How to Turn Money Savings Into a Game

17 Nov

The gamification of savings isn’t a new concept, but it might be new to you. Put plainly, many people find saving money boring. If you’re one of these people, then turning savings into a game might help. By turning it into a game, it becomes fun. Of course, for the game to be fun, you need to lay a few ground rules. First, you need to establish a set of rules that you and your family will abide by. Set up a savings account specifically for the game, and make sure that everyone in your family is “on board,” and ready to play.

Have an Overarching Goal

Before you get to far in your savings game, establish an overarching goal. What’s the end of this game look like? Is it as simple as taking a vacation, or is there more to it? Do you want to retire by the time you’re 55? Whatever your overarching goal is, write it down.

In fact, it might help to create a game board. Post it up on the refrigerator, or buy a whiteboard and hang your game board on the wall so the entire family can see, and have access to, it. Create milestones. For example, if the overarching goal is to retire by age 55, there might be smaller goals along the way like annual family vacations, the kids’ college education fund, paying off your home, paying off credit cards, getting new cars and computers, etc.

Use Prizes

To incentivize the whole family, create prizes for family members who help reach every milestone. Maybe one of your milestones is to save $100 on your insurance premiums. Hand out a prize for the family member who comes up with the most creative way to save money or whomever can find the best rates.

You could also give small prizes for any meaningful improvements in the family budget. If a family member can prove that they’ve saved the family money in any given month, you might give them 10 percent of the savings or some other prize like a trip to a day spa or lunch at a restaurant of their choice.

The important thing here is to come up with prizes that your family will love and value. It might mean creating different prizes based on who wins. For example, your spouse might like a day at the spa. Your kids might like a trip to the playground or a pizza party.

The Pot of Money

Have you ever played monopoly? Do you remember the “house rule” of putting money in the middle of the game board? Whenever someone landed on “free parking,” they won all of the money on the board. You can do something similar. Keep a “pot of money” – a jar that sits on the counter, for example.

Periodically contribute money to the jar. Where do you get this extra money? As family members find creative ways to save money, allocate a small percentage of the savings to the jar. Then, hold a lottery to see who wins. Not only does this motivate everyone to build up the pot of money, it promotes teamwork – everyone wants a shot at winning that pot. Everyone will be willing to work together to help the family save as much as possible.

Use Online Software To Help You

Online tools, like SaveUp and Mint, have gamification built into them. For example. SaveUp lets you earn credits which can be used to play games and win free prizes. You earn these credits by putting money into your savings account. Those credits are then used to play various games through SaveUp. Those games, in turn, can result in real prizes and even prize money – up to and including a $2 million jackpot. If that’s not enough incentive to save money, nothing is.

Louis Winter is a computer developer. He takes his passion for gamification and writes about the excitement of playing games on family and homeowner blogs. Find out more by clicking

No comments yet

Leave a Reply