4 Ways to Make Your Personal Finances Fun
Believe it or not, there are ways to make your personal finance tasks more fun. Most of us know we need to be responsible with money, and that it’s necessary to pay attention to our personal finances, but that doesn’t mean we enjoy it. It’s important to keep a budget and prioritize your personal finances, otherwise you may continue down a road that leads to poor money management later.
However, like most tasks, when we get bored or we get settled into a mundane routine, it can be easy to let go and forget or choose not to maintain and update our finances. If we make our personal finances less like a chore, and more like a competition or celebration, we can potentially do a better job of keeping up with them. Here are four ways to stop seeing personal finance tasks as a pain and start making them fun.
1. Play a game
Most of us played Monopoly as kids, right? Or maybe the game of Life? Both of these games encourage players to spend money, and make important purchasing decisions. Yet, these games are fun. That’s because they are games, and we choose to play them (we don’t feel forced to – at least most of the time; sometimes the kids may coerce us into playing.). If we can make keeping track of our personal finances more like playing a game, we will likely enjoy them more.
The website Practical Money Skills has many financial games you can play, and there are ones that are ideal for adults and kids alike. These games may help you to see your finances in a different light; financial football is especially entertaining. Once you brush up on your financial skills and the importance of making wise financial decisions, you can tackle your actual finances.
2. Set a goal
Financial goal setting is extremely important; you can set short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. According to Smart About Money, your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Trackable). Write your goals down, and reward yourself when you achieve your goals. You can start with a simple, short-term or medium-term goal: put aside a certain amount of money each month to pay off a small debt. Once you successfully pay off the debt, you can reward yourself in some small way. Your best bet is to determine what your reward will be when you set the goal; that way you can look forward to achieving your goal and earning your reward. Making your financial goal and setting a reward system will help make the process more fun.
3. Work as a team
A study by Aviva USA, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, found that a man’s financial situation was the primary factor contributing to his stress, and also that high levels of stress may be correlated with dramatic weight gain for males in the United States. Getting your finances in order and improving your financial situation can help decrease your stress, and you don’t have to do it alone. Ask your spouse if he or she will take a financial course with you, or see a financial advisor together. You can also speak to a spouse or friend about your financial goals (and you don’t need to share specific financial information); you can ask your friend or spouse to help keep you motivated, and you can do the same for that person. Working with someone else can make financial tasks more fun.
4. Fantasize a little
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, or letting your mind wander once in a while. Setting realistic goals is important, but you might have as much (or more) success by dreaming big. Let yourself imagine what you would do with more money; would you buy a bigger house? Travel? There’s nothing wrong with imagining the good life, as long as you don’t spend money you don’t have. Instead, let your big dreams help you to save money.
Also, consider the life that you ideally want when you retire. According to statistics released in 2015 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, about half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings. If you dream of retiring somewhere warm, and traveling the world, you won’t be able to do that with no retirement savings. So go ahead and dream big, and then sit down and figure out how you need to save in order to achieve those dreams.
Personal finance tasks don’t have to be boring. If you want to change your routine a little, try playing a finance game, working with a partner, or letting your mind wander to the good life.