at how much you can actually save by doing this, and how easy it is to build an emergency fund.
Read Also: Start an Emergency Fund Today
Here are 9 fun money saving games to help you save more. Remember, just by having an extra $500 in an account, you have more than over half of the country does available for emergencies!
Swear Word Fines
This one would cost me entirely too much. It is simple and effective if you stick to it. Every time you say a cuss word add a dollar to your stash. Hopefully over time you cuss less and less, at which point pick a new set of cuss words to trigger a ‘fine’.
Since this is a family blog, I will spare you the examples of cuss words you could use for this game.
My wife is an awesome grocery shopper and loves finding deals and saving as much money as possible. It is awesome to see on the bottom of the receipt how much she saves every month.
A simple trick is to just save that money! Move that much into your savings account and that’s it. I would have paid full price for the ice cream and chocolate milk anyway, so why not put that money into my emergency fund.
Save your Singles
Guys, this doesn’t mean save them for the club….
This is a surprisingly fast way to save up some serious money. My mother and grandmother do this for Christmas gifts and they add up a few hundred dollars every year! Every time you have a one dollar bill, put it away in a jar or old can. Every so often, deposit this into your savings account.
Before long you will be asking cashiers to only give you ones at the store so you can save even more!
Do a Savings Challenge
These types of challenges have blown up in popularity over the last few years. I see many popping up on Pinterest or Facebook all the time. They can be a nice way to save up an emergency fund or save for a big purchase.
I would recommend finding one that creates a little pain and makes you work for it. The feeling of being able to save more than you thought possible is even more rewarding if you had to struggle a bit to earn it. Many people can save $5 dollars a week with little strain on their life. Find a challenge that seems more difficult to really boost your savings. No pain, no gain!
Here is a quick money challenge for saving $1,820 this year:
Repeat every week!
Sure, it is $35 a week, but breaking it out into a daily goal can help you stay on track and build up a nice little emergency fund.
50/50 Cash Game
My wife and I have done this one, and it makes for an enjoyable way to save some extra money. Whenever you get cash that was never budgeted for, save half and spend half. Treat yourself to whatever you want and bank the rest.
This makes it more enjoyable because you can go get a Starbucks or other small luxury. It helps to keep the sanity. The other half goes to the savings or ‘early retirement’ fund.
Send an Invoice to Yourself
A lot of people don’t understand the ‘pay yourself first’ rule of finance. Here is an easy way to make it seem real. Print out and give yourself an invoice every month. Make it a painful amount like $100. Put a nice Bold and large Due Date on there.
Pay that bill off every month to build savings. Have someone hold you accountable for this bill. If it is not proven to be paid on the due date, maybe you get a pie to the face or some other form of punishment.
Pro Tip: Use office supplies to create, print, and mail yourself the bill! Gives a nice real feeling to the challenge and helps you use up some time on a Friday afternoon at work!
Everyone enjoys a good old fashioned drinking game. When something on a TV program or movie happens, then you take a drink. You can make it even more interesting by adding money to the mix!
Every time one of the specified actions happens, then throw a quarter or dollar into a jar. Save that and add it to the emergency fund. Grab a bunch of friends for an awesome evening of cheap alcohol (stay frugal!) and saving some extra money.
Here is an awesome Game of Thrones drinking game. Every time you take a drink (optional), also add a dollar to the pot!
Who can save more?
Betting and competition can always motivate me to do something. Make a wager with a friend or spouse and see who can save the most money over a specified period of time.
You can also turn this into a challenge by saying who can save the most out of $100 for a week. Start with $100 and whoever has more left after the time period wins. Both of you save the extra money!
Loser takes pie to the face or lets other person pick out their clothing for a week. Keep it fun and interesting but embarrassing enough to motivate each other to save.
Here is an interesting way to stay on track with being healthier and saving money. Set a daily calorie goal to help lose or maintain your weight. Use a calorie tracking app to keep track of your daily calories. For every calorie you go over, add a penny to your account.
If you go over a few hundred calories a day, that can really add up! It would definitely motivate me to stay on track with healthier eating.
Even if you don’t put money every day in your fund, you are saving money down the road. Even if you meet your calorie goal that is a money win! According to the CDC, the cost of obesity is an extra $1,429 per year!
Like Monopoly, Super Mario, or Canasta, games are always fun. Games that also save me some money are even better. While any of these games won’t make you generationally wealthy, they are a fun alternative to saving money.
Having a friend or spouse to play as well can make it more enjoyable. Building the support system to have healthy money habits is necessary for me to stay on track with my goals.
What other money saving games do you play? Have you done any of these money saving games before? Let me know how they worked in the comments! Thanks for reading!