It's easy to imagine what will happen if you suggest ideas to your family about saving money using words like "sacrifice" and "cut back." Think your kids will light up with pleasure and embrace the challenge? Um, probably not. Nobody is thrilled with the idea of scrimping and giving up things they enjoy. But if you make the effort to save cash a challenge that requires teamwork and creativity, then the attitudes of family members -- not to mention results -- will likely be much better [source: Carlson].
According to Carlson of InCharge Debt Solutions, setting a goal to cut the electricity bill by 20 percent is a way to unleash your family's enthusiasm and competitiveness. "It's a way to get everyone on board," she says. "With that as a challenge, the kids will be running out to the meter [to count the kilowatt hours]." A reward, no matter how modest, for achieving specific and obtainable goals will also help keep everyone focused and enthusiastic.
Click to the next page to learn how to avoid those hunger pangs while keeping more dollars in your pocket.