fun money tips // vol. 3

in this post, i explained what a "fun money" budget is and why we use one, but just as a refresher: devin and i each get $75 every month for whatever the heck we want. you can't bother the other person on what they spent their money on, and if you go over, it gets taken out of next month. (likewise, if you spend less than the set amount, that also rolls over!)

Boost your budget with "fun money" and these tips for getting the most out of your set-aside spending money.

how to start: 

1. add up all your expenses for the month.
2. subtract your expenses from your monthly income.
3. decide how much to set aside in savings and as a tithe.
4. assess what a reasonable amount of "fun money" could be after saving and tithing.

suggestions for making it work:

+ look ahead at the month. what special events are coming up that you might want to save for? (i.e., a new easter dress, a friend's birthday gift, etc.)

+ watch out for lots of "little" purchases. whenever i see something i want for $5 or less (umm, everything in target's $1-5 section), i keep in mind that all the little things add up! i usually walk around the store with it until i'm ready to check out and if it still seems crucial, i keep it. if not, back on the shelf it goes!

+ is there something big that you want to get? save up a few month's "fun money" to put towards that purchase.

+ keep really good track of your spending, otherwise why even budget? i use the notes app on my phone to document all my fun money purchases.

+ give yourself grace the first month (but really try not to go over). it's hard to stick to a new structure for spending, and it takes some getting used to.

my march & april (so far!) spending looked like this: 
march: $75 + $7 rollover from february = $82
$20 lunch with a friend
$7 lunch with another friend
$7 rita's waterice and pretzels
$8.50 train ticket
$8 nail polish & mug at tj maxx
$10 spent at 5-below
$5 panera with a friend
$4 mascara thanks to a coupon!
$7 lunch with another friend

april: $75 + $15.50 rollover from march = $90.50
$1 onesie for aiden from a thrift store
$1 cute file folders at target
$22 date night beverage splurge ;)
$4 gardening things
$9.50 of something i forgot to write down what it was
$6 cute pots for my plants

how do you budget monthly expenses? have you ever tried tracking your "fun money"?

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