Taking a fun approach to personal finance habits can help you reach big goals faster.

Changing financial habits so you can save more, stay on top of the bills and pay off credit card debt is a serious step to take – but that doesn’t mean you can’t crack an occasional smile on your way to achieving better personal finances.

Setting a goal to improve your finances and build savings is daunting enough. So don’t force yourself to also suffer through a long list of tedious tasks you’d rather avoid to achieve your personal finance goals. Fortunately, there are lots of fun ways to approach fixing your finances for the better.

1. Form a moral support team

Whether your personal finances “team” consists of only you and your best friend or a group of people looking to improve their finances, the more the merrier. The point is to encourage and be accountable to someone else, and you will do the same for them.

Each of you can set personal goals like paying down a credit card to a certain amount, depositing a specific amount into emergency savings, taking lunch to work to save money or holding off on unnecessary purchases. Then check in every few weeks to report your progress.

2. Use roundup apps

Saving money can be tough, but you can painlessly add to savings with a “roundup app” such as Chime, which automatically rounds up purchases and transfers the difference to your savings or checking account.

Find out: 5 Fun Apps to Help Build Emergency Savings During COVID-19

3. Reward yourself

Nobody says you have to grind along with endless sacrifices to meet your financial goals. Yes, you’ll need to tighten your belt, probably much more than you’re used to, but a little deprivation will pay off big in the end. Meanwhile, however, reward yourself when you meet a goal.

For example, if you meet your goal for the month to add $300 to emergency savings by employing careful grocery shopping, let yourself splurge on a “luxury” snack item or fancy deli salad as a reward for accomplishing what you set out to do.

Find out: 5 Financial Bloggers Share What Motivates Them to Educate Others

4. Create a visual goal tracker

There’s nothing like a visual motivator to help you stay focused and on track with savings or debt payoff goals. Have a savings goal you’d like to reach in six months or an auto loan you want to pay off a couple of years early? Place a reminder of that goal right before your eyes.

Print out a blank fundraising thermometer found online, or just draw your own with your goal at the top. Then color it in with a marker as you progress, until you eventually reach your target.

5. Save spare change

You’ll be amazed at how quickly spare change adds up, especially if you go two or three months without counting it. Use a Mason jar or coffee can to collect the coins, or make it fun with a  quirky container you bought on the cheap at a thrift store.

Then cash the change in for free at your bank – rather than one of those kiosks that charge a percentage of the total – and deposit immediately into savings or apply to a credit card you’re trying to pay off.

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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

Published by Debt.com, LLC