If your friend tells you they’re going on a budget, you might as well say goodbye. If they can’t afford to meet over drinks, hit the strip, or travel on the weekends, when will you see them?
It’s easy to think a budget puts a freeze on fun. The household budget has a reputation as a strict way to curb spending when, in reality, it’s simply a spending plan that helps you balance your needs with your wants.
While planning your spending is an effective way to boost your savings, it doesn’t mean you have to say no to all the fun things in life. There is a way to plan your budget, so you’re responsible with money without denying yourself.
Why Cutting out All Spending Might Not Work
An extreme budget — or one that eliminates all unnecessary spending — may work in the short-term, but this spending style can wear on you over time. It focuses all your attention on what you can’t do or buy — saying no to that flash online sale on sneakers, declining the invite to dinner with friends, or ignoring the pull of a cheap vacation.
Without fun in your budget, boredom rises. All you’re doing is paying bills and socking away the rest into saving. Eventually, you may start to pine for the good old days when you could enjoy yourself, and you may not be able to resist the temptation to splurge any longer.
Falling off the wagon like this encourages you to spend even more. You’ve already blown your budget. What’s the harm in a few more splurges?
If your spending goes unchecked, you can use up cash you need for other important things — like an emergency fund. Without regular contributions, your emergency fund may not be prepared when unexpected car trouble or health concerns arise.
When an unexpected emergency expense needs to be handled right away, you may apply for installment loans online. The loan specialists at MoneyKey encourage borrowers to research this option thoroughly before they apply, as it’s a big step for your finances. You can visit Moneykey.com to learn more about installment loans; you can even compare them to payday loans and line of credit loans.
Why is Fun an Important Element of Your Budget
Budgeting for fun helps balances the scales. You won’t be spending without prejudice, but you won’t be saving every dollar you earn either. It creates a happy medium that allows you to work towards goals without denying yourself.
The trick is to schedule your splurges carefully so that they don’t compromise your ability to pay the bills. Occasionally indulging in takeout or new shoes can help you stay motivated to stick with your budget.
How Much Fun Should You Budget For?
Every budget is unique, so the answer to this question is subjective. It depends on how much you make, your goals, and your financial concerns.
- If you have outstanding installment loans or student loans, these obligations should take priority.
- Someone who earns six figures may have more disposable income than someone earning minimum wage.
- If you’re planning to buy a new car, you may reduce your fun spending to boost your savings.
A budget’s balance is on a sliding scale that continually adjusts to your needs. Check-in with it often, so you can decide how much fun you can reasonably have while still reaching all your other financial targets. This way, you won’t have to say goodbye to friends or the fun things in life while on a budget.