How to save money? Expenses are mounting and I asked myself, “How can I save money?” I’m not talking about saving a few dollars here and there. I want to actually save money and watch it grow.
One of my biggest frustrations is that people don’t actually save money when they say they are saving money. They cut an expense here or there, but the money evaporates because they go shopping or enjoy a night out.
Recently, I took a seminar on Gamification to help improve my online classes. After this seminar, I knew that I could devise a How to Save Money Game. Here is how I did it!
Gamification is the art of applying the structures that make games fun to other areas of life. Earning airline miles and getting bumped up to the elite status level is an example of gamification. This is similar to a video game where you collect coins, earn points, and get bumped up to the next level in the game. When you level up, you earn a reward.
How to Save Money Game – A Step by Step Guide
- You will need to truly deny yourself (play the game) to save money. You only save money if you deny yourself something. Denial is to change a normal behavior (like ordering a soda when I eat out) or to opt for a cheaper option at the time you are making the decision. Need some ideas? See my post on How to Save Money – 7 Ways I Saved $73.
- Transfer the money immediately You will need a way to actually save the money immediately. If you generally buy things with cash, every time you save money, take the cash from your wallet and put it in your pocket. At night, put the cash from your pocket in a jar or envelope. Using this method, you’ll get the added benefit of feeling the cash in your pocket all day reminding you of your good behavior. If you not a cash person, like myself, every time you save money, log in to your bank’s app and transfer money from your checking account to your savings account. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can usually do transfers over the phone.
- Track Your Progress. Now that you have the money in your jar or savings account, look at it regularly. If the money is in a jar or envelope, take it out and count it. Use the my How to Save Money – Savings Log to track your progress. Print it out and record each time you save money. If your money is in your saving account, check your balance regularly and look at the transaction history
- Level Up. Now that you see your points climbing, you need to advance to the next level. You can do this in one of two ways. First, you can play against yourself by recording your total each month and trying to beat your “high score.” Second, you can “level up” using the How To Save Money – Savings Levels worksheet. Just print it out and record the date you reach each level.
Using this method, I saved $73 in my first month. Use this for yourself and see how you do. If you figure out a way to improve on this How to Save Money Game, please post your ideas in the comments. I’ll update the post and give you credit.
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