I often find myself worrying about money. Do you? Do you wish you could have a life where you weren’t under financial strain?
I can go weeks without really worrying about our family finances, but then I realize that I’m spending too much in one area or find myself wishing I could go on a trip I can’t really afford.
That’s when I realize that we’re sometimes cruising along for the ride, not really having a full picture of our finances. And then I start to get stressed about it.
This stress spills over into my relationship with my husband and taints the time I spend with my kids. My little worries build into big ones.
Should we not have eaten out after church this week?….Boy, I spent too much on groceries this week….Can I really afford to stay at home?….Oh man, I forgot to contribute anything to our kids’ college accounts this year!
And the list goes on and on.
I know the reason why I do this.
It’s because examining our finances is difficult, and my life as a mom of three is difficult enough.
I don’t want to the added stress of worrying about money, so I just try to pretend everything’s ok even when it isn’t.
I would be lying if I said it didn’t sometimes keep me up late at night.
I know plenty of people who do this as well as things like avoid seeing the doctor or accepting a friend’s request to have dinner because it’s not financially feasible.
Have you ever wondered why money topics have to be so difficult? Why do we make something so essential to our daily lives – managing money – such a difficult task?
I don’t think we necessarily need to do that.
Sometimes you can take a serious subject and make it fun by twisting the way you approach it.
Today I’m reminding myself that money discussions don’t have to be taboo.
I want to come up with a few concrete ways we can turn making money and saving money into something we like to do.
When it’s serious business, we tend to avoid it. I think it’s human nature. But we love having fun, right?!
I came up with 4 different ways to make money topics fun.
Specifically, there are two ways you can make saving money into a game and two ways you can look at making money so it’s actually fun.
How to Make Saving Money Fun
Here are my favorite ways to make saving money less of a chore and more like a game!
1) Hold a Weekly Dinner Battle
Split the family in half. Mom and Dad on separate teams with the kids split between them. Pick an evening when you’d normally go out for dinner and make it the one night each week when one team or the other takes responsibility for making dinner. I recommend choosing Friday or Saturday (at least that’s when we tend to go out for dinner!). Each person gets to rate the dinner on a scale of 1 to 10 and extra points are given for hitting a particular price point (for instance, 1 extra point for every dollar under $15 total cost). The purpose of this game is threefold:
- It gets the entire family thinking about the cost of dinner and teaches your kids valuable lessons about meal planning
- You automatically save the difference between a restaurant meal and your home-cooked meal.
- It serves double duty as dinner AND entertainment for the evening.
2) Take a Money Saving Challenge
I’ve seen many versions of this. My favorites are the 26 week challenge to save $1,000 and the 52 week challenge to save $1,352. I have free printables that will show you exactly how much you need to save each week to achieve those goals. You can find them here:
How to Turn Making Money Into Something Fun
These two money making strategies aren’t burdensome at all. Actually, I do both of them myself!
1) Learn a new skill with the goal of making money from it
I mean, find something you’ve always wanted to be able to do, and monetize that passion. For me, that would be calligraphy, hands down. I’ve always wanted to know how to do that. And I bet I could get work addressing wedding invitations if I got good enough at it. What would you enjoy being able to do that you can get paid to do?
2) Make a game out of flipping items for profit
I’ve seen people do this with yard sale finds, Goodwill treasures, and even free things they find in their back yard. There’s something about the rush of seeing the potential in something, purchasing it for a low price, and reselling it at a higher price.
How Can You Turn Making or Saving Money into Something Fun?
Those are just 4 of the many ways I can think of to make money matters fun again.
You won’t find them mentioned in standard budgeting advice because standard budgeting advice is boring!
Let’s remove the boring, serious stuff and stick with the fun side of money.
We can be serious when necessary, but unless you are in a dire financial situation, these four tricks will be enough to get a jump start on your budgeting and income goals.