You’ve been told this a couple of hundred times — by your parents, mentors, and everyone around you. It’s important to save money to ensure you have a healthy financial future.
But let’s face it. Saving money is pretty hard. You want to go out to eat with your friends. You need some new clothes for a party. You want to see a movie. And it’s not very fun. Sure, it can be exciting to see your money grow in a savings account, but the actual act of storing away money for a later date can seem boring.
That’s why it’s important to find methods that can spice up the act of saving money and make it into something that you enjoy.
After all, you don’t want to be left with no money when something unexpected happens, like when your car suddenly stops working or a family member gets sick, and you need to go back home.
As a student, between classes, extracurricular activities, work, and time for yourself, you probably don’t have a lot of free time. Even as a recent graduate who works full time, you’re probably stretched thin. Luckily, bloggers, authors, and app developers have provided us with plenty of simple, non-time-consuming ways to save money.
The growing trend of minimalism (a way of living that stresses living your life fully with fewer things) has given us a number of money-saving challenges that aren’t easy but are definitely doable.
For example, the No Spend Challenge, which is perfect for more competitive-minded people, challenges you to cut out spending on activities, coffee, shopping, Ubers, and everything that is not strictly needed. Meanwhile, the innovative 52 Week Savings Challenge allows you to save $1,378 in a year just by saving $1 the first week, $2 the second week, and so on for the rest of the year.
Unique apps like Blast allow you to open an insured savings account and deposit money just for playing Words with Friends — perhaps something you would do anyway, even when you’re not thinking about saving money. Or, there’s Qapital, which allows you to “fine” yourself (or, in other words, save some money) when you spend money that’s outside of your budget.
Many people are surprised to learn that there are also online commitment platforms like stickK, a goal-setting platform in which you set a goal (let’s say, to save $300 in two months), pick a timeline for your goal, and then put something at stake (either your money or your reputation) to keep you accountable to your goal.
But if technology isn’t your thing when it comes to saving money, there are plenty of ways to go the low-tech route and still watch your savings grow.
One of the best ways to do this is to try the century-old Japanese budgeting system called Kakeibo, which translates as “household finance ledger.”
The ancient accounting system, originally created by Japanese journalist Hani Motoko as a budgeting system for housewives, is intended to put you in control of your budget and make you aware of your spending habits by answering four basic questions:
How much money do you have available?
How much would you like to save?
How much are you spending?
How can you improve?
Or maybe you’d rather sit down and tear through the funny page-turner, “You are a Badass at Making Money.”
Whatever method you prefer, aim to think of saving money as an enjoyable activity. Check out this visual for the 15 most fun ways to save.
About the author: Natalie Issa is a content specialist for Credit.com. Her experience spans working with a variety of content, including blog posts and journalistic articles, as well as film and podcasts. She’s applied her writing and editing expertise in the retail and digital industries at companies, such as Overstock.com and Deseret Digital Media, while applying her creativity to passion projects in her personal time. Natalie has her degree in English with a minor in journalism.