There is a saying “Life is too short not to have any fun.” I completely agree with that. After all, buying something you want just because makes you feel good. It makes all of those long hours of work with it. But, that doesn’t mean you get to skip the budget!
The truth is, no matter how you want to spend your money, you still need a budget. Sadly, there seems to be this belief that if you have a budget, you can’t do anything fun.
For whatever reason, people believe that budgets mean that you have to spend your money on everything that you don’t want to. If this is you, please put this myth out of your mind once and for all. Please.
Your budget is your money roadmap. It shows you how you will spend your money. But, the best part of all is that you are in charge of the navigation – not anyone else. There is room for fun in your budget.
When you have a budget, you get to be in control of your money, rather than your money controlling you. Here are the reasons you need to allow for fun in your budget.
HOW TO BUDGET AND STILL HAVE FUN
HOW DO I FIT FUN MONEY INTO MY BUDGET?
When you are listing the categories you need on your budget, make sure you include a line item for entertainment – or fun – spending. Just seeing that you get to spend money in this way, you will feel a bit better about building your budget.
Next, fill out the mandatory expenses sections. These include items such as your mortgage or rent, food, clothing, utilities, and transportation. Once you cover those expenses, add in your spending on the fun stuff!
The key is to make sure you include this line item – no matter how small an amount you have to spend – so you can get things you want. It may be a couple of morning coffee splurges or one night at the movie.
It is not so much about the amount you have to spend, but instead, the fact that you are giving yourself permission to spend it on what you want.
CAN I STILL DO THIS IF I AM PAYING OFF DEBT?
To be truthful, if you don’t allow yourself to spend some money on what you want – no matter your financial situation – you will hate it. You will become resentful of the process and give up before you ever get started.
If you are trying to get out of debt, you must include a way to spend a little money each payday on something fun. Look back at your budget and find the amounts you are now paying towards your debt. You might move a little from debt pay down to the having fun column.
Then, you need to get that fun money in cash. Plastic should not even be an option. You have to limit your spending and plastic can still allow for an overage, whereas using cash ensure you never spend more than you should. Ever.
It doesn’t have to be much. Even just $20 to spend on what you want can make you feel less like a slave to the process.
SHOULD EVERYONE BUDGET FUN MONEY?
As I stated above, if you don’t allow you to spend money on some of the things you want, you will grow extremely resentful, and may even feel deprived. That can leave you drained and you’ll throw the budget out the window and say that it isn’t worth it.
However, there are other reasons why it is a good idea to allow yourself to spend money on the things you want.
You often think twice before you make any purchase. If you have just $30 to spend, you make sure it is worth it. What would be better – a cup of coffee or dinner with a friend?
You might want to save for a couple of paydays and get those new shoes you’ve been dying to buy. Whatever the case, knowing you limit what you can buy helps you make sure it is worth the money.
When you have a limit to spend, you can also get a bit more creative. Rather than dinner out, you might plan a picnic in the park (or your living room by the fire in the winter). You can think outside of the box and find a way to have fun and limit your spending.
No matter where you are at in trying to reach your own financial goals, always allow yourself to have a bit of fun with your money. You’ll feel better, and as a bonus, you’ll finally make your budget work.