Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Fun Money is one of the best financial rules we have instituted in our marriage. Every month, part of our budget includes "Fun Money" for me and Chris. For us, it's $20 each, but you can decide on an amount that works for you and your budget. So at the beginning of each month we each take $20 and that is money that we can each blow however we want!
No, $20 is not a lot of money! Chris usually uses his on fitness equipment and mine usually goes toward clothes or Starbucks runs. If we want something more expensive, we'll save our Fun Money for a few months.
For us, Fun Money accomplishes a couple of things. One, it gives us a little freedom in our super-tight budget. For example, our budget includes $20/month for clothing expenses, but that does not go very far in a family of 4. I really enjoy buying new clothes, but the Clothing Budget is for NEEDS not wants. When I just want to buy another shirt because I want to buy another shirt, I use my Fun Money. There's a little wiggle worm for both of us to get and do things we just want to get and do. This keeps us sane, really. It helps us stick to our budget because we don't a.) deprive ourselves for months on end of ever being able to buy something fun, and b.) blow too much because we don't have a set limit.
The other thing Fun Money accomplishes is a little independence. I don't have to run things by Chris when I want to spend my Fun Money. We don't have to agree on the uses of our Fun Money or even tell each other how we used it. I hear of so many couples fighting because they don't agree with the ways their partner spends money. But with Fun Money, IT DOESN'T MATTER! There's a little cash each month that you don't have to agree with your partner on. You just do whatever you want with it.
Fun Money is such a simple idea, but I really do think it contributes to our ability to stick to our budget because we aren't completely deprived of the freedom to just blow some money sometimes. I also think it helps us not fight about money because each month we can do a little spending that doesn't have to be approved by our partner.
What financial "rule" helps you and your family?