It is important to track our spending so we know how to adjust our budget. Sticking to a budget takes a lot of discipline and determination. It will also help us reach our financial goals faster. With this description, budgeting may sound like a dreary process. With mostly people’s budget going to expenses, is there a more rewarding way to budget our money? Actually, there is!
While most of our income goes to our living expenses, we should also make a budget for fun and play. A “play fund” or “fun money” is what you use to indulge in things that you enjoy. This includes purchases that you do on impulse without ruining your monthly budget for the important things.
We Shouldn’t Deprive Ourselves
Sticking to a budget can be difficult at first. You may feel like you’re just working to pay off bills and life is no fun at all. Have you experienced craving for a specific food item but you can’t find it anywhere? Then you ended up overeating on other food items instead? The same thing will happen if you deprive yourself of some fun; you will feel so deprived that you end up over indulging in whatever takes your fancy at the moment. Setting aside fun money in your budget ensures that you don’t go overboard with indulging yourself. Think of it as a little reward for sticking to your major budget goals.
Another advantage of having fun money or play money in your budget is that you don’t feel guilty about it. This is because you know that you’ve taken care of the major, more important stuff already.
Most of the time, we regret buying something on impulse. We know we have to make up for it on our next paycheck. We end up having to scrimp on the other items on our budget to seal the money leak. If you’re spending on what you like without the guilt, then you can truly enjoy the experience to the fullest.
Setting a Limit, Encouraging Discipline
Having a budget for everything means that you also set a limit on your spending. That’s why it is important to put everything in your budget including fun money. It makes it easier to track your spending. It also ensures that you don’t spend over what you can actually afford to pay with your actual income.
There is a saying that goes, “If you can’t buy it twice, then you can’t afford it.” So if that favorite pair of sneakers (even though you already have several pairs) has a price tag that’s way beyond your fun budget, then you need to discipline yourself to assess if you really need it or to save this month’s budget and add it to next month’s fun budget so you can afford the price.
Remember though that fun money in your budget is not your emergency fund. Household items that you actually need at home do not go under this budget. A fun budget is for things that you don’t indulge in regularly; things that you only do when the mood strikes you. These include experiences that you want to enjoy from time to time. Your fun budget can include a manicure and pedicure, a massage, trying out a new restaurant, or getting yourself coffee from your favorite cafe.
Of course, not everybody’s budget is the same. For some people, their fun money may be used for travel or gadgets to supplement a hobby. Your fun budget should just be enough to allow you to have fun experiences without living beyond your means.
Do you have fun money in your budget? What would you like to spend it on?