When in the Budgeting Trenches, Fun Fund to the Rescue!
People tend to focus strictly on their budget for several reasons; either they’re trying to downsize their debt load, they have a large ticket item they wish to purchase like a home or a vehicle, or they want to expedite retirement.
When in the budget trenches, it can get disheartening very quickly to know you’re working so hard yet have seemingly little to show for it. If this is where you find yourself, let us propose the “Fun Fund.”
What is a Fun Fund?
A Fun Fund is a little extra cash each month you set aside for yourself outside of bills, savings, and payments that you can spend on, well, whatever you consider fun! Whether you’re a dual income or single income household, each adult should have an account that they can draw from monthly in order to do something special for themselves. This keeps you from feeling completely burdened when mastering your household budget and tightening the reigns on your finances.
What isn’t Fun Fund?
When creating your Fun Fund, you need to know the boundaries you’re working with, otherwise, it could spiral out of control and derail your finances. A Fun Fund is not an excuse to just spend money on a whim. It must be strictly refined and adhered to, or it simply won’t work.
How much should be allocated to the Fun Fund?
This isn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone’s finances are different. While one household can afford a monthly Fun Fund of $100 or more, another might only want to consider allocating $25 a month to their fun spending. After you’ve created a strict budget that gets you to your financial goals in the timeframe you’d like, look at what’s left over in your monthly income. This will show you how much you can afford to set aside for a little fun.
Making purchases with a Fun Fund.
Now for the really fun part—determining what you’ll spend your Fun Fund on every month. This all depends on how you set up your finances. If you don’t already have a date night budget, clothing budget, and eating out budget, your answer will be fairly simple. If you do have these sections already worked into your budget, you’ll want to consider items like these as something that must come from the Fun Fund.
Examples of Fun Fund purchases may include:
- Mani/pedi or a spa day because your month has been that stressful.
- Movie tickets and concessions because it’s mid-week and super cheap.
- That really expensive but delicious local artisan dark chocolate bar.
- A coffee fill-up, or three, to get you through the week after rushing out of the house late, brushing right past your own perfectly working coffee pot.
- That antique china teacup and saucer that you really don’t need but you can’t stop thinking about.
- A bouquet of flowers for your table just because they’re cheery.
- Journals, notebooks, and books because everyone loves fresh pages.
- Crafting supplies because they were Buy One Get One and even though you may not need them, their bright colors and promises of untapped potential make you happy.
- The cart add-on to your game of golf because walking 18 holes after the day you’ve had does not sound fun.
- Tickets to (insert favorite sports team here) because, Yeah! Fun Fund!
- A subscription to your favorite magazine because so many ideas!
- A new (or fifth) plant for your office, bedside table, or kitchen because you love those little green babies.
- That latest iPhone game because your coworkers won’t stop blabbing about it (and it actually sounds pretty legit).
- A selfie stick because you know you look fly on that hiking/mountain biking trail.
You get the picture. If there’s something you’ve been eyeballing that makes you happy and doesn’t fit into another category within your budget, Fun Fund to the rescue! If your Fun Fund can’t cover your purchase this month, save it up. Wait until the following month and add your funds together to make that purchase! This way, budgeting becomes much less stressful when you have something fun and enjoyable to look forward to every month!