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Published:June 18th, 2010 21:08 EST
Can Saving Money Be Fun? Three Simple Tips

Can Saving Money Be Fun? Three Simple Tips

By Philip Tirone

Some people seem to have innate knowledge of all the tips to save money. You may know a few of these natural-born penny-pinchers. They may make a modest income, yet over time they are able to parlay their savings into a house, leaving the rest of us to wonder: How did they do that?


You might also know some 15-minute millionaires, folks I wrote about in 7 Steps to a 720 Credit Score (2008, Philip Tirone). These people act like they have endless supplies of money until the money runs out. As soon as payday hits, they eagerly spend like there`s no tomorrow, blowing their money on frivolous impulse purchases and luxury items.


But the past couple of years have forced us learn the importance of saving money in preparation of hardships. The facts of bankruptcy are staggering, with more and more people having their homes forced into foreclosure, their credit card accounts turned over to collection agencies, and their cars repossessed.


If you are more like a 15-minute millionaire than a frugal penny-pincher, you might need to shift your mindset so that you can stop spending money and learn how to build credit and earn a terrific credit card score.


Why not turn savings into a game with these fun, easy, and effective tips to save money?


Tips to save money: Start a competition. Find a friend, roommate, or your spouse to participate in a game to see how long you can go without spending even one dollar. I used to challenge myself to this game. On Day One, I would make it half the day before I bought a snack from the vending machine. On Day Two, I promised myself I would make it past the mid-afternoon craving. I brought some almonds from my house. On Day Three, I made it all day. And then on Day Four, I needed to buy groceries. I started over again.


Tips to save money: If you can buy it used, don`t buy it new. See how much you can save in a month by avoiding new purchases. For example, steer clear of purchasing new books at the bookstore and peruse used options at a used bookstore or Check CraigsList, eBay, or a garage sale to see if there are used options for the items you are looking to purchase. Again, challenge yourself. Keep a monthly tab of how much you have saved by buying used.Then see if you can save more the next month.


Tips to save money: Invite your whole family. Play a game to see how much money each member of your family can save in just one month. To encourage the participation of all members of your family, you should have each person select an item they want to purchase. This could be something as simple as a new blouse or it could be a toy or an evening at a classy restaurant. Then have them agree not to purchase this item until they have saved twice its amount by cutting expenses.


Hold a family meeting to discuss each family member`s plan for reaching his or her goal.


This process not only will teach you to be disciplined about saving money, but it also will be an excellent teaching tool for your children to develop healthy attitudes about money. By showing them the importance of discipline and planning in making purchases, you will teach them the most important financial lesson they will ever learn.


As they say, practice makes perfect. If you turn savings into a game, you just might find that these tips to save money turn into habits. Soon, you and your family members will be those "natural-born" penny-pinchers that make other people wonder: How did they do that?