Most of us can agree that saving money isn’t an enjoyable task, right?
Setting 10% of our hard-earned paychecks aside often takes away from our social lives, hobbies, and interests. We have to cut back on ordering takeout, shopping with friends, funding our side hustles, and even splurging on early morning coffee routines in exchange to assure we have enough money to tuck away into our savings accounts.
Where’s the fun in that?
I know, it’s challenging to be a responsible, disciplined adult. Having the willpower to follow basic finance tips to invest in your financial future often comes at the expense of missing out on the things that make you happiest. How can you enjoy living when your money is already fated for paying bills and building a savings account?
Well, I’m glad you asked. At GenTwenty, we want you to have fun building your savings account. It’s all about changing your perspective.
Rather than pegging a savings account as a boring, responsible way to manage funds, try to envision it as an investment for the future. Instead of feeling like you’re working to pay bills and tuck money aside with no promise of self-indulgence, try to remind yourself this is a choice, not a chore.
In fact, there are many reasons why building your savings account by personal choice is actually a whole lot of fun!
Here are five ways to make building your savings account fun:
1. Treat your savings account like an expense.
As important as paying rent, utilities, student loans, and insurance all are, so is putting money into your savings account. Your savings should be treated like an investment. It’s something you have to do with each paycheck you earn.
After you budget your income each week (or month) see what’s leftover. From there, consider setting an amount or percentage you can deduct and tuck into your savings.
Be realistic, but also be mindful. Since your savings account is an investment, you’ll want to invest a significant chunk of money into this account.
Rather than view this as yet another “bill,” try to visualize this as paying yourself. You get to decide what you’re going to use this money for someday. A down payment on a car or home? A marriage fund? Emergencies? Tucking money into your savings account is only benefiting YOU.
Pay yourself regularly, okay? If you do, you’ll see your account growing each month with confidence all that money is for you and you alone. What’s not fun about that?
2. Save $5 bills.
Have you ever found a random $5 bill in your jeans after doing a load of laundry? How about leftover cash from a trip you went on or an event you attended? Sometimes I find cash in random places, which I always end up spending on unnecessary things. If you find yourself in a similar spot, try to save these rare treasures. $5 adds up FAST.
Each time you find leftover cash lying around, stick it into your savings account instead of splurging on an overpriced ice cream cone. Your pocket (and your waistline) will thank you for small favors!
3. Create a savings challenge.
Have you ever seen those financial challenges floating around on social media? They usually pop up at the start of the new year (but really, you can start anytime, so long as you’re consistent).
In short, these challenges are often marketed as 52 Week Money Challenge programs that can help you save. It’s fun because each week you deposit a new amount of money into your account.
For example, week one is only a $1 deposit, but by week $52 you’re depositing $52 dollars. By the end of the 52 weeks you should save $1,378 which all goes right into your account! Visit one example of this savings challenge here. You can even print it out and start now!
4. Take advantage of rewards from credit cards.
If you have a credit card, chances are your lender offers a variety of rewards for your membership.
For example, I have a Discover credit card that I use strictly for gasoline and groceries. I opened this credit card back when I was in college to start building my credit. I only borrow what I know I can pay back quickly, typically by my next paycheck. I keep my purchases small (e.g. $30 for gas, $50 for groceries) so I can safely manage my budget and avoid high fees.
What I love about Discover is that they have an awesome rewards program. Quarterly, they offer discounts at chain restaurants, grocery stores, cinemas, and shopping outlets. They have a cashback program that links right to your account! I earn 5% cashback on purchases like gasoline and groceries on a quarterly basis. Even if my cashback earned is only $10 for a month, that’s still $10 I can redeem by having it deposited right back into my account!
See what perks your credit card offers. If you have any, take advantage of these rewards. You’re benefiting yourself by redeeming cashback offers, which always makes saving a little bit more exciting!
5. Use apps to track money in a fun way.
There are so many apps out there that help users save money. Take a look on your smart phone to see which one fits you best.
Personally, I’ve used Mint. Like many other finance apps, Mint allows you to track your income, manage your expenses, and create your budget. It’s a user-friendly visual aid to help you see where your paychecks go, allowing you to map out your transactions and savings.
The best part? It’s FREE! See what other finance apps there are to compare what works best for you!
See? Building your savings account doesn’t have to be yet another mundane chore plaguing adulthood. Actually, it’s quite the contrary! Saving money is a way for you to look out for yourself.
By tucking a realistic, fair percentage of your paycheck away into a savings account, you’re helping yourself build up your financial future. At GenTwenty, we want you to be financially responsible and happy. Don’t splurge on unnecessary purchases just because you found a $20 bill lying around. Save that for a day to come when you really could use the money on something better. We want you to be your best self when it comes to saving!