6 creative ways to save money and make budgeting fun

5 min read

Saving money is all about strict budgets, crunching numbers, and getting serious—right? Well, not necessarily. Having savings goals doesn’t mean your life has to become all work and no play. Here’s a secret—there are ways to save money that can actually make managing your money feel like fun! Read on to learn how to add a little excitement to your finances and start saving money more creatively.

What are fun ways to save money?

Want to grow your financial nest egg without stressing about every single penny? Then you’ve come to the right place. From the 30-day rule to the 52-week challenge, these methods not only make saving interesting, but they can help you reach your savings goals quickly.

1. What is the 30-day rule?

One of the biggest obstacles to saving money? Impulse buying. It’s easy to fall for a well-targeted online ad that seems to know what you want before you do. But, there’s a solution: 

  • Instead of clicking on the ad, screenshot it 

  • Create a folder on your desktop to store these screenshots

  • After 30 days, open the folder and see if you still want to buy that item 

You can apply the 30-day rule to offline purchases, too. Just make a note of what you want to buy, wait 30 days, and ask yourself whether you still want to make the purchase. You may be surprised what kinds of things no longer interest you after waiting 30 days.

2. What is the 100 Envelope Challenge?

The 100 Envelope Challenge turns saving money into a lottery game where you win every time. The rules of the game are simple:

  1. Assemble 100 envelopes and write a number from 1-100 on each one.

  2. Shuffle the envelopes and put them into a bag or a basket.

  3. Every day for the next 100 days, draw an envelope from the bag.

  4. The number written on the envelope you pull out tells you how much money to put into that envelope. For example, if you draw the number 26, you place €26 into that envelope.

The incredible thing about this challenge is that after 100 days, you’re guaranteed to save €5,050. Talk about a win-win situation!

3. What is the 52-Week Challenge?

Like the 100 Envelope Challenge, the 52-Week Challenge encourages you to make regular contributions to your savings over a fixed period. In this case, over the course of a year. 

Unlike the 100 Envelope Challenge, the element of surprise is taken away in the 52-Week Challenge. So, you always know exactly how much you have to put towards your savings. Here’s how it works:

  • 1. On Week 1 of the challenge, move €1 into your savings account.

  • 2. In Week 2, move €2 into your savings.

  • 3. Keep adding a euro per week until you reach the 52nd week and put €52 into your savings.

By the end of the 52-Week Challenge, you’ll have saved €1,378. Not a bad way to contribute to a vacation or emergency fund.

Tie your savings goals to causes you care about

Another creative way to save money is to tie your savings goals to causes you care about. This improves the chances of sticking to your goals and creating better financial habits in the long term. Here are some ideas to get you started.

4. Commit to a healthy lifestyle

The connection between staying healthy and saving money may not be obvious, but hear us out. When you’re run down, you’re much more susceptible to becoming sick. This can lead to medical bills and, if you’re a freelance or gig worker, you could lose valuable working days while you take time out to recover.

What’s more, when you’re exhausted, your brain becomes more sensitive to the smell of food, making you more likely to crave junk food. This increases your chances of ordering takeout, which can make a serious dent in your wallet. By committing to your body and your health, not only do you increase your mental wellbeing, you’ll improve your financial health too.

5. Save money while helping the planet

The power of environmentally conscious shopping should not be underestimated! By thinking more sustainably, we change the way we consume which helps the environment. Here are some tips to saving money while also helping the planet:

  • Cycle to work instead of using your car or public transportation

  • Buy second-hand rather than new clothes

  • Repair rather than replace broken items

  • Reduce your household energy consumption

  • Plan your meals in advance so you don’t buy food that goes to waste

6. Practice mindfulness and be patient

There are several ways you can start shopping more mindfully. The first is to shop with intention. Entering the supermarket with a clear list of what you need to buy prevents you from throwing all kinds of fun but unnecessary treats into your basket. The same goes for clothes shopping. Before entering a shop, take a moment to remind yourself exactly what it is you’re there to buy. 

Another great method to save money while practicing mindfulness is to try the €5 Challenge. Every time you pay for something in cash and get €5 in change, put it into a savings jar. Whether you’re in a bar, restaurant, shop, or at the hairdressers, whenever you get €5 note, set it aside and save it. 

Not only does this help you become more conscious of the value of your money as your savings begin to grow, but it also helps you become more mindful of how easy it is to spend your spare change.

How N26 can help you save money creatively

At N26, we know that sometimes it takes a little creativity to reach your goals. That’s why we’ve created a range of innovative savings and budgeting features to help you approach your finances with the flexibility you need to reach financial freedom.

How to save with N26 Statistics

To keep up-to-date with your spending habits, N26 Statistics tracks your spending and breaks it down into different categories each month. This helps you see areas where you could fine-tune your budget for the future.

How to save with N26 Spaces

Like digital piggy banks, N26 Spaces are sub-accounts that sit alongside your main account. Give each space a name and a unique savings goal, then automate transfers from your main account to watch your balance grow.

How to save with N26 Round-Ups

Because every little bit counts, N26 Round-Ups feature rounds up your card payments to the nearest euro and stashes the difference into your chosen space. Set your own multiplier, so that when you have €0.25 difference, for instance, you can multiply it by 2 and wind up saving €0.50.

By N26

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