Author Topic: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?  (Read 16057 times)

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #50 on: March 16, 2016, 12:55:24 PM »
Our "fun money" is by category instead of by person.

Monthly:
115 for activities  (such as movies and museums)
50 for things        (such as books)
100 for pocket-cash   (walking-around money)

So I guess that's $132/pp. 

We budget separately for eating out and travel.

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Tigerpine

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #51 on: March 16, 2016, 06:45:45 PM »
I don't have "fun" money per se.  Instead, I have "Other" money in my budget, under which "fun" would fall.  Nominally it's $200, but in practice I rarely use more than maybe $30 for entertainment, etc.

It's intended to be a "shock absorber" for my budget, really.  It's my first level of defense against the unexpected.

I mean, you never know when the need for the occasional movie, beer run, etc., will arise!

Kaydedid

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #52 on: March 16, 2016, 07:00:40 PM »
How much do you currently spend on fun things?

We didn't put hard numbers to 'fun money' until we started tracking all spending.  It was eye opening to see what we really spent.  From there, we decided we'd like to reduce it, and set lower and lower goals.  The end goal is to not need a budget anymore to rein in spending (which we've achieved), but it took time and effort to work our way there.

sonjak

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #53 on: March 16, 2016, 07:30:49 PM »
I"m trying something a little different this year.  I took my bonus (about $1300 net) and put that in my secondary checking account.  I use that for all discretionary spending - so basically fun stuff, eating out, giving, decorations for home, etc.  I needed to get a hair cut for some shaping in the back that I didn't feel confident doing and that was a need so regular account spending, but if I get some funky color highlights sometime this year, that's a want and will come from that account.

I really wanted to try something that would make me more mindful of my spending.  I am saving at a fairly high rate right off the top and am debt-free so I would find myself spending more than I planned or just not feeling I really got the enjoyment out of the spending that I thought I would on things I didn't really need because I felt I could afford it.  Example: gifts.  I'm still happy to buy gifts but I'm less likely to REALLY spoil my nieces this way because I  know I'm choosing not to spend that limited account on something else.  Another example, if I'm grocery shopping and I want to buy cookies, I know I need to pay for them separately because this is a want.  If I'm buying ingredients to make cookies, that's a regular grocery charge.  This is arbitrary based on my goals: it's helping me make less expensive/healthier choices (and motivating me because I often don't want the hassle of paying with two cards), in keeping with my values and goals (I like to bake but sometimes get lazy or forget that I find it relaxing/rewarding).

I don't know if it will be something I will continue next year or if I'll run out of money before the end of the year because this isn't "realistic" but so far so good.

Ziggurat

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #54 on: March 16, 2016, 07:38:43 PM »
$150/person per paycheck, so $600/month total. I realize that sounds insane, but it's the amount that over the years has been determined "enough" through trial and error.

Ha!  I was scanning the thread and thought we were gonna be the highest, but you beat us.  We allocate $250 each, or $500 per month.  For us this does not include eating out (if we're together) and clothing etc, although my wife does often account "unnecessary" clothing purchases against her discretionary.

I've got almost $5000 unspent in mine now, I'll probably invest it and generate more discretionary funds from the proceeds.

gooki

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #55 on: March 16, 2016, 11:51:04 PM »
$40 a week/$175 a month.

bearkat

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2016, 02:48:33 AM »
$150/person per paycheck, so $600/month total. I realize that sounds insane, but it's the amount that over the years has been determined "enough" through trial and error.
(Additional information)
 It sucks sometimes realizing we could find an IRA with the amount of money we blow in a year, but we've tried extreme frugality and it's just not for us.

My first thought was "holy sh*t, that's a lot," but if you're meeting your financial and non - financial goals with that spend, then more power to ya. The last bits concern me that maybe you do have some second thoughts on how much you spend, and the notion that anything less than $600/month of play money is considered "extreme frugality" had me raising an eyebrow (granted Alaska may be real pricey).

We budget in YNAB for us to each have $100/month, but we're not buying candy bars in check out lines just because we have the money earmarked.

Friar

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #57 on: March 17, 2016, 03:17:44 AM »
My partner and I have £200/pcm for spending on ourselves, which may sound like a lot, but covers anything that isn't a joint monthly bill or an essential so includes things such as:

- Mobile phone bill
- Saving for new devices (phone/laptop etc.)
- Alcohol
- Eating out
- Other holidays (stag/hen dos, lads/girls holidays etc.)
- Entertainment (cinema)
- Clothes

I personally like segregating mine into categories as I'm the one keeping track of the budgeting, but my partner has one lump sum that all her spending gets checked off at.

What it has done is to help her reign in her spending, particularly on clothes. It also reduces so much friction with me wanting to save and her wanting to buy new stuff for herself.



Abel

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #58 on: March 17, 2016, 04:57:32 AM »
I also favor the advice that others have offered: budget everything. Even "fun money" should have a budget associated with it, and the more detailed the better. I've found I am more satisfied by my purchases when I am more mindful of them - probably because I'm making better, more deliberate decisions. I have also been more satisfied with the resulting tradeoffs. You might experience similar results! I am a fan of the once-a-month, pay-myself-$100 cash approach.

Bateaux

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #59 on: March 17, 2016, 07:18:28 AM »
We have never had a budget.  We max out the 401ks and Roth IRAs.  We pay our recurring bills and then everything else is fun money.  Last year I invested an additional $10,000 in the market, it actually lost some money to date but it was fun money.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 07:19:59 AM by Bateaux »

Inaya

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #60 on: March 17, 2016, 07:33:37 AM »
I stick to a pretty strict $2500/mo budget. The $2500 gets direct deposited into a checking account, while the rest is direct deposited in the emergency fund "high"-interest savings account. This helps prevent lifestyle drift or hedonistic adaptation or what have you. I shuffle it around as needed in Mint categories--it's totally flexible outside of the monthly bills (rent, phones, Internet primarily). Any monthly surplus gets put in a savings account for larger discretionary expenses (travel, large purchases, etc.) or I simply use it months when I can't stick to the $2500 (pretty rare).

Manguy888

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #61 on: March 17, 2016, 07:36:58 AM »
My wife and I have our own separate checking accounts and we each get $50 every two weeks, so roughly $100 per month per person. It's a little excessive by mustachian standards, but it gives us each a little hidey hole where our minor purchases won't be scrutinized. When we did our fun purchases through our joint accounts there was a lot of questioning on both sides - not fun.

lifejoy

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #62 on: March 17, 2016, 08:29:00 AM »
In the past, we have budgeted $100-250 per person, per month. When we don't budget, our personal spending probably looks like $300-500 each! INSANE. And this only comes to light when we actually track the spending, which usually doesn't happen if we're not budgeting.

So we're looking at setting "fun money" budgets. We're recently out of debt (wahoo!!!) and setting a budget not only helps me enjoy my small purchases more (I savour them, or something!) but it also helps keep me in line. I need it, at this point in my life. DH needs it because he often buys his lunch and that just drives me crazy. Fun money would make us both happier :)

I'm thinking $100/month would be pretty ok, but my addiction to jewellery might have to disappear... This thread is very inspiring, so thanks for all the comments!

rubybeth

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #63 on: March 18, 2016, 07:49:15 AM »
I will admit that we spend a lot on entertainment/eating out/clothes/fun stuff. But we also save a ton so I don't feel too bad about it. I also take music lessons that aren't cheap but are so, so fun and rewarding for me.

Mint tells me for the last 12 months:
Entertainment: $2,350
Clothing: $1,052 (though I know it was more than this because I track clothing in a spreadsheet, too)
Restaurants: $2,899
Hobbies: $441
Lessons: $800

That averages out to be $411/mo. on stuff most people would think is frivolous, but whatever. I'd say try to keep your frivolous/not entirely necessary spending below a certain percentage of your spending--not percentage of income, because then you might 'feel rich' but if you're trying to save 50%, that will make it harder... just think of yourself as only really only having 50% of your incomes to spend (you can force savings by having paychecks split into savings/checking, if you don't have willpower at first).

So (using rough math, no taxes in here) if income is $80k, you save $40k, spend $40k, which leaves you around $3,300/mo for living expenses, maybe you spend 10% of this on frivolity, or $330, $165 per person. Then all gifts/restaurants/coffee shops/fashion/fun/entertainment comes out of this, plus you could save it that month, if you want, or save part of it, like save $100 and spend $65. If you saved $100/mo for a year, you'd have $1,200 for some nice jewelry or to give really nice gifts at Christmas or whatever you prioritize.

alwayslearning

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #64 on: March 18, 2016, 09:30:10 AM »
Luckily, hubby aren't big spenders, so we don't really have a fun money budget. If we want something, it's usually for a mutual benefit (something for the house) or something we need (i.e. our shoes have holes and need to be replaced).

We budget for Christmas and birthday gifts for family and typically use our credit card reward points to buy special gifts for each other or go on fun dates. It's literally a FREE gift and we both get excited about giving/receiving gifts without actually spending any money.


hedgefund10

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #65 on: March 18, 2016, 08:42:19 PM »
$0. Unless you count my Internet and HBO bill, then $60.

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #66 on: March 18, 2016, 10:41:28 PM »
We try to keep personal expenditures (clothes, haircuts, gifts for each other, eating out with friends when we aren't together, coffee shops, anything we want to buy) below 200 per month per person. We budget for 3K a month of shared expenses (excluding taxes, savings, retirement, etc), which also includes shared fun money on things such as entertainment, travel, etc. This system works fine for us.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #67 on: March 18, 2016, 11:52:45 PM »
Yup, I give myself $10/day to spend on non-essential things. I have a separate checking account, and transfer $70 over every Monday.

I instituted the approach after I realized that my personal MMM pendulum had swung too far. I got anxious about purchases, and a lot of my spontaneous generosity died. I instituted the allowance system, and gave myself pep talks to spend the full $70 each week. After a couple months my generosity returned, my guilt over non-essential purchases resolved, and the money left over each pay cycle went up. 

Turns out I excel a flexibility set within a rigid framework. 

N

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #68 on: March 19, 2016, 12:04:22 AM »
Im the money manager in my household, I do YNAB, I pay all the bills, etc.
My husband deposits his paycheck every week and keeps 40$ cash for himself.

I budget all the rest of the income in YNAB, so while I dont consider myself to have "fun money", I will budget in stuff for myself sometimes. I get a pedicure about twice a year. I load my starbucks card rarely,  with 10$ Stuff like that. My non-essential spending is pretty low right now.

Goldy

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #69 on: March 19, 2016, 07:53:15 AM »
We each get 300/mo so 600 total and that seems to work well. we also run a net zero budget so every dollar is accounted for so if we need additional fun money for a trip or large purchase we can cut back on other budget items and 50% of what we saved that month goes to the fun money budget.

spokey doke

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #70 on: March 19, 2016, 09:18:33 AM »
$100/mo each...and I really like doing this, as it is a strong incentive (and mechanism) to save up for something I really value personally.  Without it we just have a big, mostly undifferentiated pile of money...all the earnings go into the pile, the bills get paid, a bunch goes into savings for retirement.  Spending at the margins can eat away at or build the pile but that is rather intangible for me.

I really like having a direct and tangible way to see the benefits of not spending to get something cool that is also totally within my control.  The other part - being able to spend some money in a way that doesn't require any justification to my DW - is also great.

RedmondStash

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #71 on: March 19, 2016, 11:33:17 AM »
We've never really budgeted. I track our spending, fixed expenses, net worth, and investments in spreadsheets. As long as we're on track toward FI, we don't care what we spend.

Generally, when we're both working, we end up saving at least 40% of our income. We're both aware that $$ buys future freedom, which tempers our temptation to spend big on unnecessary things. We're not that prone to buying lots of stuff anyway, so it works for us.

I would say, though, that if budgeting works for you, do it. If setting aside x dollars as fun money helps you stay on track, great. Everyone is different; the same process won't work for everyone. Find what works for you, regardless of any naysayers on this thread. :)

Lanthiriel

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #72 on: March 19, 2016, 11:54:00 AM »
$150/person per paycheck, so $600/month total. I realize that sounds insane, but it's the amount that over the years has been determined "enough" through trial and error.
(Additional information)
 It sucks sometimes realizing we could find an IRA with the amount of money we blow in a year, but we've tried extreme frugality and it's just not for us.

My first thought was "holy sh*t, that's a lot," but if you're meeting your financial and non - financial goals with that spend, then more power to ya. The last bits concern me that maybe you do have some second thoughts on how much you spend, and the notion that anything less than $600/month of play money is considered "extreme frugality" had me raising an eyebrow (granted Alaska may be real pricey).

We budget in YNAB for us to each have $100/month, but we're not buying candy bars in check out lines just because we have the money earmarked.

Haha, well "extreme" probably isn't the right word. In my house, it comes down to the fact that my husband and I are very different people. We largely share the same long-term goals, but what makes us happy day to day and our motivation levels to achieve those goals varies widely. We're maxing out 401ks and HSAs, and almost have his (hefty) student loans paid off, with plans to add Roth IRAs next year and rapid mortgage principal repayment within the next three. Could we FIRE faster with more discipline and sacrifice in our daily lives? Sure. But I'm OK with retiring at 42 if it means I get to do it with this guy I like instead of on my own :)

And yes, Alaska is insanely expensive. We love it here for a lot of reasons, but will be leaving once we have our $1.5M (or if the economy up here totally collapses, but that's another story).

dontwannaworkforever

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #73 on: March 19, 2016, 05:51:18 PM »
I'm the sole breadwinner in a family of 3. (me , wife , son).
I just split $200 for me and $200 for her. And we have an "other expenses" account for shared things like lets say kitchen plates, cups, etc...that is also $200.

Works for us.

samburger

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #74 on: March 19, 2016, 09:34:10 PM »
It's fascinating how differently everyone handles discretionary spending.

No fun money for us. We budget discretionary spending by category (YNAB), and we discuss purchases before we make them. We're consciously trying to break lifetime shopping habits, so a detailed budget + record is the best way to hold ourselves accountable. Fun money would be kryptonite at this point in my life, I think!

gooki

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #75 on: March 20, 2016, 12:27:16 AM »
It's fascinating how differently everyone handles discretionary spending.

No fun money for us. We budget discretionary spending by category (YNAB), and we discuss purchases before we make them. We're consciously trying to break lifetime shopping habits, so a detailed budget + record is the best way to hold ourselves accountable. Fun money would be kryptonite at this point in my life, I think!

It's probably worth mentioning fun money for us is personal expenses.

pancakes

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #76 on: March 20, 2016, 02:54:11 AM »
I don't budget by allocating funds.

We retrospectively budget in so much that we track our financial position each month and decide if we are happy with the outcome and adjust accordingly.

It helps that we are not the kind of people to impulse buy things. I suspect that if we were to allocate $200/month each it wouldn't get spent. There were a few times as a child when my parents gave me generous amounts of spending money for holidays and I would put it into savings instead as I didn't want to buy anything. It seems I have always been this way.

MayDay

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #77 on: March 20, 2016, 05:25:13 AM »
Before MMM we did 100$ each fun money and 100/month eating out.

Now we do 50 each but try not to spend it, and usually don't.

big_owl

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #78 on: March 20, 2016, 06:36:44 AM »
I call it an allowance and not fun money, but basically I get $1100/mo of my own free money after my portion of the bills and investments are made.  I use it on anything I want to - which lately has been medical bills and a new bike but is more often just to support things I like doing in day-to-day life.

Ohio Teacher

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #79 on: March 20, 2016, 10:47:40 AM »
I don't budget by allocating funds.

We retrospectively budget in so much that we track our financial position each month and decide if we are happy with the outcome and adjust accordingly.

It helps that we are not the kind of people to impulse buy things. I suspect that if we were to allocate $200/month each it wouldn't get spent. There were a few times as a child when my parents gave me generous amounts of spending money for holidays and I would put it into savings instead as I didn't want to buy anything. It seems I have always been this way.
This is what we do.  I track our spending in Mint and, every few months, retroactively make a "budget" to see whether we are cash flow positive/negative and make adjustments from there.  I've never understood "fun money" in a budget as that generally sounds like purposely planning to waste money.  While we do spend money on unnecessary things on occasion, each purchase is given thoughtful consideration.  Spending money because "it's in the budget" seems completely backwards to me.

Zikoris

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #80 on: March 20, 2016, 11:12:26 AM »
OP, one additional thought - you might get better responses if you laid out exactly what would fit into the "fun"/blow category. As you can see, everyone seems to have totally different definitions. I include all entertainment and restaurant spending, but it seems like a lot of people only count their individual spending and not spending as a couple. Some people are including their individual haircuts and cell phone bills, which I don't. It's pretty interesting to read.

Regardless, it's fascinating to see that ~$100/month/person seems to be so common.

lifejoy

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #81 on: March 20, 2016, 03:18:33 PM »
OP, one additional thought - you might get better responses if you laid out exactly what would fit into the "fun"/blow category. As you can see, everyone seems to have totally different definitions. I include all entertainment and restaurant spending, but it seems like a lot of people only count their individual spending and not spending as a couple. Some people are including their individual haircuts and cell phone bills, which I don't. It's pretty interesting to read.

Regardless, it's fascinating to see that ~$100/month/person seems to be so common.

I think you make a really good point. That being said, I'm not sure how I'd define "fun money" in a way that would fit everyone - I think it is such a personal thing, as we've noticed in this thread. *Shrug*

brycedoula

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #82 on: March 20, 2016, 05:11:49 PM »
I started my mat leave in January (will be not working for at least 1 year) so I suggested to my husband we have a certain amount per month that we're each "allowed" to spend, however we want, no questions asked. We decided on $50/each/month, which may not seem like much, but we're really trying to have the mortgage paid off ASAP.

This means he can buy PS4 games without my permission, and I can buy over-priced yoga pants without hassle ;)

It's working out so far - but stuff like our Friday night dinner out, or the occasional movie date, is not included.

Cycling Stache

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #83 on: March 20, 2016, 05:28:22 PM »
I've actually been thinking about this issue from the other side--i.e., having a set amount of money that I have permission to spend on non-necessary things.

It occurred to me recently when a friend came by about going to Five Guys for lunch.  I love Five Guys but haven't had it in a couple years.  And I eat my lunch at the office every single day--I enjoy it, it's cheaper, and it's a nice routine for me.  My initial reaction was no lunch because I already had a lunch available, and I realized that's ALWAYS going to be my reaction.  Same goes with rarely getting drinks at happy hour because I've got beer in the fridge, and I can hang out with friends elsewhere.

We're in the fortunate position to be bringing in lots of extra money right now, and I think that maybe I need to give myself "permission" to spend money on non-essential that otherwise doesn't make sense to spend.  A reasonable fun budget might be the way to go.

I think MMM had a post on this about in retrospect worrying less about the occasional frivolous expense.  I get it now that the non-wasteful spending becomes so ingrained that it becomes tough to let go and treat something as a non-recurring expense that will have no practical effect on my financial situation.  So maybe the fun budget of $100-200 per month addresses that.  Or the cash in the wallet suggestion that was posted up-thread. 

sleepyguy

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #84 on: March 20, 2016, 08:31:38 PM »
In all honestly, we don't.  We don't see being relatively frugal as "un-fun" so there is no need for "fun-money".

We share all accounts across the board, don't keep tabs on anything... purchases over $200 we'll give each other a heads up.  I know she won't go buy $1000 purse on a whim... she knows I won't do the same... well not a purse.

We're older though, both 37.  We've gone through the "let's purchase this and that" phase.

DH and I are making a budget tonight. We have no debt and make around $7k per month, total.

Of course, saving 90% of our income would be cool, but our rent already makes that impossible. So let's keep it realistic. How much "fun money" do you allocate for each month?

(If it's not obvious, "fun money" is money you can blow. So when DH wants a new tv, he can save up his fun money. When I want new shoes, heyyyy fun money! It also helps for when you buy a gift for the other person - you buy it with your fun money, instead of shared money.)

bb11

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #85 on: March 21, 2016, 08:53:06 AM »
I don't really budget any "fun money". I have a $100 line for Entertainment in my monthly budget, of which is spent about half of last year. I also give myself a little extra room for big purchases I need (like grad school applications in 2015, buying a bed and moving in 2014), but that is rarely used on fun things.

I don't really like the idea of "fun money" because it seems like you will be tempted to spend all of it. Just evaluate each purchase on its own merit.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #86 on: March 21, 2016, 09:22:22 AM »
As with a few people here, I don't budget my "fun money". Actually, I don't budget at all per se - I spend only on necessary or things that bring me profound joy. If I have a doubt about a purchase, I wait  - more often then not, I forget about it. If I look at my average monthly spending, I spend less then half of my income on myself, including living expenses (rent, groceries, utilities, car insurance, occasional rental expenses not covered by the tenant) and "unnecessary but nice to have" (cell phone, climbing gym, occasional beers at the pub, gas, camping, international travel when applicable). When I think about it, if I budgeted "fun" or "blow" money, I would STILL feel guilty spending it, so I don't see the point for myself; although I understand and respect those who would rather work this way.

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #87 on: March 21, 2016, 01:18:35 PM »
When I don't budget my "fun" money, I go wild and spend ALL THE MONEY (ok, like a couple hundred more than I would if I were budgeting and tracking).

So I pretty much need a budget. It also helps me savour things more. A $2 chocolate bar is decadent and special if I have only $100 for the month.

Kitsune

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #88 on: March 21, 2016, 03:09:43 PM »
When I don't budget my "fun" money, I go wild and spend ALL THE MONEY (ok, like a couple hundred more than I would if I were budgeting and tracking).

So I pretty much need a budget. It also helps me savour things more. A $2 chocolate bar is decadent and special if I have only $100 for the month.

This. Or, rather: I'd spend maybe an extra 50$ or so (manageable) but I absolutely trust that my husband would spend like crazy on electronics or music gear. Having an agreed-upon amount for personal spending that our spouse thinks is frivolous is key to a happy marriage and savings. :)

I don't just his speakers and widgets, he doesn't judge my books, and we have savings. It works.

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2016, 09:32:37 AM »
budgeting to blow money makes little sense IMO.

I couldn't agree more. Most people look at budgeting as "How much will I have left over to spend frivolously?" Instead, you should just sock it away. Ask yourself if there's anything money can buy that would make you happier in the long term. Usually the answer is no.

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2016, 09:35:05 AM »
We don't really budget, honestly. We buy what we really want, and have learned to only buy what we really want. The casual desires are shrugged off.
Our biggest remaining anti-MMM area is probably meals out, probably at least a couple hundred a month, but we're happy with our SR and on track for PT work within a year so we choose to leave it alone there.

Altons Bobs

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #91 on: March 22, 2016, 09:58:11 AM »
We don't have a budget, so we don't have an allocation for fun money, it's just whatever we want to spend.

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #92 on: March 22, 2016, 04:25:44 PM »
WE have a joint entertainment fund that we use when we both go out together and then individual fun $ that we can spend on ourselves anyway we want. It does not include things like haircuts, clothes, etc. It is strictly for having fun or buying something unusual that is not needed but wanted.

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #93 on: March 22, 2016, 06:06:43 PM »
We do $50 each per month that is "no questions asked" money. So I don't have to get all grumpy about my husband's soda machine habit, and I can enjoy lunch out at work every now and then. We also have "fun" money that we spend together/as a family ($200/mo for "miscellaneous"--so not all fun... might include a trip to the zoo, donations to the school, professional association fees, etc.).

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #94 on: March 22, 2016, 06:34:09 PM »
budgeting to blow money makes little sense IMO.

I couldn't agree more. Most people look at budgeting as "How much will I have left over to spend frivolously?" Instead, you should just sock it away. Ask yourself if there's anything money can buy that would make you happier in the long term. Usually the answer is no.

Beg to differ.

A book by my favourite author, that I will re-read a few times, and that having on a shelf makes me feel "at home". A comfortable pillow to lean on while I read on the couch. Supplies for a fire pit in the back yard. Supplies to build a smokehouse (for smoked trout from the lake out back, because I love the process and the result). A print by an artist I love, that makes me smile every time I look at it. Hell: a few sessions of therapy that helped me figure out out to break a cycle of problematic issues.

ALL of these things are worth more in my life than the $ amount would be in my savings.

The trick is to balance the happiness and the expenses. SMALL expenses for happiness, LARGE savings for long-term happiness. I'm not a monk, and I don't want to live like one.

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #95 on: March 23, 2016, 01:24:27 AM »
budgeting to blow money makes little sense IMO.

I couldn't agree more. Most people look at budgeting as "How much will I have left over to spend frivolously?" Instead, you should just sock it away. Ask yourself if there's anything money can buy that would make you happier in the long term. Usually the answer is no.

Beg to differ.

A book by my favourite author, that I will re-read a few times, and that having on a shelf makes me feel "at home". A comfortable pillow to lean on while I read on the couch. Supplies for a fire pit in the back yard. Supplies to build a smokehouse (for smoked trout from the lake out back, because I love the process and the result). A print by an artist I love, that makes me smile every time I look at it. Hell: a few sessions of therapy that helped me figure out out to break a cycle of problematic issues.

ALL of these things are worth more in my life than the $ amount would be in my savings.

The trick is to balance the happiness and the expenses. SMALL expenses for happiness, LARGE savings for long-term happiness. I'm not a monk, and I don't want to live like one.

Well put, Kitsune.

I think the great divide in this debate comes from couples vs. singles along a young/old age line.  A single person can easily meet their saving/spending value range - they only have to convince themselves that what they wish to purchase is meaningful. Add a second person into the mix, and things become tricky: "Do you really need that $250 bicycle from craigslist? Wouldn't an $89 Huffy be just as good?" "Do you really  need to buy more climbing gear? Couldn't you just go for a nice frugal hike instead?"  Having to justify your values to another person on a constant basis would be draining and cause needless friction in a relationship. Much easier to budget so savings goals are met while freely allowing each person to experience those things that give them the most meaning in their individual life.

Along with this, age can play a factor. A 22 year old who's just finished college and isn't quite FI yet, but wants to play guitar, will be at a very different place than a 42 year old who has been playing for 3 decades. The 22 year old may need to budget $100 a month for lesson and gear, while the 42 year old probably has more gear than they need. It's much easier for the old person to say "My guitar hobby costs $0 per month." while playing his $3000 Gibson through a full Marshall tube stack - they're in a much different place. Same would go for any hobby.

I too draw the line somewhere on the spendypants side of 'monastic.'  I guess I could spend my time walking around the park for free or meditating in my empty room while calculating my network on scraps of paper I pulled from someone else's garbage can, but at some point I've accepted that I desire experiences in life that come at a cost. I'm more than happy to pay that cost.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 01:31:31 AM by Metric Mouse »

FrugalFan

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #96 on: March 23, 2016, 06:29:41 AM »
Good points Metric Mouse and Kitsune. For us, having a budgeted amount does not at all make us think "How much will I have left over to spend frivolously?" and we've had to decrease the amount we budgeted for fun stuff because it kept accumulating in our savings accounts (i.e. we never came close to spending it all). It really does come down to having slightly different priorities about what we consider being worth spending money on.

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Re: Budgeting: how much "fun money" do you get each month?
« Reply #97 on: March 23, 2016, 05:40:46 PM »
I agree that age is a factor. When we were young, raising our kids $ was tight so we didn't spend a lot on fun. Now we spend a ton because we are in our early 60's and intend to enjoy ourselves while we can. My kids laugh and say I am experiencing my 20's a  little later in life.  But they are happy that we are traveling, having experiences, going to events, etc.