How to Use a FUN Budget
The words Budget and Fun are rarely used together.
What people don’t realize, however, is that having a FUN Budget can stop buyers remorse in its tracks.
How Much Can You Spend on Fun?
The first thing you need to do is take a look at your current financial situation, and determine how much you can afford to spend on fun each month. No two fun budgets will be the same, so only use numbers for your specific situation.
There are two ways you can determine your fun budget:
- Work backwards using a traditional budget method
- Use percentages
Option #1 – Working Backwards
Your first step for this method is to use a budget spreadsheet in excel. You can search for one you like, or you can use one of Excel’s templates. They all do pretty much the same thing.
Open the spreadsheet of your choosing and input your expenses:
- Rent or Mortgage
- Regular Bills
- Other regular expenses such as food
Once you have the basics in there, input the monthly amounts you contribute to your savings goals.
Now look at how much money is left over – allocate this money to your priorities and FUN should be one of them!
Option #2 – Using Percentages
Many people rely on percentages for their budgeting needs. That’s where people get advice such as “never spend more than 30% of your income on housing” and others like that. I personally don’t use the percentage method, but it works for some people.
Depending on how you use percentages for your other expenses, you should be left with anywhere from 10% to 20% of your income dedicated to FUN.
How Can You Stick to Your Fun Budget?
It’s one thing to allocate $150 to fun each month, but it’s another to stop once you’ve reached the $150.
Here are a couple of options to choose from to help you stick to your fun budget.
Option #1 Track Your Spending
Use An App
I personally use ‘Mint’ as my budget app of choice. It connects right to your bank accounts and credit cards and will monitor your spending for you. It’s incredibly secure and made my the same people that make Quickbooks and Turbo Tax.
Mint can send you email reminders that say something like “You’ve exceeded your fun budget this month” – not a very fun email to receive, but you’ll get the hint!
Use a Spreadsheet
Don’t trust technology? That’s fine – use a spreadsheet. Just keep track of what you’ve spent and how much you have left. EASY!
Use a Pen and Paper
Now we’re really old school, but who cares? If it works for you, why not?
How to Have the Most Fun
It’s not the size of your budget that determines the amount of fun you have. It’s how you use it.
At least now you’ll be able to spend more time having fun and less time worrying if you can afford it.