While the money saving brainstorm game will save you money, a way to compound the savings is to get the whole family involved (if you’re single, don’t worry since this game will still work fine). To play this game you have a once a month “reduce your bills” family brainstorm.
The concept is easy to understand. You simply have the whole family take a look at one of your bills each month and brainstorm ways to reduce it. Although this brainstorm can be used on all your bills, it’s best to choose a one to start and then add an additional one each month (for example, electricity this month, electricity and water the second month, electricity, water and gas the third month, etc).
Here are the steps to take to set up this game for your family:
1) Take out your calendar and choose a day for the brainstorm. Make the day you decide as your “brainstorm day” and keep it same day each month for the rest of the year.
2) Decide a time that is best for your family to have the brainstorm. For many people the best time is over dinner since it doesn’t take any extra time out of anyone’s schedule and everyone is gathered together.
3) Decide a prize or reward that the family is going to go after (you may also want to brainstorm to decide this reward).
4) Decide what percentage of the savings will go toward that reward and what percentage will go to your savings account. A fifty-fifty split is good, but whatever percentage combination you decide will work.
5) Find a bill. For example, your electricity bill. If you have your bills from last year saved, your electricity bill from last year is best to use as the starting point from where to reduce. If that is not available, using your last electricity bill will also work fine.
Deciding the prize will be an important factor in making this family money saving game a success. If the prize is something that everyone in the family really wants, you will be amazed at how hard all the members will work and how creative they can be.
When the month is over compare the two electricity bills and see how much savings all your brainstormed ideas generated. 50% of the savings goes toward your reward fund and the other 50% goes to paying off credit cards or into your savings (or whatever percentages you decide).
An added bonus is that this saving challenge will teach your children (and spouse) valuable money saving and conservation skills which they will keep for a lifetime.