The object of this savings game would be to see who could have the most zero spend days in a given time period. A zero spend day is a day in which you don’t spend, sign-up or agree to spend a single cent in the future. The length of time can vary as you see fit. You can go with a week, a month or set a specific time from now to some event in the future.
In fact, the savings could be used for that particular event. You could be attending a festival or a concert and want to save money for a shirt or other souvenir. The person with the most zero spend days could get an extra item, or if there are choices they could get the final decision. If there are no events upcoming, or you are simply playing for savings, the winner could get an allowance so to speak.
This could be a set amount or a percentage of any financial surplus that is left at the end of the month. The rest could go towards savings, the emergency fund, debt reduction, retirement – in fact the winner could get to help decide this as well. The point is simply to give each person in the family a little incentive to try harder to reduce unnecessary spending.
You could award 5 points for no spending for a day, meaning no use of cash, credit, or debit – nothing. An additional 5 points would be awarded for not signing up or agreeing to anything that will cost money in the future. If you are trying to cut down on gasoline costs, you could add a 3 point bonus for not driving anywhere aside from work and back. To make the challenge more advanced, you could deduct points for spending. You could lose a point for every $5 or $10 spent, 1 point for driving anywhere but work, 2 points for using a credit card, and as optional rules you could also lose a point for leaving a light on in an unoccupied room, drinking a bottle of soda instead of a glass of water, or anything that the players can agree on that they are targeting to cut down expenses.
Driving to a fast food restaurant instead of taking your lunch to work/school would be a big loss of points. You would lose the points for additional driving, plus the points for the cost of your meal, plus another point if you bought a drink, when you could have had water, and maybe 2 more if you use a credit card for the purchase! Watching the other players for things like leaving the lights on would be a fun way to keep that electric bill to a minimum as well. Ultimately the name of the game is saving, so anything that can decrease your costs and therefore increase your savings should be rewarded.