Now that the holiday excess is behind you, it’s a great time to review your household budget. The key to managing a budget is finding ways to make it fun so it’s easy to maintain. Develop a game by identifying opportunities for saving within your household. Have everyone identify items or services they use around the house that cost money and brainstorm ways to save by spending less.
Go green and save on utilities.
Challenge yourself and your household to take simple steps like turning off lights, unplugging appliances or electronics, not pre-heating the oven longer than necessary, boiling warm water with a lid on the pot, and turning down the thermostat a couple of degrees in order to save on utilities.
Get exercise and reduce transportation.
Challenge yourself to make only one trip to the store per week, and think of other fun ways you can limit your vehicle usage. When the weather’s right, take bike rides, or walk to the local library or store. Not only will you save money, but you’ll save the environment!
Find local entertainment.
It’s easy to overlook what’s happening in our own communities. The Corridor has many free or low-cost entertainment opportunities to experience local life. Visit hillsbanklivelocal.com for ways on save money on travel and spend quality time with family and friends while supporting our community!
Get a budget buddy.
You have heard of a fitness pal; why not apply the same principles to budgeting? If you have a friend who wants to be your budget buddy, use that motivation to help you save. It’s always fun to encourage and motivate a friend, especially if they start slacking, just like you would with a fitness pal.
Compete and save.
Have a competitive streak? Get a family member or friend to participate in a savings contest with you. Track spending every day for a month, and whoever spends more has to do an undesirable chore like clean the house. It will be great motivation for every purchase because even if it’s only $1.00, you will ask yourself if it’s worth losing and risking the possibility of having to spend an afternoon cleaning. To top it off, even if you lose, you still win because you saved more than you would have without the competition.
Use these ideas to get started, but don’t stop there! Talk to family and friends to find out the saving ideas they implement in their own house. Or, search your smartphone’s app store and the internet for more ways to make a game out of saving. Get your own creative juices flowing to think up fun ways to save. Share your ideas for making budgeting fun in the comments below.