Budgeting can be hard. Not only do you need to pay your monthly expenses, but there are other things you need to worry about saving for. For instance, everyone should start saving for their retirement as soon as possible. You should also save for emergencies (you don’t want a broken-down car to mean you lose your job), and you also need to save for big purchases like the down deposit on your house. Between all of this, how can anyone realistically budget for fun in their life?
The secret is this: by prioritizing the fun in your life. Saving money doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy our lives today. You need to make living worthwhile at all times, because the sad fact is that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Anything can happen, which is why you need to enjoy today. To balance saving for the future and having fun in the present, follow these easy steps:
1. Track Your Spending
Keep track of your spending habits so that you know exactly where your monthly budget is going. Money for your savings (for retirement, for a down payment, or for your emergency savings) should be taken off your paychecks first. That way you’re only left with your monthly budget. It’s in your monthly budget that you’ll find more money to do fun things. First, however, you need to know where your monthly budget is going.
2. Cut Out Needless Spending
Once you have a detailed list of what you spend your monthly budget on, you can get to work to find money for fun activities. First, sort out what must be paid immediately and what doesn’t. You should next sort through necessary but variable spending, such as food. The last batch of purchases will be the needless costs you accumulate. Know where your money is going so you can find cheaper alternatives.
3. Find Cheaper Alternatives
There are so many ways to save on your monthly budget. For instance, though your rent and utility bills need to be paid, you can make these monthly costs cheaper by either using less energy or moving to a cheaper apartment. You can also cut down on your grocery costs by shopping sale items, buying in bulk or otherwise choosing the cheaper alternative. Cooking solely at home for all your meals will also save you money.
4. Budget for Fun (and Save)
Once you’ve reduced your monthly costs, you can then use the rest of your budget for fun activities. These activities should be spent with friends. Go out on a dinner date, go to Ticket Sales and get tickets for a concert, go on a trip, or even plan a party. This money is yours to do with as you please. Be smart, however – spread it out throughout the month so that you can always have something fun to look forward to.
Budgeting for fun means shuffling around and changing your monthly budget. It doesn’t mean stopping your savings or even going into debt. Know where your money is going, know the alternatives, and always look for deals and discounts before you purchase anything. Doing this will give you space in your monthly budget solely for fun activities.