You need yourself some fun money. Because spending money is f*king FUN!
And it’s why I recommend spending more of your money.
Having fun money to blow on whatever you want is important. Why?
Because it gives you something to look forward to and helps you stick with your long-term money goals.
Because if you’re always trying to save every penny, you’ll eventually get bored. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Fun money and good money-management habits will give you more freedom than ever.
What Exactly is Fun Money?
Fun money is the money you spend on having fun…
This money pays for things that aren’t “essential.”
You know, food, water, shelter, insurance, transportation.
Fun money is used to enjoy life.
It’s what pays for your guilty pleasure, hobbies, treats, dining out, travel, special occasions, and so on.
I put quotations around “essential” costs above because the money we do end up setting aside for enjoyment is, of course, just as important.
And essential as well.
At least for me. Using money to ONLY pay for bills is soul-sucking.
Because let’s face it you want and need to live a little. Have some fun and create some memories.
Take care of your mental health.
We need acts of self-care to keep us sane. Whether that’s throwing a big ass cookout, booking that getaway, or buying a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.
And it’s why fun money’s a beautiful concept.
It’s pretty straightforward – spend your money on experiences and things that bring you joy.
But, there are some other useful ways to define what fun money is. What it isn’t.
And the benefits of using it the right way.
For example, when managed the correctly, fun money can help you:
- Stick to your budget by giving every dollar a job
- Spend when you feel like it
- Save up for big splurges
- Avoid accidental over-spending
- Fight the guilt that sometimes comes with spending money on yourself
Having fun money saved up and set aside can help you to control your spending.
And when you are ready, it will give you some freedom to spend on what you want.
What Fun Money Isn’t
All money isn’t fun money.
Sure, fun money gives you some freedom to spend on the things you want. But it would be best if you didn’t go on a shopping spree.
Just because you think you can blow all your money.
Because fun money works best when you follow one crucial rule: each month, you can only spend a pre-determined amount of money.
The money you have set aside.
Money that’ll give you a huge amount of freedom over the what, when, and where you’d like to spend it.
Note: this is about spending within limits.
You shouldn’t be taking out money from your main account – or any other money “bucket” – to pay for something.
You can, of course, save up your fun money for bigger purchases. But remember this: when it’s gone, it’s gone!
Don’t mistake your fun money account for other bills and regular
For example, if you eat out frequently, use another bucket to pay for this.
Positivity and Guilt-Free Spending
We’ve all experienced feelings of guilt that can immediately follow the rush you feel after making an “oh, just go for it” purchase.
It can be some new clothes, concert tickets, food delivery, an Xbox or Playstation game or (insert your example here).
Fun money removes the guilt from randomly treating yourself. Because money has already been set aside for these very situations.
But what if I told you spending shouldn’t feel bad? It should feel empowering.
This is known as having a positive money mindset.
And it’s all about balance; between budgeting, saving, treating yourself, and money flowing into and out of your life.
Fun money is what helps create this balance.
Because budgeting by itself is boring, it’s restrictive and leads to focusing on what you don’t have rather than what you do.
However, with fun money saved up and set aside the focus shifts.
It becomes more about what you absolutely can, and should, start spending on yourself.
Imagine starting off January with your new year’s resolution to become a runner.
If you start running every day and don’t give yourself a day off, you’re going to run out of steam pretty quickly.
You’re going to get so exhausted you end up on the couch somehow.
Unable to move for days on end!
Now imagine adjusting your goal to running 3-4 times a week. And taking the remaining days off.
With a schedule like this, you’re much more likely to stick to and maintain your goal.
Because in life, we need this give-and-take. So we can continue to be consistent.
And fun money provides something similar. It makes sticking to your long-term goals easier.
Because like running, the important days off and spending free us from constantly worrying about our budget and goals.
And with fun money, you’re more likely to practice self-control when it comes to spending …
Plus, sticking to your goals while spending on a few things you really, really want is a win-win!
Money and Fighting With Your Significant Other
There’s just no escaping this fact – in relationships, money can cause a lot of problems.
In fact, research has shown money is the biggest cause of arguments for couples. Because money is everything.
And disagreements happen.
Especially when one partner spends more money than the other from their joint account. Yikes!
So how can having fun money set aside help in a situation like this?
Well… setting up two separate accounts for each to spend on whatever the hell they want means both partners are now responsible for their own spending.
All they have to do is agree on how much will go into each of their fun money accounts each month.
That way, if one decides to splurge, this won’t affect the amount of money the other has in their joint account. Or their fun money activities.
Remember, the key here is that you have to set up separate fun money buckets.
Maintaining some financial independence, like this, even if small, is a very healthy thing.
Freedom, Freedom, Freedom!
We’ve already touched on this above, but I want to emphasize that budgeting fun money isn’t as restrictive as other budgeting methods.
You have the freedom each month to spend or not to spend.
And whatever you decide NOT to spend rolls over each and every month.
Just set aside enough fun money for those unplanned purchases because we all need to treat ourselves.
How Much Should I Budget?
There simply is no hard-line answer here.
It’ll depend on a number of different factors, such as your:
- Expenses (e.g., rent, bills)
- Other priorities (e.g., saving for a vacation)
So be realistic about what you can happily and consistently save. And remember finding a balance between saving and treating yourself is important!
Want more specific guidance?
Most “experts” recommend allocating 10% of your monthly net pay.
But I’d say use this number as a suggestion rather than a fixed rule. After all, advice varies.
And many other experts say 20-30% is the magic number.
Just research your own spending patterns. And then commit to a percentage. Over time, you can challenge yourself and reduce this amount.
But after four months, I recommend checking in on your spending. And reexamining things.
This gives you time to identify areas you don’t want to spend.
And pick up on trends and discover other areas you’d like to spend more money on instead.
Setting Up Your Fun Money Bucket
When we talk about separate money accounts, as we have been throughout, it allows us to start thinking of every dollar we earn as having an assigned job.
Setting up different “buckets” for all incoming money is the key to achieving a zero-based budget.
Zero-based budgeting is where your
And for the hardcore budgeter, this is the goal.
It means that each month 100% of your
How do you turn this into a reality?
Easy, set up your money buckets like a pro. And the rest will take care of itself!
Remember the total percentage of all your buckets should equal 100% of your
Start With The Basics:
- Bill Bucket
- Savings Bucket
- Fun Money Bucket
Questioning if creating separate accounts is really necessary?
Welp, going through the effort at the beginning to set up these buckets makes life much easier down the line.
There will be no accidental over-looking and over-spending from one account.
And as you become an expert at budgeting money, you can further separate your money between more buckets.
This will come with time.
But first, you need to track and perfect the right amount of money you want to set aside.
Managing Your Money Like a Pro
Is all this budgeting talks sounding a bit intimidating?
But this is why fun money is important. It will create a positive relationship between you and your money.
Because setting aside money just for enjoyment in life is a great thing. And it should not create fear. Or cause you any stress!
Plus, I’ve got good news. There are plenty of apps designed to make managing your money easy.
Here Are a Few Apps I Recommend:
- EveryDollar or YNAB: for zero-based budgeting
- Mint: for automatically categorizing purchases
- PocketGuard: for a connected overview of your accounts
- Personal Capital: for viewing your different buckets and transactions
Making More Fun Money
If your fun money budget is small, why not explore new ways to make those dollars go a bit further?
Tips on Growing Your Fun Money Account:
- Shop at thrift stores and buy pre-owned clothes
- Compare your local supermarkets, then shop at the budget-friendly one
- Instead of going out for drinks, have drinks at home
- Choose public transportation over driving
- When the weather’s good instead of dining out, go for a picnic
- Keep an eye out for discounts
You may even discover some new hobbies.
But there are lots of different ways to entertain yourself. Many of which don’t require spending money from your fun money account.
For Example, Here are Some Free Activities:
- Nature Walks or Walks Around Your Block
- BYOB Nights With Friends
- Self-Pampering Sessions
- Home DIY Projects
- Game Night or Movie Night At Home
Just get creative with your frugality. That way, you can spend your fun money on experiences you really value.
And make the most of your fun money!
Conclusion – Why You Need Fun Money
Setting aside fun money is a great idea.
Doing so will help you reach and stick to your financial goals. And help you stay sane along the way.
Because no matter how big your saving ambitions are, we all deserve and need some fun once in a while.