Saving money is not always easy, but it can be fun

saving money can be funSaving money is not always easy, but of course it can be beneficial and fun. I have four simple tips I have found to stretch your budget AND have fun.

#1: Relax.

Don’t count each penny you save and worry about how much you save. Does it really matter if this week you saved $1.92 compared to $1.93 on a meal? Yes, every penny matters, but sometimes the amount is so minimal it’s not crucial. I find this especially true when shopping with coupons, I used to beat myself up if I forgot to hand the cashier a coupon. My daughter once dropped a yogurt coupon on the floor and it went under a shelf where I couldn’t get it. I started to freak out!! Then I realized .25 wasn’t worth the stress and likely humiliation of having a hissy fit in the middle of Walmart.

#2: Budget.

This is always good advice, sometimes harder to do. This is a rough one for my husband and me. We are learning (after 19 years of marriage) that we need to work together more and not have our own agendas. Make budgeting a game.  Have a contest to see who can spend the least.  Use envelops to keep your budgeted money organized. At the end of the month stick a predetermined percentage of any left over money in the bank, but maybe keep out a certain percentage to use for a fun date night or a family activity.  Teach your kids about your family budget.  Kids need to learn to budget and learn that mom and dad don’t have bottomless wallets.

#3: Make saving money detective work.

If you look at it as money saved as a found treasure, you will find the process exciting! There’s always a new way to save you have yet to discover. Search for it.  Don’t you love it when you put your hand in the pocket of a jacket you haven’t worn for a while and you find a dollar?  My daughter is 11, she literally treats finding money as a treasure hunt!  Everywhere we go her eagle eyes are scanning the ground to find money.  She has been keeping her found money in a jar and when we recently went to the bank to cash it in, she had over $40 in change that she and found on the floor or in parking lots.

#4: Involve your kids in saving.

I said it before, but saving money is something that your kids need to learn.  Play games with them that shows them how to use money wisely. We have a board game called Shopping Spree that my son loves to play. Another way is to help them earn money save you money by encouraging them to cut coupons. I have heard of families that give the kids a percentage of how much money you save when you use the coupons they cut at the grocery store. For our family I just emphasize that when we save money, we have more left over for the fun things. My kids love to help organize the coupons.