Summer brings plenty of changes to our routine. Kids are off from school, days are longer, we are eager to soak in all the sun, and businesses are buzzing with summer offers. So, how do we stay on track with our financial goals? One way to boost our savings for the year is to set up seasonal saving challenges. Saving challenges are ideal because they can turn a task that may be tedious or stressful into fun and engaging.
For many families, summer is a little less hectic when preparing meals. At least there is no need to plan as much for the daily lunchbox. Before your next trip to the groceries, sort your fridge, freezer, and pantry and make a meal plan that includes the items you already have. You can gamify this challenge further by making each family member invent a meal with what you've got at home and then vote for the best dish.
Choose one day a week and jot down the highest temperature for the day. Set aside that amount in money. This challenge might work wonders for your savings if you live in a city where temperatures rise to 100 °F. No matter how high or low temperatures go, this challenge keeps you focused because it forces you to do a task intentionally.
This challenge might prove difficult during summer. The alternative is to choose one item (say, iced coffee) and not spend any money on these non-essential items for a period of time. Ideally, the no-spend challenge should last a month to reap the benefits of this financial detox.
Saving with something specific in mind is much easier than doing so without a measurable and visible objective. Find a concrete goal for the money you are saving: a trip at the end of the year, an item on your wishlist, a bump in your investments, or home repair. Once you’ve set the goal, make it visible. You can post it on the fridge, make a vision board in your office, or set an alarm clock once a week to remind you why you are making extra effort.
You can choose some of these challenges and find a support group. Invite friends to go on a no-spend detox so you can keep each other accountable. Check in with other people who are going on the challenge with you and celebrate your achievements and offer support to each other when you stumble.
Doing saving challenges can be fun and engaging, but you will only succeed in the challenges that are realistic for you. Also, don’t embark on too many challenges; remember that commitment does not come easy, and tackling too many saving ideas might actually play against you.
Gamify your saving goals, and you might be surprised by how much you can save during summer. Sticking to your financial goals is not easy during summer with all the distractions and temptations the season brings. However, revising your financial plan, committing to concrete and measurable objectives, making them visible and present, and turning the process into something fun might be the key to success.