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Saving money can feel like a bore and a chore – but not when you play saving games! Fun and challenging (in a good way!), savings games are the perfect antidote to the money saving grind.
Why Play Games to Save Money?
When we are overwhelmed by the prospect of saving money, we are much less likely to succeed and our finance goals remain unrealized. Everyone knows there are a ton of benefits of saving money. However, stashing cash away instead of spending money is not always an easy task.
If you feel like you are struggling – or even know that you are bad at saving money – implementing money games might be the key to getting your savings on track.
When we play savings games, we can stay motivated about growing funds or eliminating debt – plus we can develop better saving habits. It’s a win-win!
Saving Games that Make Saving Fun
The best saving money games are not complicated or cumbersome. In fact, the saving games that I like best are super simple, easy ways to save money. I’m highlighting some of the easy and fun money saving challenges that you can start implementing today!
Saving Money Jar Challenge
A longtime favorite, the Savings Jar is one of the classic, fun ways to save money. Similar to the piggybanks of our youth, the Jar is a straightforward Save Money game. Just drop in your coins or bills – and watch your funds grow.
You can use a jar that you already own, and you can make up your own rules. Many people use money saving jars to collect coins, but you can put bills in them, too.
Our big money saving jar was an oversized liquor bottle that we dropped all of our change into. The long, slender neck of the bottle made it easy to drop coins in, but difficult to get them out. Once it was completely full, we would shake out all of the coins and cash them in…usually to the tune of a couple hundred dollars.
There is no need to get fancy with your jar for saving money, but if you think it would help you save money, look up DIY savings jars or find affordable ceramic money saving jars options on Amazon.
5 Dollar Saving Challenge
The $5 bill challenge is another one of the popular money-saving games. How you play this game is easy: Save all of your 5-dollar bills.
Anytime you get a $5 bill, instead of spending it, stash it into your Cash Saving Box.
Just like the jar, your cash savings box does not need to be elaborate; it doesn’t even need to be a box. A shoe box, photo box or large envelope will suffice. That said, if you want to watch your savings grow, use a glass jar or shadow box bank to keep an eye on your growing fund…5 dollars at a time.
52-Week Saving Plan Chart for Saving Money
The 52-Week saving chart is a 12-month saving challenge that is perfect for beginner savers.
The weekly savings game is based on the idea that you save a dollar figure based on the week number. So, for Week 1, you only have to save 1 dollar. In Week 2, you save 2 dollars and in Week 3, you save 3 dollars…and so on.
As you work your way later into the year, the amounts increase…but by now you are already in the habit of saving money (plus you know what is coming next!).
Here’s the kicker: At the end of the 52-Week Saving Calendar, you will have saved an accumulative amount of $1,378. And that is a nice little pile of cash.
You can make your own chart, but they are also available for purchase. I designed a weekly calendar for saving money that is included in my inexpensive Money Tracker Bundle.
Variations of the 12-Month Saving Plan
The most popular way to participate in a 12-month money challenge is described above. However, there are other money game ideas for adults that are based on the same principle, but with slight variations.
Reverse 12-Month Money Challenge Game
How the 52-week saving plan chart works is that the amount increases each week. However, if you are starting in January (which by no means do you have to!), then that leaves the biggest savings deposits for December – traditionally a month when money is already tight.
To alleviate this from happening, you could reverse the chart so that you count down, rather than up. Start with Week 52 and save $52, the following week, Week 51, save $51 and so on until the end of the chart when you only need to save $1 in your final week.
Up the Amount in the 12 Month Money Challenge
If, on the other hand, you need to increase your savings in order to reach your money goals , then you can still use the chart…just up the amounts. One of the easiest ways is to double down the cash amount. So, instead of $1 for Week 1, save $2. Doubling up the amount saved each week will yield $2,756 by the end of the year.
Extend the Save Money Games to 24 Months
Yet another variation of the year saving challenge is to extend it to two years. However, when Year 2 rolls around, instead of starting over at Week 1, rename it Week 53 – and save 53 dollars. The following week, save $54, then $55, etc. At the end of the two years – on Week 104 – you will have saved $5,460.
More Charts for Saving Money Challenges
Money saving charts are a fun way to get addicted to saving money and tracking it! The charts can be used for a variety of goal saving games – from specific funds to general money-saving goals.
The visual reminders that represent fun money games for adults work great in conjunction with actual Sinking Funds savings accounts.
Like the calendar saving plan, these charts should be printed to be completed. As you reach a dollar figure, color in the square so that you can literally watch your progress. You can hang it on your fridge, keep it in the top drawer of your desk or tape it to your bathroom mirror. Just put the fun money games chart somewhere where you will see it and stay motivated!
I offer an affordable kit of Saving Tracker Printables on my Shop Page; the below charts are a few you will find in my packet.
Emergency Fund Money Saving Challenge Chart
One of the first and most important savings goals is an Emergency Fund – and fun charts will help you reach your goal. There are two Emergency Fund Savings Charts included in my Money Tracking Bundle; a beginner $1000 Fund Chart and a more substantial $15,000 money chart.
Fun Money Vacation Fund Charts
Perhaps the most fun you can have saving money is saving for a vacation fund! Whether you are planning a lavish trip or a frugal vacation, charts for saving money for your travels will help to keep your eye on the prize! My Tracking Bundle includes two vacation fund money charts – a $1000 and $3000.
1 Dollar Saving Challenge Chart
If you are wondering how to make saving money fun for kids, then it’s best to start small and simple. Saving Money worksheets for kids or teenagers should feature small dollar figures – and it’s best to designate a very specific goal that can be reached rather quickly. The point is to equate fun with money saving so that they create healthy personal finance habits for the future.
Starting with a simple $100 Saving Chart is ideal. With each square representing just $1, kids will be able to visually see their progress to their $100 goal. It’s one of the best managing money games for beginners.
Auto Savings Games with your Bank
As we become a more cashless society in favor of using credit cards and debit cards, saving games – like a money jar and $5 bill challenge – may not accumulate cash quickly enough to meet your goals.
No need to worry; there are still money saving games you can play! In fact, some of the best budgeting games can be set up automatically with your bank. Most of the bank budgeting games for adults are personalized to your preferences (ie. You set triggers for savings).
The most common example of automatic savings is to designate a portion – either a dollar figure or percentage – of your direct deposit paycheck into a separate savings account. I used this method when I had direct deposit and loved watching my savings fund grow!
Save Money with Fun Apps
However, as banks and technology get increasingly better, there are now multiple automatic savings games – and specific apps that will inspire you to save, too.
While I do not personally use any money saving apps, there are heaps to choose from. Here is a round up of the best apps for saving money by Bankrate.
Before you get a third-party app for fun money saving challenges, however, I highly recommend checking with your bank to see what saving game options they might have through their own app.
Save Your Savings Fun Game for Money
One of the fun budgeting games that can equate to big savings is the Save Your Savings game.
For this money management game, you create a literal savings fund for the amounts you have saved on various purchases. Anytime you buy something on sale, you save the amount you saved in your fund.
For an example of this Saving Money challenge, let’s say you buy a new fridge. The regular price is $1,000, but you got it on sale for $800. In order to save your savings, put $200 – the amount you saved – into your fund.
Apply this thought to anywhere you spend and save money – from the grocery store (just look at the bottom of your receipt) to when you get your 10th coffee free.
Rather than just take the savings, make them savings.
Fun Challenges for Adults
There are few things to get me more motivated to save money than frugal challenge games for adults! There are so many great fun savings challenges, so I’m just going to highlight a few.
No Spend Challenge
The No Spend Challenge is one of the top money game ideas for adults. It can be intense – and incredibly eye-opening. How the No Spend Saving Money Challenge game works is that you commit to stop spending money for a set timeframe (with allowable purchases for food, bills and essentials).
Challenging yourself to make zero purchases takes courage and dedication. Most often, people commit to a 1-week or 30-day saving challenge of No Spending.
1 Year Saving Challenge
A variation of the No Spending challenge is a pledge to not spending any money on a specific category for an entire year. An intense 1 Year Money Saving Challenge will likely alter your view of money…and give your bank account a big boost.
Some of the common things to eliminate spending on for one year are clothing and eating out. You can read a personal story about a no spend year in the book, A Year of Less – which is one of my favorite financial books.
Another fun adult saving challenge is to see how much you can save on food. Expenditures on food tend to be exorbitant, so reeling them in with a fun food savings money challenge can help reset your focus.
You can join my Frugal $5 Food Challenge, which tasks participants with limiting their food expenditures to just $5 per day for an entire week. Are you up for the challenge?
Money Spending Games
Financial games for adults are not limited to focus exclusively on the amount of your savings. You can create a game for money spending, too. Or, rather a game that will limit your spending, thus increasing your savings.
Assign Value To Your Goals
Figuring out the exact monetary worth of a financial goal – and using it to justify purchases – is one of the introspective budgeting activities for adults.
For instance, when we were dedicated to reaching a huge money goal – to quit our jobs to travel the world (which I discuss on my About page) – we estimated that we could travel on $100 per day. Using the $100 figure for each day of our trip, we created a money game that encouraged us to save by thinking twice before spending any money.
How our money management games worked is that whenever we were faced with a $100 purchase, we would ask, Is this worth one day of our trip? It worked for smaller purchases, too. Is a $50 dinner at a restaurant worth half a day on our trip?
In most circumstances, it was not. The little trick became one of my best money saving hacks that propelled us to our ultimate goal of traveling for free!
Assign Value To Your Work
The same money game can be flipped to reflect your income. How these saving and spending games work is that you calculate how much your make an hour and how much you make a day – or even a week. Then, when you are faced with a purchase – any purchase – ask yourself if it is worth one hour, one day or one week of your time on the job. With this thought process in motion, it will help you save your money for fun, rather than spending frivolously.
One of the tried-and-true money saving games for adults is to use a visual reminder – and there is no better place to put a visual goal reminder than in your wallet. Stick a Post-it Note to your credit card, paper clip your goal to your cash. Keep a reminder of your overall savings goals anywhere you access your funds, and you will be less tempted to spend and more likely to save!
Games about Saving Money
Interested in learning more about money, investing and how it all works? There are money games for adults that can be a great Frugal Hobby and aid in teaching the real principles behind money. Plus, it might help get your partner or spouse onboard with a frugal life!
Board Games about Money Management
Some of the best financial literacy games for adults are in the form of an old fashioned board game. One of the most popular Manage Money games is Cashflow – which was designed by Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Money Saving Games for Kids
If you are looking for ways of how to make saving fun for kids, there are board games that can help teach the basic principles. The whole family can get in on the fun with money game, Cover Your Assets – a competitive game of accumulating assets.
There are even more money saving games online – especially geared toward teaching kids about money. Two of the most popular online money games are Peter Pigs Money Counter and Wise Pockets.
How To Budget for Savings
Playing savings games is a fabulous way to watch your savings grow – but it is just one step in organizing your finances. And, if your finances are a disorganized, it is likely that your savings efforts are, too.
Learning how to set goals and create a budget will help substantially in saving money. Not only will you get on track with your savings, but you can adapt more frugal habits.
To help you get started, you can download and print my FREE budget template.
Additionally, you will find printable planner packets – for detailed budgeting, meal planning and savings – on my Shop Page.
Interested in more of my Life and Entertainment Tips? I round them all up on the Frugal Lifestyle blog page!
We Want To Know: What are your tips for saving money? Share your favorite savings games and tips for success in the comments!