Spending money can be a lot of fun. Shopping sprees, luxury vacations, delicious restaurant dinners – what’s not to like? Saving money, on the other hand, can sometimes feel like a chore. You typically do it because you have to, not because you want to.
But, that doesn’t have to be the case. It’s possible to fill up your piggy bank while having fun at the same time. Let’s take a look at some ideas to help you look forward to saving money, instead of dreading it:
- Consider becoming a mystery shopper. Lots of companies are looking for people to try their products and services and will reward them in return. Just make sure you sign up with a legitimate company – there are a lot of “mystery shopping” scams out there. Some of the most well-known legitimate companies include BestMark, IntelliShop, and Market Force, and they’re all free to join! MSPA Americas (formerly known as the Mystery Shopping Providers Association of North America) is a great resource for helping to identify legitimate mystery shopping opportunities.
- Instead of spending money on family outings to the movies or the mall, look for free activities close to home. They’re out there, you just need to track them down. Check out Facebook or your local newspaper to see what fun things are happening in your neighborhood. Or try a Google search on “free things to do in YOUR TOWN HERE”.
- If you’re trying to save, but still need a night out on the town, take advantage of happy hours. You can get great discounts on food and drink if you time it right.
- Make your own “piggy bank” so you can watch your savings grow! Get crafty with the kids and create your own savings jar. There are some great ideas at http://www.coolcrafts.com/cool-diy-piggy-banks/ to help get you started. Or, you can simply use Mason jars – or any container that can hold money – and label them with your specific savings goals, such as “Vacation” or “Holiday Gifts”.
- If you’re trying to inspire your child to get into the savings habit, you can offer an extra incentive by rewarding them when they reach certain saving milestones. For example, they could work toward saving enough money to get their favorite dessert or dinner, permission to stay up late one night, or the opportunity to invite a friend over.
- Challenge yourself and your family members to see who can save the most money in a week. Whether you save $5, $10, $20, or more, throw down the gauntlet and see who can win!
- With the holidays upon us, avoid the hustle and bustle of shopping and make homemade gifts instead. And get the whole family involved. You can find inspiration and ideas on websites like Pinterest and Homemade Gifts Made Easy.
- Go second-hand shopping. Whether it’s at a garage sale or a second-hand store, you’ll be surprised at all the bargains you can find at a fraction of their initial cost. Even if you don’t have money to buy, browsing can be just as much fun.
- Look for volunteer opportunities at venues such as festivals and concerts. You could be a ticket-taker or work at a food stand. And chances are you’ll be able to attend the event for free!
- Get rid of stuff online. Those outgrown clothes, baby toys, and old text books that are cluttering up your house can find new life elsewhere, and you can make money to boot! There are plenty of online yard sale sites, plus there’s Craigslist and other sites like letgo.com, where you can sell your unwanted and unneeded items. To unload old books from college, there are sites like Bookscouter that can connect you with book buyback companies online.