Finder's Fee GameBy Wixx
There are many things that simply must be bought. In addition to the obvious food and gas, there are multiple both large and small household items that need to be purchased. In order to make a game out of it and help shave the costs of these items, giving a finder's fee to whoever can find the items at the cheapest price is a motivating game to buy all your needs at great prices.
The concept is quite easy. Each person participating would locate the lowest price they can find on the items that need to be purchased online, from sale papers, or any other source. Once each person has found what they believe is the lowest price, each participant shows their price. Whoever finds the lowest price receives a predetermined percentage of the difference between the two prices. The rest of the savings could be used for debt reduction, building the emergency fund, adding to the high interest online bank account.
Everyone knows that they can stretch their budget if they buy things on sale, but adding some friendly competition to the concept is a sure way to make the savings more effective. Hardcore savers could claim 10% off the savings as the finder's fee, while those not quite so into it could go with a 50% cut or more (thus encouraging more participation). Any finder's fee rewards can be added to that person's personal discretionary fund. At the same time, additional money is available to help the family achieve their financial goals.
You would be surprised to see just how quickly these small savings add up and in addition to savings, they give the person who finds the best price some extra spending money. The finder's fees are a great way to support a hobby without affecting the budget. This enable the participants to use their accumulated finder's fees to purchase items for their personal hobbies without having to worry about the purchase taking away from the daily budget.
Children can participate as well in the finder's fee game. In fact, not only can this give them some extra spending money, it will teach the the value of finding the best price when they do shop which will be a valuable lesson for the rest of their lives.
As with most of these fun ways to save, you need to go with what works for you and your particular situation. Adjust the finder's fee to make it fun for all involved as well as a way to help save more money. As you get better at the game, you can introduce more advanced play could which could include multiple finder fee percentages as lower and lower prices are found on the same product.
You also have to keep in mind that the lowest price doesn't always mean the best savings. All of the savings is moot if you are driving to a store on the other side of town just to pick up one item, as you will waste more money in gas than you are likely to save.