May 9, 2022

Gamify Your Financial Goals

Valerie Mellema
Fortune 500 Editorial Contributor

We talked about the importance of financial goals in an earlier article. We discussed how to set them and the importance of coming up with a plan to reach them accordingly. Now, we want to introduce you to a great way to make it even easier for you to reach your goals: gamification. 

While it might sound like a fancy word, gamification is exactly what you think: turning things into a game, such as eLearning, or in this case, goal achievement. So, how can you do this with your own goals? It’s a unique process for everyone, but we’ll cover the basics to help you get started. 

Define Your Goals and Your “Game” 

Before you can play a game, you have to know the rules and the parameters. What makes a winner? What makes a loser? How are “points” accumulated? Look at your goals the same way. 

  • What is the ultimate goal you want to reach?
  • What smaller goals will you need to create along the way?
  • What rewards come with each milestone?
  • How will you track your success and your rewards?

Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll be much more prepared to create a game out of your financial goals. You can choose to collect points for goals accomplished, reward yourself for milestone goals and even micro-accomplishments (with coordinating micro-rewards, naturally), or gamify your goals in any other way that is appealing to you. 

Perhaps you’re into craft breweries and there’s a new one in town. Meet your savings goal of X amount of dollars in X amount of time, and you can treat yourself and check out the new brews with a bit of your savings. This is just one example of how you can go about gamifying your own goals. If you aren’t as creative or simply don’t want (or have the time) to put in the effort, there is another way. 

Gamification Apps 

The app market is the first place many people turn for the tools and resources that they need. Everyone loves the idea that there’s an app for whatever they need, including goal setting and gamification. A simple Internet search for gamification and goals returns apps and tools like:

  • Habitica
  • Todoist
  • Forest
  • Mint
  • Duolingo
  • Yousician
  • Fitocracy
  • EpicWin
  • SuperBetter

All of these apps take a unique approach to gamifying goals, habits, and other aspects of daily life to keep people engaged and help everyone achieve more than ever before. And the market is constantly growing, so there will likely be dozens more apps to come, as well. 

You can even customize the parameters and goals on these apps and engage in different communities and networks of users, giving you real people to hold you accountable, and vice versa. That kind of support offers an all-around approach that will make it that much easier to reach your financial goals. 

Why Gamification?

Of course, there’s always going to be someone who still wants to know why this is the way to go. Gamification is the best route for your financial goals because it works. It makes things fun, gives you something to look forward to, and it helps you break down big goals into much smaller pieces. 

When you gamify your financial goals, it feels a lot less like work because you’re working toward your goal and a reward for reaching certain goals and milestones. People who are into gaming, or even those who have a competitive spirit, will find that gamification is great for several areas of life, including financial goals and other accomplishments. 

Some people choose to gamify their whole lives and become the most hardcore player in the game. They achieve big goals and strive to be the best, spending hours each day on their abilities so that they can beat the game. In this case, the “game” is life and it’s one that you can conquer, too, if you set yourself up for success and gamify the things that you want to achieve. 

Track Your Progress

Don’t forget that a part of this includes tracking your progress as you go along. You can’t reward yourself for milestones or accomplishments if you don’t know when they occur or if you’ve met the goals yet. There are several tools that you can use, even if you choose to go your own way with gamification, that will make it easy for you to track how you’re doing with your goals. When you see little signs of progress, you’ll want to continue to create new goals and games to keep yourself engaged so that you can keep getting better. 

Whether you’re trying to save for a house, start a business, or send your kids to college, reaching financial goals by just setting money aside can seem like an insurmountable battle. Take the time to turn saving, spending, and financial responsibility into a game and watch how much you learn and grow. 

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