Summer is right around the corner which means we’re almost halfway through the year if you’re tracking the progress made on your annual financial goals.
Saving money is one of the best ways to meet your short and long-term financial goals and prepare for future expenses. I must admit, financial habits and goals are much more enjoyable when you actually look forward to them and have fun with it. Saving, in general, is much more tolerable when you make it fun with one of these simple techniques.
Sometimes saving can sound like a boring activity, but there’s no denying how valuable a well-funded savings account can be when you run into unexpected expenses or emergencies. Here are four fun ways to grow your savings account.
1. Collect Spare Change to Boost your Savings
Instead of thinking about the things you can’t do because you have to deposit a portion of your income into a savings account, consider how much extra money could be lying around your home or car just waiting to be discovered.
Most people have spare change left over in their wallet at the end of the week. Instead of spending this money, collect it and search around for more spare change to add to your savings account. You can even make it a contest between yourself and some friends or family members to see who comes up with the most spare change for savings by the end of a three-month period.
It sounds bad because I’m a financial blogger, but I used to throw out pennies often. I stopped doing this because I realized that pennies are still money and if I truly believe that every little bit counts when it comes to saving, I should have no problem with picking up pennies and putting them in the bank. Plus, I want to be a good example for my son and teach him that money shouldn’t be thrown away literally or figuratively.
This is why I started collecting spare change around my house (including pennies) and putting it in my son’s bank. Every quarter of the year, we’ll go to a cash machine and convert the change to dollars and see how much we can come up with for the year.
I have yet to decide what the money will be used for yet, but I’m thinking about using it to teach my son how to spend and save mindfully.
2. Make up your Own Savings Challenge
The 52 Week Savings Challenge is a popular challenge that allows you to start saving a small amount of money each week at the beginning of the year, then slowly roll your weekly payments to yourself into larger amounts as time goes on.
By the end of the year, you’ll have more than $1,000 in your savings account if you stick with the challenge.
You don’t have to wait until January 1 to motivate yourself to save. You can create you own savings challenge by choosing a starting amount and increasing it as time goes on.
For example, you might want to start with saving $10 per week for three weeks then increase that amount by $5 every three weeks until you reach an end date for your challenge. Start your challenge with an accountability partner so you can stay motivated and keep each other going.
This year, my husband and I are trying to create a savings challenge that will allow us to set aside enough money to buy a house next year. It’s an exciting goal so the challenge has been fun and off to a good start. To accelerate things, I signed up for Digit which is a free app that helps you save money automatically by setting up small transfers each week that you hardly even notice.
3. Sell Items from your Home and Save the Profit
If you have old items, furniture, or clothes that you need to get rid of, consider having a garage sale or posting free ads online to help get rid of your items so you can receive a profit.
Instead of spending all the money you earn from the sale, save it instead. By doing so, you’ll end up walking away with more money in your pocket and less stuff in your home.
You can list your items on sites like Ebay or Amazon, or even sell clothes on the Poshmark app or online at ThredUp.com. Walk through your home or storage and I’m sure you’ll find a handful of items that you can sell. This can be a fun activity to do with others so you can motivate each other and be held accountable for listing your items and making sales.
4. Have a No Spend Weekend and Save the Difference
Having a no spend weekend is a great way to reset your spending, create new habits and save more of your money. Naturally, a no spend weekend would involve you refraining from spending any money on anything. In reality, you may have bills due or need gas in your car, but for the most part, it’s best to try to spend as little as possible to generate some savings.
Instead of spending money on weekend activities, you can find free things to do with your friends and family, eat through your cupboards, and get creative. At the end of the weekend, you can deposit the money you normally would have spent to a savings account or just deposit an amount you feel comfortable with since you won’t need the extra money you didn’t spend at the end of the month.
What are your savings goals for this year? How do you make saving more interesting?
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