Of all the money advice that you will get in your life, there is nothing more important than saving. However, some people find it hard to save and that is because they think it restricts the fun activities in their lives. Most of the time, when your resources are limited and yet you are required to boost your savings, the first that has to be cut back on are your entertainment expenses. This is why people make a lot of excuses to put off spending - especially the young ones. They think that it is too early to save and that they have a more than enough time before they really need to start on it.
In light of the recent economic events and the evident problems of the baby boomers, you know that this mentality has to go. It is not that you should not enjoy your life. It is more of not making your future suffer just so you can enjoy today.
What you need is to find a balance. Saving is a must - no excuses about it. If you think that you cannot give up on fun activities, then the solution is to make saving fun.
One way to make it fun is to make it into a competition. Get a competitive friend or family member to join in. It pays to invite someone who needs to save just as much a you. That should make it very interesting. Set a time frame for the saving game and see who can save the most. It can be a percentage of your salary or a specific amount? Feel free to set the rules and the reward. Just make sure that the reward is not too big or too small. Giving an expensive prize may defeat the purpose of savings if you will splurge. Remember, there are inexpensive gifts that still has a big value. For instance, you can offer to mow their lawn or something similar. Just make sure that it is something that the participants consider valuable enough to make them want to do their best.
And it doesn’t always have to be who has the biggest savings. It can be something more general like who has the biggest net worth. It amounts to the same thing because your net worth means more savings and less debt. Or it can be a simple “how much money can be added to your bank account?” Take note of the figures at the beginning of the competition and see how much can be added within the agreed time frame.
You can also involve your kids and come up with a game as to who can come up with the funniest or most unusual ways to save. Getting the whole family in on the effort could prove to be beneficial to your savings account.
Or, it doesn’t have to be a competition at all. Set up a savings meter in the house and put markers along the way with corresponding rewards. For instance, when you have saved up $1,000, the whole family gets to drive to the beach. Or when you have reached the $10,000 mark, everyone gets to buy something new. Again, make sure the rewards are not too expensive so you don’t eat too much of your savings.