When the family saves money on something, all members benefit, so why not make saving something in which you get the whole family involved? While the younger members of your family may not have an immediate attraction to engaging in money-saving behavior, you can get them involved by turning this would-be mundane task into an engaging and competitive one. Transform savings from bland to boring by offering up these simple games and, in doing so, making saving money fun for the whole family.
Tap into your children’s natural desire to win by making Sunday coupon racing day. Grab your coupons and some safety scissors and gather your kids around the table. Divide up the circulars among them and set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes. Tell each participant that the individual who clips the most coupons–neatly–within this time period will be the winner. Allow them to start clipping. At the end of the allotted period of time, count up each grocery coupon clipped and determine your winner, giving him bragging rights alone or offering another small and highly affordable prize, like an affordable yet tasty piece of candy or a dollar store toy.
Track and display your savings successes by creating a family savings poster. Using a piece of poster board, create an empty bar graph with the names of your family members running along the bottom of the chart. Tell your family members that they can earn stickers on the chart for every money-saving action they complete. For example, if your notorious-for-leaving-on-the-light youngster starts flipping the switch off when he leaves a room, he will earn a sticker. After explaining how to earn stickers, start handing them out, creating towers of stickers above each family member’s name. To make it even more competitive, offer an incentive for being the first person to create a full column of stickers.
Encourage your youngster to get involved in money-saving activities and instill the value of socking away cash with family savings banks. Purchase one classic piggy bank per child in your family. Decorate each with the child’s name, or allow your child to join in the fun and decorate it himself. Place these banks in a prominent location. Each Sunday, when the coupons arrive, split them up between each of the children. Arm the kiddos with safety scissors and allow them to clip out these money-savers. At the end of the coupon-cutting marathon, count up the number of coupons clipped by each child. Give each coupon clipper one penny per coupon he cut out, placing this change in their banks. As the weeks pass your stash of coupons will grow as will the amount amassed in each child’s piggy bank.
Engaging in money-saving behavior can make it easier for families to make their financial dreams realities. Instead of tackling the task of money-saving solo, get everyone involved. By offering your family some competitive and engaging ways to get involved in the penny-pinching process, you can make money saving seem fun and take some of the load off of your shoulders.