March is here and so is our nation’s favorite college sports event: March Madness!
For those of you who don’t know what this is (where have
you been?!), March Madness is the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball single-elimination tournament, played each spring. This year 68 college basketball teams will compete for the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was dreamed up by Ohio State University coach Harold Olsen. Known informally as March Madness, the tournament has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States.
As your favorite college athletes are playing the most important game of their career, why not take advantage of that energizing competition to make a tournament of your own? We’ve got some ideas for turning March into your season to save, using one of the most powerful motivators:
We’ve drafted our favorite picks for taking your money-management and saving game to the next level by making it a friendly competition. Whether you’re competing with yourself, your partner, or a group of friends equally interested in saving, try out a few of these and watch yourself throw down that money-saving dunk you never thought possible.
1. Compete not to eat out. First one to spend money at a restaurant loses.
2. See who can spend the least money in a day. If no one in your group spends money the first day, raise the stakes and try two or three!
3. See how long you can go without buying anything “new.” Hit up the thrift stores, eBay, garage sales, etc. (with superstar moderation obviously).
4. See how much you can earn by selling stuff on craigslist. Put up a post for everything you haven’t used in a year and watch the money (and extra space in your home) roll in.
5. Challenge your neighbors to a gas-saving competition. Bust out those bikes, try a new carpool or check out your city’s public transportation.
6. Try to cut more out of your utility bill than your close friends. Turn those lights off when you’re not in the room, watch your heat/air conditioning usage, and if it’s yellow, let it mellow like Carmelo.
7. Make every game day a “no spend” day and see who can keep to it. First one to spend has to take a lap around the block.
8. Race to a settlement. See how much time you can cut off your time to debt settlement completion by putting more aside than your plan requires.
9. Ruthlessly cut expenses. See how many extra goods and services you can cut out of your budget.
10. Play “who can earn more?” in a weekend. See if you can take on extra side projects, mow lawns, help out with someone’s spring-cleaning, or work some overtime hours.
11. Try a healthy eating challenge with your friends. This actually does affect your finances! When you’re
healthy, you’re less likely to have expensive medical problems in the future, you’ll take fewer sick days. etc.
12. Host a March budget bash! Get together with your best people, exchange budgeting resources and tips, and use the positive power of peer pressure to make a plan for your own spending.