1. Set a goal for your savings. Saving is a lot more fun and easier to do if you have a goal. It can be something as simple as a new garment or as elaborate as a cruise around the world. Of course, saving for retirement should always be a part of any saving plan. Retirement comes around more quickly than you can imagine.
2. Get an old-fashioned piggy bank and start dropping in coins. Or even more fun is to take a glass jar with a lid and cut a slit in the lid for the coins to fall through. Then tape pictures of your savings goal to the outside of the jar. The rules are:
• All found money goes into the jar—that includes money from the sofa, change or bills found in the washer or dryer, money you find on the street—even a penny.
• Put gift money in the jar. The little bits you receive for a birthday or Christmas or a birthday won’t buy much, but added to your savings toward your goal, it will make a difference.
• Any rebate money goes into the jar, or if it is a large amount, straight into your savings account.
• When your wallet is bulging with $1 bills, take a few out and save them.
• Maybe you want to decide to never spend quarters but to put them in the jar.
3. Set up an automatic bank transfer of funds into a savings account. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money. This fund too will build up before you know it—that is if you stay out of it. Develop a hands-off policy until you are ready to spend for your goal.
4. Figure out one or two areas where you know you are spending too much money for something that is not lasting and that certainly does not contribute toward your saving goal. For many of us that would be designer coffees. What if you gave up just one a month . . . or one a week? How much would have to put in your savings? What about taking your lunch to work rather than eating out? The money saved here will add up quickly toward your goal.
5. Once a month, add up all your savings and post the amount saved with a picture of the goal where you can see it. You might even want to say, “Only _____dollars to go.”
6. When you’ve reached your goal (whatever it is), take the money and spend it with joy. You’ve earned the right to a guilt-free purchase.
For more money-saving ideas that end in family fun, read Simply Fun for Families, available from Heritage Builders and on all book sale websites.