“I hate saving money and budgeting. Life’s too short for that. Why would I want to limit myself?”
I totally get it. Life’s short and you don’t want to give up on everything that you enjoy doing just to save a few bucks. The good news is that nobody’s telling you to give up on your social life or to eat leftovers for the rest of your life. I would never share useless advice with you.
Here’s how I make personal finance fun so that I don’t get bored of it…
Here’s the thing that I’ve learned over the years…
Saving money feels really boring until you have enough saved up for that dream vacation or your new side gig allows you to work from home. Then it’s all worth it. You feel proud over what you accomplished and your friends start asking you how you did it.
I don’t want you to stay in nor do I want you to have a boring life. The last thing that I ever want to be is the fun police. Nobody should ever tell you what you can’t do with your hard earned money. My goal is to help you save up while you get to enjoy life.
How do I make personal finance fun enough so that I don’t get fed up?
Set it and forget it.
I use the Houdini System to save money. I put my money away and I forget about. The last thing that I want to do is think about budgeting when I’m out for dinner. I don’t think about personal finance all day. I don’t stress about saving money. I put money away and I leave myself some cash to spend.
I use the Cancun Technique to find reasons to save. I then use the YOLO System to blow money without feeling guilty. Read up on these unique theories if you’re feeling stressed out about your bank account.
Here’s how I save money:
- I think of a bold goal to save up for (anything from a trip to a new property).
- I figure out how much money I need.
- I break this goal down to see how much I should be saving on a monthly/weekly basis to get there. You have to know where you’re going or else you’ll never get there.
- Get the money taken out of my account every two weeks.
- Live my life.
I try not to stress about money management on a daily basis because there are so many other better things to think about. I’m the same with my fitness. I don’t track every calorie. I would never suggest that you track every penny that you spend. I just want you to know where you’re headed so that you get there eventually.
I try to reward myself.
The trick is to treat yourself whenever possible within reason.
I have friends who always spoil themselves. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but as a general rule, it’s important to earn things in life (at least the expensive things).
I can help you save up for anything that you want. I can’t help you save up for everything.
For example, I always do Dry January. I use this month to focus on my health and to take my finances seriously. I cut back on spending and I try to increase my income. It’s not the sexiest thing in the world, but I always treat myself to a trip in February. When my friends are getting snowed in and freezing in February, I’m usually posting topless pictures from somewhere warm.
How can you reward yourself?
- Watch your favorite show.
- Go for dinner with friends every Friday.
- Use your extra money to pamper yourself (anything from a spa day to a new pair of jeans).
- Use a food delivery service after a long day.
There are many simple ways to reward yourself without spending a fortune. I do my best to reward myself with little things so that I’m not constantly feeling deprived.
This leads to our next point…
Plan fun adventures.
“Oh stay in and everything will be fine.” — THE MOST USELESS ADVICE IN THE WORLD
Yes, we all know that we can save money if we never get a decent haircut or leave home in general. That’s just not practical.
I stay focused on money management (this involves everything from optimizing spending to trying to make more money) by planning adventures. Adventures range from my annual extended trip to fun date nights.
Use your budgeting skills to treat yourself to adventures. Once you go through the process of saving up for a trip. you’ll know how to save up for everything else in life.
I spend money on what I want.
Most folks end up miserable and in debt because they spend money that they don’t have on things that they don’t really want. I’m all about saving on what you don’t care for to spend money on the things that you enjoy in life.
I’m into intermittent fasting because it allows me to not feel guilty when I have pizza on a cheat day. I save money with the same logic. I know that if I’m on top of my finances most of the time, I can treat myself when the time is right. I also know that by saving up on the useless stuff in life, I get to travel more.
I’ve been writing about personal finance for over a decade. So people automatically assume that I’m against spending money. I noticed how friends are afraid to tell me about their new car or new shoes. I’m not here to judge your choices or tell you what to spend your money on.
I want you to be able to spend money on what you enjoy without going broke. This is why I started writing about personal finance in the first place.
Optimize your spending so that you’re not putting your money towards stuff you don’t care about (useless fees, memberships you don’t need, and other clutter) > Focus on bringing in more money > Save some money > Pay your expenses > Leave money for what brings you joy.
Can you make an extra $100 next month? Can you cut your spending by $50?
I’m all for competition and fun challenges with friends. You can see who can save the most money next month, who can go the longest without shopping, or see who can bring in the most cash from a side hustle.
Here’s your homework: Challenge yourself to add $1,000 to your bank account next month by following the tips in this article. Then challenge a friend to see who can save more.
I try to gamify personal finance so that I don’t get bored. Since I’m a very competitive person, I don’t like to lose so I use challenges to get ahead with my finances.
Stop thinking about what you’re not doing.
If you think about all of the things that you don’t buy or don’t get to do, then you’ll drive yourself mad.
Think about your rewards and what you’re actually able to do. Don’t worry about what you can’t do or can’t have.
Here’s a list of things that I don’t care to have:
- New car. I just want to get around. I never wanted to be known as the guy who peaked in his 20s with a cool car.
- Trendiest newest clothing. I obviously want to look good but I don’t have to upgrade my wardrobe every season. Plus, when you travel a lot to warm places., you don’t wear many shirts.
- Newest gadgets. I’m happy with my phone. I don’t need anything else.
I’m okay with not having this stuff because I would much rather spend my money on travel. I enjoy traveling and exploring the world. That’s what I care about.
Keep it simple.
You have to stop complicating this stuff. I try to simplify getting in shape and saving money. You don’t have to understand how calories work or the theory behind human growth hormone to lose a few pounds or to gain some muscle. You don’t have to become a stock market investor to get into personal finance.
I try to keep my finances simple most of the time so that I don’t stress myself out. When I’m ready, I make a big investment into real estate, my business, or the stock market. That’s another topic for another day.
I find that I tend to stick to the plan when I’m actually enjoying myself. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple until you reach a milestone (enough cash for a downpayment or the newly-created income to quit your day job) that makes it all worth it.
You don’t want to become miserable on this journey. It’s easy to get discouraged. There are too many useless articles telling you about what you shouldn’t do. Do you know why there are so many articles like that? The writer never had a life. I put having fun first.