How to Gamify Your Budget

Games aren’t just for sweaty guys hanging out in basements anymore. Gamification is using elements of game-playing like point scoring, competition, and rules of play and applying them to areas of your life that would otherwise be boring or difficult to accomplish. Gamifying your budget could lead to increased savings and finally getting yourself out of debt.

In this article, you’ll find a few ideas for gamifying your budget including some tips on handling your student loan debt and hacking your expenses. Ready?

Why Gamifying Your Budget Works

Do you use a Fitbit or other fitness trackers? Then you already know the power of gamification. Many people have turned things like fitness and working out into a fun game by setting goals, keeping track of their progress, setting rewards for meeting their goals, and sharing their stats or creating competitions with friends. Even schools and colleges are using game-based online learning to get students engaged and excited about their coursework.

Naturally, this concept could easily apply to budgeting your money. One classroom game called Spent is teaching students how to budget their own money. In the game, students use a $1,000 spending limit to find a job, pay bills, and make their own budgeting decisions.

One of the main benefits of gamification is the customization it provides. Whether you’re learning a new concept, working towards your fitness goals, or creating a budget that works for you, you can customize a game-like plan that will help to achieve your needs.

Setting a budget and sticking to it can be hard because the rewards are usually long term, so there’s little instant gratification in being good with your money. Gamification can help you find ways to feel rewarded by doing the little everyday tasks that eventually lead to the greater rewards in the future. That’s a win-win!

How to Gamify Your Budget

Remember the best part of gamification is customization — just do what works best for you. Here are a few tips to gamify your budget:

Use extrinsic and intrinsic motivators.

If your financial goal is to pay off your student loan debt, use extrinsic and intrinsic motivators to remain focused on your goal. For example, when you pay off your student loans, your extrinsic rewards include extra money in your pocket and your intrinsic reward might be the relief you feel by paying off that last bill or the feeling of finally owning that degree.

Use technology to make it easy.

Apps like SaveUp and SmartyPig make gamifying your budget easy! You probably don’t use a checkbook to balance your budget anymore, so why not use technology?

Most bank apps also let you rename your accounts to whatever you choose. Try using something like “Hoard” for your savings account, making it extra fun to watch it grow. Or change it to a reminder of what you’re saving for like a new car or vacation.

Hack your expenses.

Legal hacking is fun! Especially knowing it will lead to you saving more money. There are interesting ways to save on your heating and cooling expenses like cleaning the air filter or even switching to solar. You can get your kids involved and try to find unique ways to save money around the house.

Have you found new and fun ways to gamify your budget, bring down your spending, and increase your savings? Maybe you used gamification to pay off your student loans? Let us know in the comments section below!

Photo by on Unsplash

About the Author

Avery-Taylor Phillips is a magnificent freelance writer. You can contact her @

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