Shopping Your Way Out of Debt

December 1, 2006

Do you have trouble reducing your debt because you love to shop? If so, this article may be for you!

We all love a little friendly competition. Below are the rules for a shopping game that will help you spend less money as you shop and give you more money to pay off debt!

Find a friend that is also on a mission to cut their spending. It often works best when it’s someone you live with such as a spouse, significant other, or roommate.


1) Each player picks one item that they REALLY want to buy.

2) Each player makes a list of all the things they spent money on in the last month and how much each item cost.

3) For the next month, each player has to find ways to buy the items in their list for a lower price.

At the end of the month, the total money saved by each player is totaled up. Whichever player saved the most money wins the prize! The prize is the one item that the player listed in the beginning that they REALLY wanted to buy. The losing player has to pay a certain percentage of the cost of the prize; the percentage is to be agreed on by both players before the game begins.

Debt Reduction
The title of this article is “Shopping Your Way Out of Debt”. We’ve talked about the shopping part, where is the debt part? Well all the money that you save, minus the cost of the prize, goes towards reducing your debt. Obviously, the cost of the prize should be proportionate to the amount you save or you won’t save any money and won’t be reducing your debt.

Things to Consider
This game works best when played for multiple months in a row. This gives each player a chance to win, helps build the habit of frugal shopping, and of course, helps save more money. It is also recommended that the players choose a 3rd party to moderate any disputes.

Why It Works
Motivation through Competition. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself. Nothing gets us going like a little friendly competition. Who wants to spend part of the money they saved on someone else’s wish list? Not me! So save away to come out on top.

Frugality Habits. While you might not normally try and get the best deal on everything you buy, this game will create a spending reflex. In the drive to win, you’ll create a habit of frugality.

What are you waiting for? Game On!


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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