Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at InPursuitOfHappiness.net.

5 Tips to Make Saving Money Fun

Categories: Budget tips, economy

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Conventional wisdom says that money can’t buy happiness, but I’m certain that saving it makes me feel fantastic. In fact, few things make me feel more safe and secure than a stash of cash I’m not spending. A savings account helps me sleep at night with fewer fears about the “what ifs”… what if the car breaks down, the roof leaks, or someone gets laid off?

Of course, having money in a savings account and putting money away are two different animals. The process of building up a nest egg can seem impossible - or at least mighty inconvenient. These tips and a little mindset change can make saving money almost as fun as spending it.

1. Set a Goal

Penny pinching just for the sake of financial prudence is hard, but racing towards a finish line can be downright exciting. That doesn’t mean you should only save for big purchases like vacations or new cars. Set a yearly savings goal for your family and track your progress every month. Being able to see results building is a big part of staying motivated and keeping the “this is so fun!” mentality.

2. Entertain on a Budget

Sitting home alone every weekend is not fun. Instead, draft a household budget that allows you to save and gives you a specific amount of money each month for entertaining. Then, make it a point to spend every penny in that fund before the end of the month.

You’ll start to get creative coming up with all the ways you can socialize on the cheap, and then find yourself looking for something to spend your last $3 on at the end of the month. The beauty of this plan is it forces you to think out of the box and get off the couch.

Take the competition up a notch by putting each family member in charge of an outting. See who can come up with the best weekend adventure without going over budget.

3. Explore New Recipes

Another way to turn saving into a game is to experiment with your grocery budget. What kind of meals will provide your family with the most nutrition for your money? Step away from your tried-and-true casseroles and spend a little time on Pinterest looking for new ideas. Recruit the kids to help plan the menu and cook new foods.

4. Turn Your Trash into Cash

There are few things more satisfying than getting paid to clean out your closet. Go on a treasure hunt in your own house. What do you have that could be consigned, sold on Craigslist, or auctioned off on EBay? Bonus: your house gets decluttered in the process.

5. Set a Time Limit on Severe Scrimping

Working towards a goal can turn hard work into fun, especially when the end is insight. Give your savings goal a boost with sprints of serious savings, and then relax into a less stringent budget for a couple months. You’ll come to appreciate the more lenient spending limits and impress yourself by what you can save during the miserly months.

Bringing a game mentality to your savings account makes the challenge more about what you’re building than what you’re not buying.

Do you have tricks that help you save with a smile? Share in the comments.

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