We all know that building a savings fund is an important personal finance step. But how do you motivate yourself to spend less and save more out of each paycheck? Have you found tips or tricks to make the challenge fun?
Is it even possible to make saving fun? Plenty of bloggers, YouTubers* and podcasters say absolutely YES! Savers of all ages and backgrounds share their personal success stories. And many of them talk about an unexpected tipping point that happens in the savings game. Once you reach that first personal savings goal, it’s exciting and even starts to feel like a fun game that you’re really motivated to keep playing.
Try finding a budgeting and savings blogger to follow who inspires you. And in the meantime, here are a few tips to help you think outside the box about saving.
Save for something specific that you really want. While it’s important to build up an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, like car repairs, that doesn’t have to be the only thing you’re saving for. Try splitting what you put back between two different funds. One for emergencies and one for the vacation, new couch, or whatever it is you’re excited about.
Make it a game for yourself by setting a realistic but challenging dollar amount to save within a specific timeframe. And plan a reward for when you reach it. Something like, for every $500 you put into savings, you’ll use the next $50 or $75 that you save to buy something you want. Mix it up. See what kind of challenge motivates you. Expect some trial and error. Even consider that part of the fun.
If there’s a category of your spending that’s not technically a necessity but is something you enjoy — like eating out — approach it with a new mindset. Acknowledge that this category is something that adds value to your life. Instead of trying to cut it out of your budget entirely, get creative about how to trim some of the costs while still enjoying it. Find out which days of the week and times of day your favorite restaurants offer discounts, for example.
If you tend to be an impulse buyer, try waiting 24 hours before you buy something you think you need or want. This gives you time to consider how much value the item will add to your life, instead of making a purely emotional decision.
Is there a regular expense that you’d be willing to turn into a do-it-yourself project? Things like coloring your own hair, taking care of your own yard maintenance, or mixing your own pest control spray can mean big savings to your annual budget. With detailed how-to videos available on YouTube*, why not give it a try?
The easiest way to make sure you’re saving consistently is to set up a recurring automatic transfer from your checking account into a savings account (or two automatic transfers if you have two different savings accounts). Set the amount and frequency you prefer. Keep in mind that setting the transfer to come out every pay period might be the best way to make sure it doesn’t get spent on something else.
Your savings habits can really take off if you accept the challenge to figure out which goals, tips and tricks make it fun for you!
Our Arvest associates are here to make banking and saving convenient. Let us know how we can help! Visit arvest.com/appointments to schedule an appointment. Or call (866) 952-9523.
*Third-party products and services are listed for informational purposes only and are not endorsed by Arvest Bank.