Recently I’ve caught myself contradicting myself. For the longest time I’ve always avoided lifestyle inflation, but since I’ve been working harder at my side hustles I’ve convinced myself that I can spend a little more. The truth is, spending money is fun. I’ve treated myself to a few extra things, which I don’t feel too guilty about since I’ve also increased my savings, but I definitely need to get back on track.
Making saving money fun is probably one of the most difficult things for us to do. Who wants to save money when we can have instant gratification. Heck, we don’t even need to have money to have fun since we can charge things to our credit cards. Most of us know this isn’t sustainable so how exactly do we make saving money fun? Well, I don’t know if it’ll ever be “fun,” but there are a few things we can do to make saving more interesting.
We all save for different things and in many cases we’re saving for multiple things at the same time; setting goals is what keeps us honest. In many cases it’s a fixed amount that we need to save, so if we know exactly how much we need we can easily start working towards it. For example, I spend an average of $3,000 a year on travel so I’m always making an effort to reach that goal. Alternatively, I also prefer to set aside 20% of my net income towards retirement savings. Since I’m able to meet these goals, I always feel like I’m accomplishing something.
Make things automatic
Setting goals are easy, reaching them is the difficult part. But with automatic savings, in theory, things should be easier. As mentioned, I like to budget $3,000 a year on travel, that’s just $250 a month. Instead of trying to find $250 every month or manually transferring the cash, I just set automatic withdrawals so I know I’ve hit my target every month. I believe that all savings should be made automatic, this way if you spend what’s left over, it’s really not a big deal.
Read personal finance blogs
Trying to save money is not easy so don’t be afraid to look for tips and encouragement. Before I started blogging myself I did a lot of research and came across some awesome personal finance blogs that helped get me on the right track. The Canadian personal finance community is small so it’s actually pretty easy to connect with bloggers these days via social media and comments. Some of my favourite blogs include: Boomer and Echo, How To Save Money, Jessica Moorhouse, Million Dollar Journey, My Own Advisor, and Urban Departures.
Making saving money fun can be taken to the next level if we challenge ourselves. Setting a goal and making automatic payments are easy, but what if we surpassed our goal or we’re able to save extra? This can be especially rewarding if we’re trying to get out of debt (which is basically saving if you think about it). Challenging ourselves can mean saving more by further reducing our spending or finding ways to make more money.
Talk about it
Not everyone likes to save money, but if there’s someone we know who also understands why saving money is important, then we should make an effort to discuss it with them. There are so many people out there who only talk about the money they’ve spent, it can be difficult to find a friend who believes in saving; it’s almost like a support group. By talking to certain friends about saving, we basically push each other to do better. It’s a pretty rewarding feeling.
Making saving money fun might be a relative term, but for sure it’ll always be a personal challenge. If you can find a system that works for you and avoid the temptation of excessive spending, then you’ll be well on your way to meeting your savings goals.