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5 Ways to Gamify the Process of Saving for a House
Based on current saving rates, one would imagine that the act of saving money is utterly excruciating, but this could not be further from the truth! Saving money, even if it is for such a formidable and large purchase as that for an entire house, can actually be both easy and fun.
Below I will outline five easy ways to take the stress and drudgery out of creating a house fund. These methods are simple, and perfectly easily to adopt, adapt, and implement. Most of these methods and activities involve empowering oneself with information and adding some playfulness into what would otherwise be financial drudgery. I hope you enjoy them!
1. Empower yourself with knowledge!
Before making any moves to start saving, make sure you are informed. Knowledge is power, and becoming an expert on credit scores, home mortgages, the real estate market, interest rates, and savings accounts will help you go into the savings process with confidence and a pretty solid idea of how much you will need to save in order to meet your goals.
Becoming informed in matters of finance will also help to reduce any stress or fear you may encounter around the subject. The subject of personal finance can be a rather stressful one for many, and much of that is due to ignorance and a feeling of helplessness. The best way to overcome that is to learn, so learn you must!
2. Make it easy by establishing clear goals
Once you have become quite educated on your personal finances and the financial aspects of purchasing a home, you will know everything you need to in order to set out specific goals regarding your home fund.
Determine what type of home you want to buy, where this home will be, about how much it will cost, and how much you want to save before making the purchase. Then establish a timeframe for collecting the money and create a series of discrete goals and objectives.
By laying out the framework for your fun journey of savings, you will not have to think too much about it in the future. This reduces stress, excess thought, and any chance of not contributing enough money every month to your nest egg!
3. Get Graphic
A lot of charities and other funds track the progress they have made by graphically depicted the number of funds saved. Common examples include raised funds being shown as the mercury in a thermometer that continues to rise as donations flow in.
Make your own visual guide for tracking your saving progress. It can be as simple as a poster or as elaborate as a high-concept piece of sculpture. What matters most here is that you have a visual reminder of your savings process and can gain the satisfaction of watching your funds accrue. Simply leaving tracking to watching numbers in an online savings account is far too boring.
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, as they say!
4. Make it a game or contest
If you are saving money for a house along with a spouse or partner and the both of you earn a roughly equal amount of money, perhaps you might create something of a contest when it comes to contributing to your house fund. By turning your savings plan into a competitive game, you can make seem a bit more exciting and a bit less boring and cumbersome.
You can also tie in savings goals with other fun purchases that you want to buy by turning those things into "prizes" that can only be "won" after reaching certain savings goals. For example, you cannot buy that awesome video game console you've been eyeing until you have contributed another thousand dollars to the home fund. Doing something like this not only adds an element of fun to the saving process, but also helps to prevent you from making excessive splurges before reaching important savings goals.
5. Reward Yourself
Establish goals and milestones surrounding your home fund, and schedule official celebrations to be staged when those goals are met. These celebrations need not be anything particularly fancy or expensive - they can be as simple as getting take-out pizza from your favorite local restaurant and enjoying it along with your favorite person and a great movie. The important thing is that you regularly acknowledge your progress and diligent work
Setting these goals can also give you something to look forward to, and encourage you to keep going (e.g. "I'm only two hundred dollars away from my in-home pizza party!" or "500 pounds more and I shall treat myself to a pedicure with the girls!").
Saving up for a house is no small feat, so you should appreciate all of the progress you make!