Can’t seem to open a savings account or build one up for something important? If so, then you need an easy way to save money fast so that you can get to your savings goal or help you with something you want or need more quickly!
Best thing of all? This money saving strategy is like a game. It’s like a game with savings rewards, and it might just work for you!
You see, too many folk want or need to find ways to save money but get hung up somewhere between trying to save money and actually finding a way to do it.
Here is a fun and easy strategy to save money – a game in fact which you can use to save money fast this year.
What To Expect
You will stay busy depositing money into your account, mostly in small amounts at first.
You will get to know your savings account quite intimately with numerous small visits throughout the year (or other time frame which you have set for yourself).
You will need to add some daily money saving tactics and make some wise financial choices on a daily basis to keep your progress going forward for a longer period of time.
However, most everything here is pretty easy to do, and if you play the game in earnest – that means make the moves you need to make and reward yourself for making those moves – you’ll find yourself with a lot more money in your bank savings account than you could ever have imagined when you first began.
What This Is NOT:
This is NOT a “budget money and save” strategy.
This is a process of movement and a system of rewarding yourself when you move a certain way instead of moving a different way.
When you make a good move, you reward yourself for that good behavior by putting some money into your savings account.
If you make a bad move along the way, forgive yourself and go on. Just don’t give yourself a savings account reward for that bad move.
Such “rules” help you from outright overspending on your reward payments. They may also serve to remind you of your own imperfection but your chance to do better on your very next move.
What You WON’T Be Doing:
Please note that in this game, sometimes you will do things that will save the exact amount of money you will use to reward yourself. Sometimes though, you may not have a direct correlation between the specific amount of money saved (if any) as a result of your actions and the amount of money you deposit into your savings account.
In other words, you WON’T always put the same amount of money into your savings as you have saved in a given day, week, or month.
Again, this is a rewards system for doing the right things, not JUST a way of moving money from one place to another (although moving money from one place to another is what will happen).
To get the best results in this rewards game, you must have at least some raw motivation to save money for something or a reason that keeps you going strong in the game.
However, You WILL Be Doing This
If you are completing actions, plans, projects… basically, if you follow smart money principles and make wise financial choices everyday, you’ll have a much easier time saving because you should have more money to save!
At least your money won’t be going to places that have no return or that don’t help you get what you need. You’ll be using the money you already use. You will just be using your money wisely!
Choose Your Game
If the game rewards below do not quite fit your situation, you can adjust the numbers up or down accordingly.
If the game movements or requirements do not quite fit your situation, feel free to omit, add, or change any criteria that does not apply to your family.
The idea is to find how you can move your family further along the savings game board and to reward yourself each time you do.
No matter what you do, the forward movement and resulting game rewards will help you build a savings as you build good habits and become more disciplined with money.
Here’s the game. Make it your own. Then own it.
Prepping For The Game
Set Up The Game Board:
Open a savings account online with a bank or credit union, or make sure you know how to access your existing one online.
First off, you’re going to be making lots of smaller transfers during this time. Save money on gas doing your work from home.
Secondly, save face not running into bank personnel all the time with small deposits.
And then finally, just know this:
Some banks have a limit restricting how many withdrawals you can take FROM a savings account during a set period of time. However, none (at least none that I am aware of) have any limit how many times you deposit money INTO your savings account.
So get set up to deposit away.
Money Saving Tip: You can usually save money if you open a new savings account with the bank you already utilize for other accounts such as an active checking account. Otherwise, your bank or credit union may charge you a monthly fee to have just a savings account with them.
Capital One 360 is one of the best places to have a savings account, a free savings account with no minimums and no fees even with no checking account with them. It will just take a while to transfer money to them from an outside checking account, and that’s OK. The site is really easy to use too.
The Barclays savings account is well worth mention here as well with its high yield savings account, remarkable customer reviews, and their “Dream Savings Accounts” where you receive rewards from Barclays Bank for what they call “smart savings decisions,”. (Hey, their rewards for your savings rewards… Sounds good to me!) Ally Bank also has an excellent savings account program with one of the best savings account rates you can find anywhere.
All rewards and totals are estimated, for explanation purposes only, and should be adjusted to meet the needs and abilities of each individual and/or family.
This needs to be YOUR game, YOUR rules, and YOUR rewards.
But believe me, you’ll like your rewards!
1. If you received any cash incentive to open a new savings account, keep that in your savings account. If not, start your account with at least $25.00, and keep it there as your first reward.
$25.00 rewarded one time / $25.00 rewarded in a year / $25.00 saved in 1 year
2. Begin a 52 Week Savings Plan Such as the 52 Week Savings Challenge.
Here’s how: Each week, on the same day each week, put a pre-selected amount into your savings account.
Some save money by putting $1.00 in the first week, $2.00 in the second week, $3.00 the third, etc. until they are putting $52.00 in 52 weeks later.
Some begin putting $52.00 in the first week, $51.00 in the second week, etc. until they are putting $1.00 in 52 weeks later.
Some put an equal $26.50 in their savings account the same day of the week for 52 weeks.
$26.50 (averaged) rewarded weekly / $1,378.00 rewarded in a year / $1,378.00 saved in 1 year
Time Out – Let’s Huddle!
Take a side step for the moment now.
Now that you have your rewards savings account set up and have moved one step forward on a savings plan, you need to do something that will protect this account.
You do NOT want to find yourself using all those rewards to fund an emergency.
Instead, please do these things right now:
* Set up another location to keep emergency funds separate from your rewards-driven online savings account.
* Sell unneeded household items or vehicles (or even vehicle parts) on Craigslist and unneeded books on Amazon, Ebay, or through an online book buying service, and keep those profits in a safe place OTHER THAN the savings account you are using for this game of rewards.
Do this ASAP!
You are going to use this fund to help cover any absolute emergency that may arise during game time.
* Weather permitting (or on the first nice day), hold a yard sale to sell any other unneeded household items, personal items, or miscellaneous items.
Keep these profits in that same separate emergency savings not connected with this game.
You should always be prepared for emergencies!
* Put any cash back, leftover budget money, portions or totals of windfalls or unexpected money, and change from purchases into this unrelated savings account as well.
It never hurts to pad an emergency savings a tad, even if you won’t need it all.
You can always move any excess savings to a long term savings next year if you like!
* Take on some extra money making projects or work hours ASAP and then as you can throughout the year, and add that specially-earned money into this separate emergency savings account throughout year.
Taking on some additional work or doing something extra to make money during this time will be easier to handle if you remember you are giving selflessly of yourself to care for your family should something drastic suddenly occur.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family… Hebrews 11: 7a (NIV)
The above steps, while not an official part of the game, will help you stick with your game plan and continue receiving game rewards.
Protect your new savings account with this emergency fund, and then use your emergency fund as wisely as you can so that, if at all possible, you do not drain your emergency savings.
Sometimes though, we do what we need to do, and that is OK. That’s life. Just live it as best you can, and be thankful you had some money saved back to begin with.
Now… Back to those rewards!
3. Cut out 1 fast food visit per week, and reward yourself with $20.00 into your savings account each week.
Reward Yourself: $20.00 per week. Just transfer $20.00 each week from your checking account right into your savings account!
$20.00 rewarded weekly / $1,040.00 rewarded in a year / $1,040.00 saved in 1 year
4. Commit to absolutely no purchases (other than gas) from any convenience stores unless it is a planned part of a day trip or vacation.
This includes coffee purchases, hot chocolate, donuts, candy or chips, Tylenol, etc.
Reward Yourself: $5.00 per week transferred into your savings account!
$5.00 rewarded weekly / $260.00 rewarded in a year / $260.00 saved in 1 year
5. Set a very low and strict budget for birthday gifts, wedding gifts, Christmas gifts, Easter baskets, Mother’s Day gifts, etc. and stick with that limited amount.
Reward Yourself: $10.00 per special event transferred into your savings account. Shall we count 12 special events for your family this year? Sure!
$10.00 rewarded per wise gift purchase / $120.00 rewarded in 1 year /$120.00 saved in 1 year
6. Take your family vacation plans ever-so-slightly down one notch more than you can afford (one less hotel night, packing one dinner or more lunch food, camping instead of staying a hotel, staying several nights at a family member’s home, booking a family cruise with fewer extras, doing one less paid recreational activity) and give yourself a $50.00 savings reward.
$50.00 rewarded one time in 1 year /$50.00 saved in 1 year
7. Cut out one (1) sit-down restaurant family outing each month. Reward yourself $45.00 a month for each month you follow through.
$45.00 rewarded monthly / $540.00 rewarded in a year / $540.00 saved in 1 year
8. Save money on food, grocery and drug store shopping, and other routine purchases however you can with a plan to save $30.00 per week, and reward yourself $30.00 per week put into your savings account.
$30.00 rewarded weekly / $1,560.00 rewarded in a year / $1,560.00 saved in 1 year
9. Reduce monthly expenses associated with monthly bills, utilities, or other monthly expenditures (any one, several, or all – however you need to do it) by $65.00 a month, and reward yourself $65.00 a month to put into your savings account.
$65.00 rewarded monthly / $780.00 rewarded in a year / $780.00 saved in 1 year
10. Reward yourself $1.00 each day you do a good job making financial decisions or use wisdom using the funds you have to use. (Only the quarter back should do this so as not to have one spouse constantly asking their other half to see if they have “behaved” or not every single day. Well, that’s what it might come off like to them!
On the other hand, I’m thinking some couples might actually benefit from that extra communication! 🙂
Well then, you decide. We’ll count it here for ONE person here, and we’ll only count it for 25 days a month with the thought that no one on this earth at this moment should feel they are “perfect”.
$25.00 rewarded monthly / $300.00 rewarded in a year / $300.00 saved in 1 year
Talley The Points
Here’s What You Did: Started a Savings Account
Here’s What You Got: $25.00 Reward Total
Here’s What You Did: Took the 52 Week Savings Challenge
Here’s What You Got: $1,378.00 Reward Total
Here’s What You Did: Cut Out One Fast Food Visit a Week
Here’s What You Got: $1,040.00 Reward Total
(By the way, this IS what saving $20.00 a week by eliminating that one fast food visit can do for you. Check it out on a calculator if you don’t believe me!)
Here’s What You Did: Did Not Purchase Treats or Drinks From a Convenience Store
Here’s What You Got: $260.00 Reward Total
Here’s What You Did: Strictly Limited Gift Purchase Prices During the Year
Here’s What You Got: $120.00 Reward Total
Here’s What You Did: Made More Inexpensive Family Vacation Plans This Year
Here’s What You Got: $50.00 Reward Total
Here’s What You Did: Cut Out One Sit-Down Restaurant Family Outing per Week
Here’s What You Got: $540.00 Reward Total
Here’s What You Did: Save Money on Food, Grocery Shopping, and Other Retail Purchases to Save $30.00 a Week
Here’s What You Got: $1,560.00 Reward Total
Here’s What You Did: Cut Monthly Utility Bills, Other Monthly Expenses, or Other Bills by at Least $65.00 a Month
Here’s What You Got: $780.00 Reward Total
Here’s What You Did: Tried Your Best to Make Smart Decisions Based on Your Family’s Finances and Follow Good Financial Practices Every Day (or for at least 25 days a month)
Here’s What You Got: $300.00 Reward Total
FINAL SCORE – ANNUAL REPORT
$25.00 (For Starting a Savings Account)
+ $1,378.00 (For Saving Money Weekly)
+ $1,040.00 (For Cutting Out One Fast Food Visit a Week)
+ $260.00 (For Getting Your Drinks, Donuts, and Snacks From Home Instead of a Convenience Store)
+ $120.00 (For Budgeting the Purchase Price of Gifts Throughout the Year)
+ $50.00 (For Saving Money on a Family Vacation This Year)
+ $540.00 (For Cutting Out One Sit-Down Restaurant Outing Each Month
+ $1,560.00 (For Cutting at Least $30.00 a Week Off the Costs of Your Food, Grooming, Office, Etc.)
+ $780.00 (For Saving at least $65.00 a Month on Utilities, Monthly Expenditures, and Other Monthly Bills)
+ $300.00 (For Making the Best Financial Choices on a Daily Basis)
Which Adds Up To: $6,053.00 Savings Rewards
$6,053 Total Saved in Just One Year!
THAT’S OVER $6,000 SAVED IN JUST ONE YEAR PLAYING THIS GAME!
And just think…. Using this particular savings plan, this family was already using most of the reward money somewhere anyway. They just had to have someone motivated enough to lead them through a period of transition and a change of habits.
– The savings gleamed from actions helped fund some of the rewards.
– Wisdom, forethought, an eager heart, and a little constraint added the rest.
The Locker Room Round Up After The Game
Remember, the rewards in this game were based on a typical family budget (parents with kids) who have not yet already pared their expenses down as much as humanly possible.
This is also geared towards a typical family income.
If you fall outside the scenario represented here, you can still use the principles here to start and build a savings account!
It is possible guys. It really is possible.
It may not be easy. It might even be hard.
However, there ARE ways to save money fast (what we did the huddle above) so you can get money quickly and have it in an emergency.
There are also ways to put money into savings quickly as well.
You just need to find your motivation, design your game plan, keep moving forward, and reward yourself as you move forward.
It can work. It can work for you!
Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66: 20 (NIV)