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Old 03-11-2009, 10:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Saving money: The games people play

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View: Live A Raise Behind Game
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Live A Raise Behind Game
Live A Raise Behind Game
Most people who receive a raise in income will quickly adjust their lifestyle to incorporate that raise into their standard of living. The "live a raise behind game" is an excellent way to save money before you become accustomed to your new income level.

This game is fairly simple. When you get an income increase of any kind, instead of adjusting your spending up to your new income level, you continue to live on your previous income. You place the income increase into your savings account or against credit card debt.

For example, if you're earning $2,000 a month and get a $100 a month raise to earn $2,100 a month, you'd continue to budget as if you were only earning $2,000 a month. Then if at a later date you get a raise of $250, you'd budget your living on $2,100 with the $250 going to savings or credit card debt. This way you're always living on the money from one raise behind.

To make this game work, most people need to set up a system where the extra money is taken out of their normal spending account and placed in an area where they won't spend it. When the money is mixed into your regular spending account, it'll more than likely get spent.

There are a number of ways to do this. Probably the best is to set up a banking account where you direct deposit your paycheck and then have a specified amount automatically sent to your credit card company or retirement savings account. You can set up an account with this service at most banks or credit unions.

By learning to live on a paycheck behind, you'll put into place a system where you'll save hundreds of dollars a year without even noticing it.
This is one of the many games that I play in order to save money. I don't think that I've really seen a raise in almost 10 years. Every raise, promotion, windfall of cash (tax refund, bonus) all were skipped as lifestyle increasers. I may have bought something small to mark the event, but for the most part, it is money put away into savings.

Here's a list of other games that I play in order to save. I do use a few others, what do you play in order to help make saving fun and interesting?

Save Money Games - Continue Payment Game
Save Money Games - Never Seen Never Missed Game
Save Money Games - 1 Dollar Spending Game
Save Money Games - No Spend Day Game
Save Money Games - Share The Burden Game
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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"Live below your means" is the most simple economic lesson of all, but I like the idea of living at your previous, lower pay-grade. It's surely something you're already accustomed to, so it can't be that difficult. When did people forget how to save?
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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when they got debts!

credit cards are a killer.

a few years ago i wouldnt spend more than what i earnt for that day. some days i didnt spend anything.

if i needed to spend more than what i earnt for that day, id get what i needed over a few days, and that kept me from reaching my threashold of what i earnt for the day.

helps with the cashflow, as well as the fact that it stretches your spending out until your nexy paycheck.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've gotten along quite well for my first quarter-century of life without a credit card or any type of personal loan. When Magpie and I started co-habitating we decided to get a credit card, primarily for online shopping. We have one between the two of us, in her name.

She also has a Sears card, but it's for the same purpose. Apparently, in order to shop from Sears by mail order, you have to have one of their cards, and she likes some of their clothes. I don't anticipate using that one.

We don't carry a balance on either card.

My game? Living intentionally paycheque to paycheque. I make more than I spend, but when payday rolls around I move any excess to my savings account. What I got on my paycheque is what I have until the next one.

It works well for me. Moving funds to my savings account makes them less visible, which removes temptation.

I also find it helps to have goals. I'm currently saving for some new gear for recording, as well as for a new truck.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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if you need to spend something that costs more than your paycheck, how do you go about it without touching your savings?
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It rarely happens. If it does, well, that's part of what the savings are for. In the event that I should have a large unexpected expense, I'll use my savings to cover it.

I don't have a vehicle at the moment, I live in an apartment and I have both OHIP and an excellent private insurance plan to cover the things OHIP doesn't (vision, dental and prescriptions, mainly). The odds of me having an expense big enough to eat up all of my disposable income with the kind of urgency that requires me to cover it immediately are pretty slim.

When I get my truck, I'll start putting money aside for maintenance costs.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The "Continue Payment" game worked for me, along with payroll savings that I increased with a portion of any raises I received over the years. If you can manage to make payments on a loan and live with the weekly paycheck, then try to put away whatever you can for the future.
Last November I was forced into retirement. At first I was upset that the paycheck would stop and with the economy the way it is, finding another job right now isn't easy. When I went to my investment counselor, he laughed and told me it was time to start cashing in on my savings. It is like found money, been putting it away for so long and really didn't pay attention to what was there.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My personal favorite is the "Hide the Checkbook From the Wife" game.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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yeah that'd work!

when i was still at university and didnt have much money, when i filled up my car i'd clench the handle on the nozzle and then release it, then keep repeating that until i had a full tank...and i'd keep doing it. i found that id get 5-10% more petrol than if i just filled up normally.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The game that has worked for me is the dont use credit game. If you dont have the chash you dont buy it.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I skip the drink. I eat out enough that it really makes a difference to just have water instead of spending $2-$4 for a drink of flavored water. Every two or three sodas or coffees that I don't buy pays for a cheap lunch (or a rib steak at the grocery store.)

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Last edited by Lindy; 04-16-2009 at 05:05 PM..
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Martian, you should start putting some of that leftover money into an RRSP instead of just a savings account. There are also some new tax free savings accounts that the Canadian government has implemented.

My trick is to have a budget and to stick to it. I have a set amount that I put into savings every month and it goes there before I can spend it. I also don't spend more than I earn.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I put half of my earnings into a joint account with my wife. And she's really conservative with money. With my half of the money, I pay off any recurring monthly charges (gas paid for with credit card, gym membership, student loans), and then any left over money I split in half again, with one half going into my savings account and the other half going into my "fun fund". I make so little money that I really don't ever have money to do anything with my own money... I pay off my credit card in balance at the end of each month...

---------- Post added at 09:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:20 AM ----------

I guess, when I analyze it. I ought to get a second credit card, so that I purchase "personal necessities" with one credit card and "personal fun items" with the other card. And then I ought to pay the two cards out of two separate accounts. All these accounts, though, they are already a headache to deal with. I don't know if I want to create more...
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