All of us grew up playing games of some sorts. Whether it was Tiddlywinks, Game of Life, Candy Land, or some good ol’ fashioned Monopoly, I’m sure we have fond memories of having some family fun around the card table. Now that we’re adults, and have transitioned to “grown up things”, it doesn’t mean we have to forsake our inner child. Turning every day chores into games can give us the motivation to complete our tasks, and even be more thorough. We can even bring some games into our financial lives to improve our finances. Try a few of these that I practice right now.
“The Plastic Fast”
The plastic rectangle in our pockets can be tamed! That’s the name of this game. Once a week/four times a month, give your debit and credit cards a fast and leave it at home. Commit to not use it at all for 24 hours and see if you can do it. Getting into the habit of leaving our money at home can help us from making unnecessary purchases. You will be surprised to see how much money was saved after a month. Added bonus: No online shopping that day will earn even extra savings. Like any game, it does take some strategy. For instance, you’ll need to train yourself to make sure your have gas and meals a day beforehand. Knowing that you’re about to do a 24 Debit Card Fast will help your shop smart for those meals too. This game will save you saving some extra cash from extra purchases that you may otherwise spend on a whim.
This game will especially pay dividends if you carry cash instead of card. Simply refuse to spend your change, specifically the dollar bills. For instance, if you buy lunch for $7.81 and use a $10, put the extra $2.19 off to the side and don’t spend it. At your convenience, place those loose ones in a jar and put a little “Do Not Open” on it for a given amount of time. If you put a 3 month time line on it, stick to it. After the deadline has passed, count up your savings and enjoy. I recently did this and found that I had an extra $237.88 to spare! That number is now the “score to beat” and hopefully I’ll break it in a few months.
This may be an app right up your alley if you have a smart phone, and typically eat out. Lunch Tracker is a free app to help you track your meal spending. Eating out can be an easy offender to our wallets, so the folks at Visa developed a fun way to track those meals and puts that spending up against how many times you’re packing a lunch (which can be so much cheaper). This tracker turns into a game as it motivates you to pack your lunch more than eat out. This app is particularly fun and helpful if you choose the “30 Day Challenge”. After a few days of tracking, it’s easy to become acutely aware of how much you’re spending in the drive-thru.
These are the games I’m currently playing. Do you have any financial games that you enjoy?
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