Saving is fun. Oh, wait -- for most people, it's not. At all. It's a chore and something that we struggle to do.
And that's the problem with building a savings habit. If something isn’t alluring, we generally don't give it much thought. Humans are more emotional than logical, after all.
But what if you could make saving exciting? What if you could develop a strong desire to save extra cash?
This is about how to start saving more because you want to save more. Check out these four ways to gamify and automate saving more so it's easier -- and maybe even fun.
Open Goal-Specific Bank Accounts and Give Them Compelling Names
Banks like Ally or Capital One 360 is a great bank for getting this done. You can open multiple bank accounts and give a name to each. All the accounts can be monitored on one dashboard.
Many other banks let you do this as well -- and if it's not an option where you like banking, jot the names down in your phone. This technique is powerful because it makes visualizing the end goal so much easier. Every time you make a contribution to your "Ultimate European Vacation with my Best Friends" account, you'll feel more motivated and encouraged to keep working toward what you want to save for.
Setting goals should be fun and motivating. Saving is more fun when there’s an end result in mind. What will you be calling your bank accounts?
Start Saving More without Realizing It
It’s 2015 and the world of personal finance is automated thanks to new apps and tech. There are free tools galore to help you start saving more.
Digit, for instance, is a tool that tracks your spending habits. It analyzes your spending and account activity to determine what amount it can move to savings for you -- and promises that it will never transfer more than you can afford. It's a quick, painless way to save without having to think about how much you think you can move to savings and when you should do it.
An app called Acorns does the same thing, but it invests the money it transfers. Investing is a powerful way to start saving more, as you can then take advantage of compounding returns.
Automating your savings is the best way to consistently save more, because it takes the emotional decision-making out of it. There's no room for excuses about how you forgot to make a transfer or needed the money for something else instead. Automation can help you make saving a priority.
Turn Savings into a Game
Peer pressure can be used for good. Get a group of friends or family members together and make savings a challenge or a game. Think of it this way: many people spend to impress their friends. This results in little savings. But what if you flipped it around?
Each person can make a savings goal public to the group and you can do weekly checkins to make sure everyone is on track.
Negotiate Those Bills
Look over all your bills. Could any of them be reduced? Here are some bills to negotiate:
- Cell phone bill
- Home phone
- Electricity and gas
- Gym memberships
- Satellite radio
- Home security systems
- Medical bills
- Car insurance
Question everything and don't be afraid to call and ask how a service provider can reduce their fees. Some may not have anything to offer -- but you never know unless you ask. And making those calls is well worth it when you get the answer you're looking for, and are able to free up cash to save more at the same time!
Make Saving Fun and Enjoy the Process
You’re only going to be good at something you’re passionate about. Can you get passionate about saving money? I think so, and it can start by finding ways to make saving fun.
Begin by incorporating just one or two of these suggestions into your life. Pretty soon you’ll be singing and dancing around the extra cash savings you’ve created! Although most of the cash will be digital so you’ll probably have to dance around your computer. But either way -- it should be a fantastic time!
About the Author: Will Lipovsky is a blogger, freelance writer, and webmaster. Feel free to contact Will at First Quarter Finance.