Regarding personal and domestic finances, people’s ultimate goal is to save money. However, achieving this can sometimes be difficult. Below we outline five games to save in a fun and entertaining way. 

Eating healthy and exercising are two key tips for maintaining good physical and mental health. However, although these are the typical resolutions we always try to make, a lack of planning and sheer laziness, among other reasons, tend to get in the way of us fulfilling them. The same applies when we try to save: present bias, caused by the desire to obtain immediate rewards without rationally assessing whether we need them (e.g. buying a set of wireless headphones that are on sale) or petty expenses, resulting from purchases of low-cost goods and services (e.g. ordering a coffee every morning on our way to work) can make our financial health unstable. 

For this not to happen, financial literacy and planning are essential. That is, knowing and organising our expenses and income in order to be able to pay our bills (rent, loan repayment, etc.) and the things we need and want (food shop, leisure activities, etc.), saving part of our income for possible contingencies. 

Want to test your financial knowledge on savings? You can with this article from Tu Futuro Próximo.

How can you save money?

Although planning may seem like an easy task, many people do not plan or do not do it properly. Instead of being perceived as a gateway to achieving other goals, such as buying a car or travelling abroad, saving money is sometimes seen as just another obligation. This negative view makes it harder to achieve this goal. 

However, through different games, you can save money in a more entertaining and engaging way, especially if you do it with those you live with: from the youngest to the oldest members of the household. 

Here are some examples that can be put into practice:

  • The treasure chest: treasure chests full of coins are usually found by pirates in famous pirate films. The aim of this game, which is ideal for the children of the house, is to fill up a box, bottle or piggy bank with any coins found or loose change: coins left in a pocket or the change you receive from making a small purchase at the corner shop. Small amounts add up.

  • Top saver ranking: it is important that all household members take part. First, the various activities and points associated must be discussed and agreed upon. For example, 5 points for switching off the tap while putting soap on your hands to save water; 10 points for defrosting food in advance; 15 points for switching off lights, etc. At the end of the week, each household member will be ranked according to their final score. The winner will be able to enjoy the agreed upon prize, such as choosing a film, having their favourite meal the next day, etc.

  • Taxes for living together: in this trick to save money, a number of negative behaviours must be established with their corresponding economic penalties. If someone does something that is on this list, they have to pay a token amount. At the end of the year, the money collected will be used for an activity chosen by the family.

  • An expense free day: the challenge is to not spend anything for 24 hours. The idea is to look for group or individual activities that are free: visiting free art exhibitions, going on a bicycle ride or meeting up with a group of friends to enjoy some outdoor skating.

  • Weekly savings: a year has up to 52 weeks and this game will be based around that number. Each week, the participant or participants must put as much money as the number of the week of the year that it is into a wallet or container. For example, if it’s the tenth week of the year, you must put aside ten pounds, dollars, or whatever your local currency is. At first it will be easy as the amounts are small, but as the year progresses, these amounts will increase.
    This could be ideal if, for example, you want to save for a trip you want to take the following year to a dream destination. 

Want to learn more ways to save? In this Finance for Mortals article, you will discover seven strategies to improve your financial health.   

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