This is week number 2 of the budget series….
Today I want to talk about one of the most important thing you should allocate some money to in your budget.
The Money Pie Method of Budgeting
This is a method of allocating your income to do specific jobs that are not all going on trips to the pub!
To remind yourself of all the money-pie categories, see here.
The “fun” category to add to your budget
In this money-pie-slice, you should aim to set aside 5-10% of your income every month. The rule is that you spend it only ON YOU! This is not giving to your kids, spending on your spouse or “saving it just in case”.
This is pure and unadulterated money for fun-things for YOU.
But what if you want to save it for something more substantial like a long weekend? I recommend going no longer than 12 weeks before you must spend this money.
Otherwise you’ll start to feel really depressed.
….Then the temptation to go out on a massive splurge will be too much and you’ll blow your budget on a credit-card fueled shopping binge.
It’s like dieting – restrict yourself too much and you’ll be as much fun to hang around as…….
The point of setting aside your own “allowance” of fun-money, is so that you have something set aside to pay for all the things you want to do (ESPECIALLY if its on your bucket list). If this initially funds trips to the cinema and/or massages with a mani-pedi every month, then so be it. Some people put these things in the “essentials” category of the pie (more on this another time). However, if you’re strapped for cash, it may be that for now, your fun-money goes on these items to give you a monthly boost.
*THIS IS YOUR PERMISSION TO SPEND MONEY GUILT FREE!!!!*
If, like me, you and your friends like to go away for weekends together, then this money is an absolute essential addition to your budget. There is nothing worse than being invited somewhere and you can’t go due to lack of funds. When money is less than free flowing, a little stash to dip into for treats for yourself can help you stay the course and pay off your debt/build up your savings! If you don’t, you’ll likely get fed up after month 6 and blow it all on a trip to the Caribbean (which is TOTALLY on my bucket list btw).
Having fun money is like having a monthly “treat day” or a “duvet day”. It’s essential to give you a well-rounded life-style. We all know that traditionally, budgeting can be BORING, because it can feel restrictive and makes no allowances for nice things, especially when you’re in debt. But if you know that 5-10% of it is purely for the things that you love, then it will give you the motivation to take more notice of your money (so that you can make sure you always have the budget for it!)
Learning to spend money guilt free
Remember that it is not meant for anyone else – this is what your gift account is for (see last week’s blog). If you have more disposable income, then you may want to reserve fun money for bigger things. For example, long weekends and health clubs would fit into this category. If you have less money, or find this idea too hard, then start with a small amount and work your way up.
A lot of women feel guilty about spending money on themselves, and find it much easier to spend on others instead. If this is you, then don’t worry. You have a naturally giving personality, which is so amazing, and definitely something to be proud of! But in order to be able to continue to give as you do, you often have to be a bit “selfish” and look after yourself. This is so you don’t eventually feel resentful because you have depleted yourself emotionally or financially.
This is not a bad thing. I repeat – THIS IS NOT A BAD THING!!
So what are you going to spend your “fun” money on this month? This weekend, I will be with my friends. We’ll be eat some great food, watch hilarious comedy and of course, drink prosecco.
Exactly what the doctor ordered.
Now here’s a question for you to add in the comments below – what’s the greatest challenge you have with this budget category?
Come and join the private Facebook group with weekly live money-sessions – we’re a friendly bunch of (mostly) women with one thing in common – we love to talk opening about money.
See you in there!