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Why You Need Some Fun Money in Your Budget

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/fun-money-in-budget

daveramsey.com

Why You Need Some Fun Money in Your Budget
Budgeting You work hard for your money. You've got money goals-and you're knocking them out one monthly budget at a time. On top of it all, when your friends ask you to join them for dinner and concerts every weekend, you're now a pro at knowing when to say, "It's not in the budget."

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Fun Money

In a 'zero-based' budget, where we are putting every dollar to work for us, we have to put aside some 'fun money', a budget line for our fun activities, like a fancy cappuccino or the new shoes we...

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Plan For Some Fun

A budget isn't about restrictions or a speed breaker to your freedom, but a way to plan for your freedom and fun, responsibly.

When you have every aspect of your financial life and goals pla...

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Your Fun Mileage May Vary

Each one of us has different levels of income, debt, and savings goals.

If one is new to budgeting and has limited resources, it is prudent to keep the fun money to a bare minimum. It is als...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

A Monthly Budget For Your Money

No matter how little or how much money you earn, creating a monthly budget is one of the most important aspects of managing your finances. What gets measured gets managed.

Having a budget doesn't stop you from spending money the way you want it to, but works like a partner to track your spending and allocating resources to help you reach your financial goals.

The Envelope System

The Envelope system is a way to track your variable expenses like food, entertainment, and drinks.

This method, preferably used weekly, allocates a certain amount in each category in labeled envelopes (food, drinks, movies, etc.). Once the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category.

How to Create a Good Budget

The principles that make a good budget, something you can stick to:

  • Being Realistic: Being too strict is a recipe for failure.
  • Making Adjustments: A budget is not set in stone, but a fluid thing.
  • A Team Sport: If you live with a partner or spouse, you have to agree mutually on how to budget the financials.
  • Expect the Unexpected: Keep an emergency fund, ideally 3-6 months of necessary expenses.
  • Budgeting the Expected: Certain upcoming expenses need to be budgeted in advance, like property tax, holiday shopping, etc.

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Common budgeting mistakes

  1. Not Tracking Expenses: it's impossible to stick to your budget if you don't know where your money is going.
  2. Buying on Impulse: Impulse buying is expensive. 
  3. Becoming the Victim of Budget Busters.
  4. Being So Frugal It Makes You Miserable: you’ll binge later and throw all your hard work out the window. 
  5. Trying to Do Everything as Inexpensively as Possible.
  6. Not Asking for Help.

Tracking expenses

One of the ugly truths about budgeting is that when you keep track of your expenses, it’s painfully clear when you’ve gone off track. 

Write it down when you’ve gone over your budget. The negativity you feel will help prevent you from overspending more or doing it again. Just think of this step as damage control.

Being frugal and miserable

If you try to deprive yourself too much, you’ll binge later and throw all your hard work out the window. 

A spending binge can set you back far more than treating yourself occasionally, so go for the occasional minor splurge. Just keep your treats within your spending limits and you’ll be fine.

Typical Budgeting is Flawed

Typical regular budgeting methods assume that just by allotting limited money to a particular expense type (like groceries) is enough for us to spend less and balance our budget instantly.

This suddenly asks us to curb our lifestyle by focusing on everything at once, instead of a step-by-step approach. We normally fail at this 'ideal' method and need a realistic way to deal with our budget.

The Reverse Budget

A Reverse Budget looks at your current lifestyle and makes slow improvements over time until things are sufficiently better.

We look at how much we are spending eating out, commuting and daily indulgences and see the past quarter trends using your credit card and bank account spending.

The Two Approaches using Trends

When you look at our past spending patterns and trends, you can select one or two categories to focus and use one of these two approaches:

  1. Tackle the high-dollar impact areas like housing, fuel, food, or healthcare, and see if those can be cut down to some extent.
  2. Focus first on your 'disposable money' expenses like eating out, and entertainment and curbing those, gradually.