Jun 292011
 

How do you encourage someone – children, boyfriend, spouse – to save money? The best ways to help people save depends on their personality…and your ability to let go of the need to control.

Here’s a great question, from Yahoo Answers:

“My boyfriend and I are both seventeen, he’s going away to university in August. He only has a Saturday job. He’s been spending loads of money that he doesn’t have. I’ve been trying to encourage him to save money, but he just agrees and saves nothing. I’ve told him I’ll help him. Instead of traveling this summer, we’ll find free ways to enjoy ourselves. What are some ways I can ensure he saves money? How do I encourage him to save more and spend less?”

Get him a piggy bank! It’s a great way to encourage kids to save money – and we’re all kids at heart. The Digi-Piggy Digital Coin Counting Bank (pictured) is cool because it keeps track of how much money is being saved.

And here are a few more tips…

5 Ways to Encourage a Child, Spouse, Boyfriend to Save Money

“There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.” ~ Dale Carnegie.

Remember that you can’t make someone want to save money

You can’t ensure anyone saves money, much less a seventeen year old boyfriend who is spending more than he has! I think the best tip for someone who wants to encourage a partner or family member is to remember you can’t change another person’s financial habits. You share easy ways to save money by doing them yourself…but don’t try to change him. You’ll set yourself up for disappointment, disaster, and a dearth of love.

Add a frog when you encourage someone to save money

Yes, you read it right: a frog can help someone save money. Researchers studied the effects of negotiating the purchase price of an expensive piece of art in two ways. Half the time, the buyer said, “I offer $6,000, and that’s my final price.” The other half, the buyer said, “I offer $6,000, and I’ll throw in my pet frog.”

Which offer convinced people to say yes? The one that included the pet frog, natch. A brief, humorous, light-hearted approach can put people in a good mood, and encourage them to save more money than if you nagged.

Set up a “cash contest”

“Stick to cash for a week and see who wins,” writes Farnoosh Torabi in 5 Ways to Encourage Your Spouse to Save Money. “As we know, the best way to reduce spending is to stick to cash. Swiping a credit card involves less “pain” than taking cold, hard cash out of your wallet and watching it disappear.”

To make saving money fun (and encouraging), he suggests creating a contest. “Give yourselves a strictly cash (no credit cards) discretionary budget for the week, say $100, and see who finishes with the most in his/her wallet. The one who loses has to assume some undesirable chore or task – like cleaning duties for the week or chauffeuring the kids to their various play dates/sports/tutoring all week.” If you both spend less money (and in fact on average we do spend less money if we use cash, by 20%), you’ll feel extremely rewarded and be encouraged to keep saving.

Be open about how you save and invest your money

If you want to encourage someone to save money, don’t lecture or try to force him. Instead, role model your own good financial habits and reasons for accumulating wealth.

For instance, do you have good debt (money borrowed to finance an asset, such as a mortgage or student loan)? What are your favorite money saving tips? What are you saving up for? How does saving money positively affect your life? What are your financial goals?

Compromise – meet halfway

Here’s a great way to encourage someone to save money, from a reader:

“I have a few friends who love to eat out and although I enjoyed it, that lifestyle doesn’t fit my new financial goals,” says Sydney on How to Stop Spending Money You Don’t Have. “With one friend in particular we’ve been able to strike a compromise – we only go out to eat once a month and it has to be someplace that has a half-price or by-one-get-one-free coupon. As it turns out, she likes the fact that she’s saving some money now too!”

I think the best tip for encouraging people to save money is to let go of the need to control them. Keep your love separate from your finances…and you’ll both be happier.

What do you think – how do you encourage kids, partners, or family members to save money? Comments welcome below…

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen - Christian, bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer, blogger, warrior princess. :-) My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

What's happening in your life? I welcome your big and little comments below! I can't give you advice, but writing might bring you clarity and insight.

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13

In peace and passion...Laurie

  3 Responses to “5 Ways to Encourage Someone to Save Money – From Frogs to Contests”

  1. Sam ~ thanks for your comment! I agree that lecturing people on how to save money doesn’t work. Just do it yourself, and hopefully your loved ones will follow your lead.

    Bruce ~ I think buying restaurant meals and to go coffees is such a waste of money! Not to mention fattening and unhealthy. We eat out once a week – sushi, which we can’t easily make at home – and avoid spending our nickels and dimes on food and drinks.

    My favorite tip for saving money is to stop buying crap you don’t need :-)

  2. Buying really nice expensive things is a great way to help someone save money because it shows them what you could get if you work for it. Don’t lecture people about saving money. Encourage them by being fun and friendly like these tips say.

  3. Great article, Laurie. Some people are conditioned to not understand the value of money and frugal is a dirty word. I agree that being an example is the most effective way to convince others that unrestrained spending is very costly. I recall a time when my friends thought I was cheap because I brought my lunch to work instead of eating out everyday with them. But when I bought my first home some realized the value of my frugal ways. Thanks for the article!