It’s true, saving money can be fun with the right attitude and a bit of creativity. You don’t have to spend a dime to gain a positive attitude; it’s all about making the decision to approach living a more frugal life as an adventure and opportunity instead of just looking at the restrictions.
Here’s how to make saving money fun:
1. Learn to re-frame.
That, is to make a conscious effort to look at what you believe about a situation in a new way. For example, if you have to cut out cable to make ends meet you could either think:
I have to cut out cable to save money and now I will not get to watch any of the good shows right when they air.
By cutting out cable, I won’t be tempted to watch so much television so I’ll have more time to read and exercise!
Both statements are equally “true” but one is more motivating and positive. Instead of looking at your money saving efforts as deprivation and a hassle, find ways to see them as a challenge or an opportunity.
2. Pick concrete goals.
Saving for retirement or a rainy day is important, but it does seem rather vague, doesn’t it? Take some time to think about what you ultimately want from life and then express it in a way that is concrete and easy to visualize.
Do you want to be able to buy a house in the country in five years? Travel to Europe? Retire to someplace warm and inviting?
Be specific so that you know exactly what you are working towards. Knowing that you are working towards a larger goal makes pinching pennies less grim, more great.
3. Make it a game.
Challenge yourself to see how much healthy food you can get at the market for $50 or how many kilowatts you can shave off of this month’s bill. Look at frugal living as a puzzle to be solved instead of an imposition.
If you look at saving money as an opportunity to exercise your creativity, it feels a lot less restrictive if you only look at it as a way to limit your spending. Here are some ideas for fun challenges:
- Challenge your partner or a friend on who can come up with the best day or night out spending the least amount of money. Even if you lose this challenge, you still win.
- Keep a log of how much you save at the grocery store each week and try to beat it.
- Try to see how few miles you can drive each week.
- Give yourself a no-spend challenge where you try to go without spending any cash for a few days or a week.
4. Keep things in perspective.
It’s easy to lose sight of just how lucky we are and compare ourselves to those…