6 Ways to Increase Your Motivation to Save Money

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Sometimes, saving money may seem like less fun than spending money, but its importance cannot be overstated. The money goals you set now can build you a better and more comfortable future.

Whether it is a short-term savings goal to save up for a vacation or a long-term goal to fund your retirement plan, staying focused on saving money is fundamental to bettering your personal finances.

Learn: 3 Ways Smart People Save Money When Filing Their Taxes

How Do I Motivate Myself To Save Money?

Having a savings plan is a great idea, but sticking to your savings plan can oscillate between gaining and losing motivation. Your financial goals will always be there, but evolving them from a dream into reality comes down to what you consistently save each month. Here are six ways to increase your money-saving motivation.

  1. Money-saving challenges
  2. Start a reward system
  3. Budgeting apps
  4. The buddy system
  5. Visual displays of projection
  6. Set specific goals

1. Money-Saving Challenges 

Making a game out of saving is more stimulating and fun than just tracking your progress in your savings account daily. This can be a motivating way for you or your family to meet these challenges and save some money. Here are some money-saving challenges you can try.

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The 52-Week Challenge

This savings challenge starts by saving $1 on your first week, then increasing the amount of money you save each week by $1.

For example, on the second week, you’ll save $2, then $3 on the third week, and continue for a full year. In the final week of the year, you’ll add $52 to your savings. If you stick with it, you will have saved $1,378 when the year is over. 

The 100 Envelope Challenge

The 100 envelope challenge is a motivational way to save over $5,000 in 100 days.

It works by getting 100 empty envelopes and writing and labeling them from one to 100. For 100 days, randomly choose an envelope, and whatever number is on the front of the envelope you chose, put that amount of money in the envelope. You will have saved thousands in just over three months.

The Pantry Challenge

It is easy to forget what food you already have at home. With the Pantry Challenge, you look in your pantry and get creative to make meals out of what you already have instead of grocery shopping or going out to eat.

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This helps you clear your pantry, stop wasting food and save money at the same time in a fun cooking and savings challenge.

2. Start a Reward System

A carrot dangled is a carrot you strive for, so rewarding yourself when you reach certain goals can be highly motivating. You don’t necessarily have to wait until you save the entire amount you were hoping for, but rather reward yourself along the way. For example, if your goal is to start an emergency fund and fill it with $10,000 by the end of the year, reward yourself when you reach $1,000 saved, and then maybe again when you reach $5,000.

Self-care goes a long way toward sustainable systems. How you reward yourself is up to you, just make sure it isn’t so luxurious you empty your checking account before you can add anything to your savings — otherwise, it may defeat the purpose.

That being said, celebrate the small victories. It will keep you in touch with what you are trying to achieve.

3. Budgeting Apps

A great way to digitally track and organize your finances is to get a budgeting app. You can keep all of your accounts linked and see what money you are spending or saving in real-time. Whether is tracking your credit cards or bank accounts, a budget app can help you motivate to save just by seeing your financial picture in its entirety. You can even link your partner’s accounts to help keep you both on the same page.

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Here are some popular budget apps for you to look into:

4. The Buddy System 

Having an accomplice goes a long way toward keeping you motivated to stick with your savings plan. Much like having an accountability partner for, say, dieting or going to the gym, having a buddy you are working on the same savings plan with might help you stay the course.

Check in with your buddy regularly to see how they are progressing and count on them to remind you of your goals and help keep you on the right financial path in turn.

5. Visual Displays of Projection

Visual reminders of your goals can help you remember why you are saving and keep you motivated to progress further.

For example, put a drawing of a thermometer on your fridge where the degrees represent dollars. Every 30 days, fill it in so you can see how much you have saved and how close you are to reaching your goals. This can also work with charts and graphs, depending on what kind of visuals work best for you.

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Another form of motivational visualization is putting pictures up of what you are saving for, which can be anything from family vacations to a new car.

6. Set Specific Goals

The more specific your goal, the more likely you are going to reach it. Something that is clear-cut and accomplishable will keep you on track and motivated.

Make sure these goals are both attainable and timely so you can reasonably check in with them.

Final Take

There are always reasons to talk yourself out of believing you can save money. Whether it is high interest rates, inflation or even just the price of groceries, saving money can be overwhelming if you think about it too generally. Instead, try some of the ways discussed to make it simpler and keep you motivated on your savings journey.


  • How do I convince myself to save more?
    • Set specific goals and give yourself visual reminders. If you're saving up for a vacation, put a photo of your dream destination where you'll see it before you spend money like in your wallet. Or put a chart or graph on your fridge and update it weekly.
  • Why is it so hard for me to save?
    • For reasons ranging from inflation to psychology, saving money is hard for many people. Set goals and challenge yourself to reach them. Just make sure you're realistic in deciding how much you're going to save. Not meeting your goals can be discouraging and lead you to stop saving again.
  • How do I get excited about saving?
    • Make saving money a game or challenge, like with the 100 Envelope, Pantry or 52-week Challenge. Putting your savings goals within the parameters of a game or challenge can make saving money more exciting.