Author Topic: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget  (Read 24238 times)

RangerOne

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How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« on: November 19, 2014, 01:03:16 PM »
Hi All,

I am trying to get an idea of how much money everyone here allocates to recreation out of their budget. I figure the categories will vary a lot as people will view different things as recreational.

For my wife and I, our recreation generally revolves around movies and grabbing a coffee or bite to eat with friends. Though over the past 2 months we have shifted that to mostly having friends over and cooking store bought food.

Currently My wife and I's monthly income varies a bit because I am salary and she is part time hourly:

Take Home Income (Post Tax, 401k and Medical) $5,500.00(low) - $6,200(high)

Currently our House hold budget constrains us to only using up to $4,200 dollars a month. Thats including all food and fun money, plus the mandatory amount we have to pay on our student loans.

Everything above that just gets dumped into student loan repayments (Should be debt free in a year).

Our fun money looks as follows:

Shopping: $200.00 (rollover)
My Personal Entertainment: $100 (rollover)
Wife's Entertainment: $100 (rollover)
Eating Out: $150

That comes out to about: 10% of our lowest average income.

The shopping categories were made to be rollover so that we have the option to save up cash for bigger purchase if desired.

I am thinking the shopping category is too vague, but right now I see it being underutilized for joint entertainment. and Maybe we could trim this back a tad and break it up into wants and replacing needs(like replacing old clothes and household appliances). Though maybe its okay. This a fairly new budget so the buckets are still experimental.

mlipps

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 01:15:41 PM »
When we were both working, we budgeting $75/month for lunches & coffees out, $200/month for entertainment, $200/month for my shopping budget & $100/month for husband's shopping budget. I've since quit my job to go back to school, so we are cutting back to stay out of debt while I'm not working & we pay the tuition bills. So now we're at $150/month for entertainment & $100/month each for shopping budgets (although my husband never really spends much of his haha). Lunch/coffee budget has been cut completely as I have time now to make sure we have lunch every day versus when we were both working and once a week or so we were scrambling to find something. Overall we're doing pretty well w/the new budgets.

Husband's paychecks are about $4500/month & mine were about $1000 (because I was maxing out my 401k on not much income).

Jessa

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 01:19:01 PM »
I have about $50 budgeted for dining (which I include going out to eat with friends, buying lunch at work, or grabbing take out instead of cooking) and $40 for entertainment ($9 of which is Netflix, the rest is either booze (either drinks with friends or beer for the fridge) or hobby supplies). I have a separate line for clothing, which I generally don't use...I probably need to get some new work pants soonishly, so I'll adjust my budget for that month by dropping something else. I have a household line for $25, but that's for toilet paper and ziploc bags...we have all of our appliances, and if something went, it would be replaced out of the emergency fund.

My take home is also about 1/4 of yours, so YMMV.

snafuing1

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 01:21:45 PM »
After taxes, 401(k), and healthcare, we make about 4.5-5k/month, and we are debt free. We do:

His fun money: $100
Her fun money: $100
Joint entertainment money: $100

This does not include necessary clothing, like a winter coat when the old one wears out, but we do have to use our fun money on unnecessary clothing, like if I want a dress to wear to a party or fancy hiking pants or something. Most of our individual fun money goes toward beer from the grocery store, grabbing food with friend, etc. and most of our joint entertainment ends up going to beers or dining out together. All three of these categories roll over so we can save up for video games or other rare/expensive purchases.

I personally don't like categories like "shopping." I prefer to analyze each purchase, and decide if it's a want or a need. If it's a need, the budget doesn't matter, you need it. Buy the thing and put less into savings that month. If it's a want, it comes from fun money. If you're out of fun money, too bad, get it next month. That's just my feelings though.

MustachianAccountant

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 01:22:08 PM »
What's the difference between "shopping" (for "fun" stuff, I'm assuming) and "Entertainment"?

Also, what does (rollover) mean? Edit: Nevermind.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 01:53:51 PM by MustachianAccountant »

Future Lazy

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 01:23:07 PM »
I leave myself $50 after every paycheck for spending - so, usually $100/mo. That includes any eating out, shopping, etc, including for the purchases of things I need, like new socks or whatever. I also have a Hulu+ subscription to the tune of $8/mo, and spend $25/mo on my smartphone, something I also count as luxury entertainment, since I mostly use it to read/play dumb games/watch youtube. So, overall: $133/mo for a single person.

Beyond that, my DH puts up $50/mo for us to have internet, and that's entertainment luxury as well...

Your definition of fun money, and how much you spend on fun kind of astounds me, TBH. I mean, your monthly fun budget above is $550/mo, which is $90/mo more than the our biggest bill - Rent. Your year of fun could house us for a year, and then some.

$550 a month... That's $6600/year, which could be ~$104,000 over ten years, if you invested it... According to:
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/retirement/roi-calculator.aspx

I just mean to say, like.. That's a lot, from my current 24k/yr perspective.

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 01:44:15 PM »
Take home pay is $5200/mo. Entertainment category is $150. This includes $40/mo for DH to get coffee and snacks during work. The rest is Redbox movies, eating out, etc.

Beric01

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 02:03:20 PM »
I budget up to $100/month for entertainment, but I don't spend near that much. It just helps me not feel so bad going out to coffee/lunch with friends.

RangerOne

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 03:23:41 PM »
I leave myself $50 after every paycheck for spending - so, usually $100/mo. That includes any eating out, shopping, etc, including for the purchases of things I need, like new socks or whatever. I also have a Hulu+ subscription to the tune of $8/mo, and spend $25/mo on my smartphone, something I also count as luxury entertainment, since I mostly use it to read/play dumb games/watch youtube. So, overall: $133/mo for a single person.

Beyond that, my DH puts up $50/mo for us to have internet, and that's entertainment luxury as well...

Your definition of fun money, and how much you spend on fun kind of astounds me, TBH. I mean, your monthly fun budget above is $550/mo, which is $90/mo more than the our biggest bill - Rent. Your year of fun could house us for a year, and then some.

$550 a month... That's $6600/year, which could be ~$104,000 over ten years, if you invested it... According to:
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/retirement/roi-calculator.aspx

I just mean to say, like.. That's a lot, from my current 24k/yr perspective.

I agree completely, my wife drafted that portion of the budget. At the time I thought we only had $100 dollars each plus $150 for eating out. So that would only be about $350 dollars which to me sounds a bit better. Knowing of course that in a pinch we can just not go out at all and probably save $300 dollars and just skip buying crap we don't need. 

The problem with our current budget I think is that nebulous shopping category. For instance my wife put two movie tickets under our shopping category. I think we need to break up that category and reduce it to figure out what our real intent for that money was. The movies tickets should get placed in a joint entertainment budget which should be no where near $200 dollars and it shouldn't roll over month to month.

So yeah I don't think a $500 dollar a month entertainment\shopping budget is not indicative of a couple that is trying to repay debt as fast as possible.

Though for the people writing in with similar incomes our, personal budgets, excluding the shopping fund, look to be about average. I am also testing my wife's limits on frugality though so this all a work in progress.

« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 03:34:54 PM by RangerOne »

RangerOne

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 03:32:16 PM »
I budget up to $100/month for entertainment, but I don't spend near that much. It just helps me not feel so bad going out to coffee/lunch with friends.

This is my goal for that money too. I wan't to enjoy a cheap coffee with a friend and not need feel cheap. But the extra money goes somewhere. I want to be able to buy 1 or 2 good PC games a year. And keep my computer up to date once every 2 or 3 years.

I am still a recovering consumer though and am in the process of selling my extra dumb electronic purchases.

Pooperman

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2014, 03:36:49 PM »
$50/mo for me, $50/mo for SO, $50/mo together entertainment. All categories rollover. Take home monthly is currently about $4000, but that will drop in the new year when I up my 401k. It will be about $2400/mo. Gotta build that e-fund and fund the IRA!

BarkyardBQ

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2014, 03:45:37 PM »
I agree completely, my wife drafted that portion of the budget. At the time I thought we only had $100 dollars each plus $150 for eating out. So that would only be about $350 dollars which to me sounds a bit better. Knowing of course that in a pinch we can just not go out at all and probably save $300 dollars and just skip buying crap we don't need. 

Your logic is backwards. Instead of spending freely knowing you can cut if needed. Cut it now and save it, and when you need it (first ask yourself, do we need this now or can it wait, or can it be cheaper) you won't feel bad because every other month you are saving.

Also a "pinch" sounds like a stressful time, when you'd probably want to the option to go out, not stay home and anxiously save money. If you save regularly then you can pinch 300 bucks from your savings and carry on.

We have a limited $200/month entertainment budget for restaurants, movies, day trip gasoline, concert/show tickets or whatever. If something new comes up that costs over $200 we go for it because if we determine it's something we want or value then it's ok to go over. But if my wife and I decided we have $500 a month to spend on entertainment we would probably quite easily lose track of what we spent it on. However if we limit ourselves to smaller luxuries most months, when ski season comes up and we spend $150-200 on a ski trip and decide we want to do it again next weekend we aren't going to feel bad about it. Likewise when we have to go to Europe for family visits, that will just come out of that months savings vs saving for it all year long.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 03:54:00 PM by zdravé »

Future Lazy

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2014, 04:06:03 PM »
I leave myself $50 after every paycheck for spending - so, usually $100/mo. That includes any eating out, shopping, etc, including for the purchases of things I need, like new socks or whatever. I also have a Hulu+ subscription to the tune of $8/mo, and spend $25/mo on my smartphone, something I also count as luxury entertainment, since I mostly use it to read/play dumb games/watch youtube. So, overall: $133/mo for a single person.

Beyond that, my DH puts up $50/mo for us to have internet, and that's entertainment luxury as well...

Your definition of fun money, and how much you spend on fun kind of astounds me, TBH. I mean, your monthly fun budget above is $550/mo, which is $90/mo more than the our biggest bill - Rent. Your year of fun could house us for a year, and then some.

$550 a month... That's $6600/year, which could be ~$104,000 over ten years, if you invested it... According to:
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/retirement/roi-calculator.aspx

I just mean to say, like.. That's a lot, from my current 24k/yr perspective.

I agree completely, my wife drafted that portion of the budget. At the time I thought we only had $100 dollars each plus $150 for eating out. So that would only be about $350 dollars which to me sounds a bit better. Knowing of course that in a pinch we can just not go out at all and probably save $300 dollars and just skip buying crap we don't need. 

The problem with our current budget I think is that nebulous shopping category. For instance my wife put two movie tickets under our shopping category. I think we need to break up that category and reduce it to figure out what our real intent for that money was. The movies tickets should get placed in a joint entertainment budget which should be no where near $200 dollars and it shouldn't roll over month to month.

So yeah I don't think a $500 dollar a month entertainment\shopping budget is not indicative of a couple that is trying to repay debt as fast as possible.

Though for the people writing in with similar incomes our, personal budgets, excluding the shopping fund, look to be about average. I am also testing my wife's limits on frugality though so this all a work in progress.

Breaking it down to see where it's going would be a really great idea, but when you build it back up, it might be a good idea to lump to together and call it "Spending". $500 in 'spending' looks a lot heavier than $200 in shopping. As a lady, shopping sounds happy and fun and means you get new fun toys yay fun. Likewise "movies" or "entertainment" are also "yay fun" kinds of things. Spending is an icky word that is the opposite of saving and is meant to be cut. Spending is not saving, is not FI as soon as possible.

That's my perspective.

I budget up to $100/month for entertainment, but I don't spend near that much. It just helps me not feel so bad going out to coffee/lunch with friends.

This is my goal for that money too. I wan't to enjoy a cheap coffee with a friend and not need feel cheap. But the extra money goes somewhere. I want to be able to buy 1 or 2 good PC games a year. And keep my computer up to date once every 2 or 3 years.

I am still a recovering consumer though and am in the process of selling my extra dumb electronic purchases.

Put $500-$700 on a gift card for yourself this Christmas and label it "Computer/Gaming Fun Fund". Put more for a better graphics card, or whatever you want. Y'know, a gift from Santa! And once you've spent that on computer fund, that's it for the year. Done. Don't cheat yourself on piece meal purchases.

DH and I recently made a "new electronics" fund. I added up all our spending on new electronics for the last two years, divide by 24 months and come up with a hundred or so dollars between us. So, if we save $100/mo toward new electronics each month, when the time comes to replace a graphics card or get new cell phones, it's there when we need it.

SnackDog

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2014, 05:26:31 PM »
What you consider fun I consider normal living, although we rarely do movies, coffee shops, etc.  I budget for vacations annually and allocate about one paycheck per year. I spreadsheet all the trips as a planning exercise and sum up the costs.

JoshFire

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2014, 05:43:09 PM »
Apparently the Fire Family is a big-spending group around here; we have $433/month budgeted for fun, which is just under 10% of our monthly income. $60 per week for general fun (which is usually dining out with family or when the kids come up to visit dad for lunch at work), and then $20 per week "mad money" each for Mr. and Mrs. Fire.

Now that I am looking at the number... it seems like a lot. Wow.

RangerOne

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2014, 05:49:48 PM »
I agree completely, my wife drafted that portion of the budget. At the time I thought we only had $100 dollars each plus $150 for eating out. So that would only be about $350 dollars which to me sounds a bit better. Knowing of course that in a pinch we can just not go out at all and probably save $300 dollars and just skip buying crap we don't need. 

Your logic is backwards. Instead of spending freely knowing you can cut if needed. Cut it now and save it, and when you need it (first ask yourself, do we need this now or can it wait, or can it be cheaper) you won't feel bad because every other month you are saving.

Also a "pinch" sounds like a stressful time, when you'd probably want to the option to go out, not stay home and anxiously save money. If you save regularly then you can pinch 300 bucks from your savings and carry on.

We have a limited $200/month entertainment budget for restaurants, movies, day trip gasoline, concert/show tickets or whatever. If something new comes up that costs over $200 we go for it because if we determine it's something we want or value then it's ok to go over. But if my wife and I decided we have $500 a month to spend on entertainment we would probably quite easily lose track of what we spent it on. However if we limit ourselves to smaller luxuries most months, when ski season comes up and we spend $150-200 on a ski trip and decide we want to do it again next weekend we aren't going to feel bad about it. Likewise when we have to go to Europe for family visits, that will just come out of that months savings vs saving for it all year long.

    Maybe that came out wrong. When things get more stressful a little entertainment, read drinking with friends, can lighten the load.

  Sadly for us right now $350 dollars a month in entertainment is deprivation, at least on paper. I can say right now that we have only spent about $200 dollars this month on eating out and entertainment and neither of use feel cheap or deprived. But hey there is always room for improvement.

   I am just getting a gauge of what other people with more mature budgets were allocating to entertainment. It will take many more months of data for us to determine if are budget is decent, if its too much or if we feel deprived.

  But I am not trying to over extend our budget because times are good right now, times are good means time get out of debt while we can.  I am simply trying to manipulate our budget to try to save more money.

Goldielocks

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2014, 06:12:04 PM »
Okay -- dirty laundry revealed.   Our spending is not MMM, but at least we have been budgeting and sticking to it..  DH is only 50% on board.
Family of four (includes young teenagers)

Entertainment (movies / dining/ museum visits / ski lift tickets) $125
Grocery budget "Treats" $50 -- includes items like extra for garbage can, tea towels, hostess gifts, items purchased at large grocery / dept stores, or fancy juice, packaged food "treats".

Personal budgets include allowances, clothing, contact lenses, kids after school, sports gear, cosmetics & drug store, hobbies, cell phones, school fees, school books and supplies, extra saving, gifts / christmas, fast food -- anything that can be earmarked to an individual "choices"..

Adults:  $320
Kids: $160

Señora Savings

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2014, 06:17:56 PM »
I don't budget, I track spending.  I break my categories into food/shelter/transportation, hobbies/self improvement and other.  Spending on "other" indicates failure to me.  I find it helpful not to lump the harp kit I jut bought and built in with DVDs.

I've averaged $120 a month in hobbies and $45 a month on "other" including my $30 a month cell phone over the past year.

I don't mind spending a lot on hobbies.  The reason I save money is so that I can pursue my interests; sometimes that means buying supplies and sometimes that means buying time.

Zikoris

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2014, 09:16:15 PM »
We average between $100-$200 on entertainment spending in a month for two people. This can vary widely, from $0 in a month with no good shows or movies being released, to $500+ if we decide to go parachuting or something. We don't actually set an amount, just do whatever.

Emilyngh

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2014, 09:17:12 PM »
$75 for dh and $75 for self per month.   This covers all of our:

eating out as a couple, with friends, and/or as a family of 4
coffee or snacks out
movies or other entertainment
unnecessary clothing or makeup
haircuts (if we get them vs doing ourselves)
any other random unnecessary spending

We usually don't spend it all and it collects in our accounts, so on occasion we'll use it for a larger purchase (like a new tablet or laptop).


Nudelkopf

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2014, 10:10:30 PM »
This year I've averaged:
  • Social= $260/month
  • Sport = $90/month
  • Clothes = $60/month

My 'social' category includes all eating out, restaurants, movies, coffee, make-up, etc. I added my clothes category and sport category as well, because they're essentially 'fun' money categories (i.e. they're wants and not needs).

Whoops, not very Mustachian.

Beric01

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2014, 01:37:12 AM »
I think a budget is an anti-Mustachian concept because it involves presuppoing that you are going to spend a certain amount each month. Instead you should go into each month with the attitude that you will spend as little as possible -- and not feel complacent just because you stayed within the "budget".


The way I approach this is that, when considering any potential purchase, I start with the assumption that I cannot purchase it without being punched in the face. Only if I can convince myself that the purchase has real merit, in that it will pay off more than it costs, do I complete the transaction. There's no need for a budget, because the default assumption is that I will be spending $0 in every category. Any deviation from that has to be rigorously justified.

This is what I started with, but I'm excessively frugal, and found myself avoiding social occasions (even cheap ones) just to save money. I found the only way to not be too cheap was to give myself a little pass to spend on entertainment. I still think over every expense first.

AshStash

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2014, 04:57:39 AM »
I budget £100/month to cover any restaurant or convenience food purchases (e.g. pre-made salads for lunch at work), theater tickets, museum exhibits, movies, lectures, sporting events, all alcohol purchases, etc.  Netflix, TV license fees, and books (book purchases, library fees, book club dues) are budgeted separately. All together it's about 5% of my budget. There are a few months where I go overboard and have to dip in to my £60/month "miscellaneous" spending category but for a majority of the year I'm well under the £100 and the remaining money is rolled in to savings at the end of the month.

I'd never include clothes in my "fun" money calculations simply because going clothes shopping isn't fun for me :) Shopping for books on the other hand...

chasesfish

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2014, 05:11:46 AM »
All my money is fun, especially whats in a brokerage account.

JoshFire

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2014, 05:15:35 AM »
I think a budget is an anti-Mustachian concept because it involves presuppoing that you are going to spend a certain amount each month. Instead you should go into each month with the attitude that you will spend as little as possible -- and not feel complacent just because you stayed within the "budget".


The way I approach this is that, when considering any potential purchase, I start with the assumption that I cannot purchase it without being punched in the face. Only if I can convince myself that the purchase has real merit, in that it will pay off more than it costs, do I complete the transaction. There's no need for a budget, because the default assumption is that I will be spending $0 in every category. Any deviation from that has to be rigorously justified.

I somewhat agree with this statement; if it's there, why not spend it?

We use a budget because without it, we would both spend ourselves into poverty. The budget caps our spending at a what we determined is a frugal amount. The I think we counteract this by being as frugal as possible within the budget- we meal plan around the sales at Meijer, we use entertainment coupons when dining, etc.

MayDay

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2014, 05:30:31 AM »
We do 50$ each fun money for adults, 50$ restaurant, 100$ household spending (shopping?).

Ricky

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2014, 05:48:01 AM »
I think a budget is an anti-Mustachian concept because it involves presuppoing that you are going to spend a certain amount each month. Instead you should go into each month with the attitude that you will spend as little as possible -- and not feel complacent just because you stayed within the "budget".


The way I approach this is that, when considering any potential purchase, I start with the assumption that I cannot purchase it without being punched in the face. Only if I can convince myself that the purchase has real merit, in that it will pay off more than it costs, do I complete the transaction. There's no need for a budget, because the default assumption is that I will be spending $0 in every category. Any deviation from that has to be rigorously justified.

A budget doesn't have to be anti-mustachian. Example, you could budget all of your excess cash after basic necessities into the "saving/investing" category. Every dollar needs a job. Budgeting is smart. Sticking to a budget is smarter.

I've never viewed any of MMM's ideas as deprivation. He isn't frugal for frugal's sake. He makes better decisions as a consumer as a result of his ways of thinking. I don't even think he would tell you that he's frugal at all, it's just about being smart about what you want out of your future. Stoicism should only play a certain role in anyone's life, it shouldn't be the only guiding way of thought. Continual deprivation if it's something you really want just leads to anxiety, stress, and depression. The key is being able to determine what we really want vs impulses.

That said, I don't budget for "fun money" either. But I also don't put an internal cap on myself. By my nature, and by my goals, I'm just not going to spend a ton in general. But I won't not do something I want to do just for the sake of deprivation and sacrifice. At least, not if its something I really want.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 05:58:28 AM by Ricky »

starbuck

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2014, 06:09:58 AM »
I'm anti-budget in the traditional sense as well. We spend money on things that are important to us each month, and right now investing is pretty important when weighed against more mundane things like takeout dinners. We don't budget specific amounts to spend on categories beyond normal bills like utilities. $200 a month is auto transferred into our each of our personal accounts, and this is what we use to spend on lunches, coffee, takeout, clothing, whatever.

Each instance of spending money on 'fun stuff' is evaluated individually. If we want to do it, we do. We don't always - each month is different. For instance, we just bought tickets to the ballet, but passed on a movie with friends. We both wanted to go to the ballet, and the movie was one I hadn't heard of, and a late showing when I needed to get up early the next day. No thanks.

Whatever is left sitting in the checking account at the end of the month is invested. Start over the next month. Our monthly take home pay is $6,200, if it matters. We spend intentionally, not automatically. None of this "Oh it's Friday, that means we need to get takeout because it's pizza night."

GumbyPickles

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2014, 06:29:26 AM »
$300 resturants/alcohol
$100 Entertainment


trying to get these lower. 

rubybeth

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2014, 06:49:51 AM »
We don't exactly budget, I just keep track of what we actually spend. I have projections based on what we normally spend, on average, and that's what in Mint. Monthly net average income is around $4,300. Out of curiosity, I just looked at what we spent in the last 12 months for entertainment, and on average, it was $202/month, or $2,429. This includes all kinds of things: Netflix and Hulu+, occasional massages (DH has some joint issues), a few movie tickets, concert tickets including orchestra season tickets, museum entry fees (including those from our Europe trip), a few books and CDs, and some library late fees. We don't include restaurants in this, though.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 07:04:47 AM by rubybeth »

k-vette

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2014, 07:01:39 AM »
Surprised at the majority of numbers.

Restaurant/fun stuff: $40
Me: $30
Wife: $30

brian313313

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2014, 07:30:18 AM »
My wife has $200 discretionary spending, I have $300. Mine includes eating out for lunch occasionally. My job requires me to build relationships so once/week to be social is normal frugal to me. We try to stay as low as possible and do not roll over, unless we state that we are saving for something. If I want something that's $500, then I would need to start saving for it. If we both agree, we just get it though. We recently bought a new couch that way. Also, when I work Saturday I take an extra lunch. I'm paid hourly so this is covered by the extra income.

We don't ever "shop". We decide what we need before we start looking for it. We do research to get the best deal we can before making a purchase though and watch CL/EBay to see if we can get something good quality used.

Dulcimina

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2014, 08:43:39 AM »
I budget about $110/month to cover my gym membership, four movie tickets/year, eating out and convenience food at work, concerts, entertaining, hiking and transportation.

I have not gone to a movie theater all year.  I haven't gone to a paid concert, but did buy a pricey ticket to see The Lion King. I haven't paid to eat out, but went over on convenience food at work. I haven't gone on any of the $25 trips with the hiking club.  Gym and transportation costs were as expected.  Same with entertaining which includes cooking at home, potlucks, BYOB at parties.

I want to add music lessons to my budget but I still need to figure out which other categories to cut to pay for them.

coffeelover

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2014, 08:52:49 AM »
Wow I cannot believe that most of the fun money budgets are so high!!

We each allow ourselves 25 a pay period so it ends up being 50 a month for 1 of us so 100 total overall. Sometimes we don't even use all our fun money. Other times we want to get take out and our food budget is maxed so it will come out of our fun money.

forummm

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2014, 08:55:15 AM »
I don't budget anything. I just minimize what I spend. Most months it's $0. Sometimes I'll buy some books at the thrift store or something. Generally I do free things for fun. DW goes out to eat/drink with friends sometimes and spends whatever she wants, but that's typically under $150/mo. Our savings rate is very high so it's not a big deal. For me, each expenditure is "is this worth it to me for the extra time working, and can I get it any cheaper" and then I decide.

Guses

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2014, 09:15:17 AM »
And keep my computer up to date once every 2 or 3 years.
I am still a recovering consumer though and am in the process of selling my extra dumb electronic purchases.

If this was 1998, updating your computer every couple of years would be needed to keep up with games and such. That is no longer the case.

The computer that I purchased in 2009 is still plenty fast enough to play most of newer games at medium/high setting at 30+ fps. I do overclock though to stretch value out of my hardware.

If you are looking at updating every couple of year, at least look for used hardware. You can get tremendous value buying last generation stuff (even if it is only 10-15% slower than current gen). Next time I update, I will be looking at a nice graphic card that was 500-800$ when it came out (maybe 2 years old) and pay maybe 150$ for it and will be set for 4-5 years again.


That aside, like many above, we do have a "budget" but we see it more as a "you better not go over this amount!" than a "We need to spend up to this amount".

Averaged over the last 12 months, we spent about 190$ per month for restaurants, alcool, computer and electronics, entertainment and misc.

Including netflix and internet, we spend about 240$ per month for "entertainment". Our take home is 8,800$.

 




johnny847

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2014, 09:31:18 AM »
I don't budget anything. I just minimize what I spend.
I do this. I tried having a budget once and allowing myself for some fun money, but then I felt like I wasn't doing it right because I never really spent it, and it just sat there in a bank account gaining a little less than 1% interest, when it could have been in my investment portfolio instead.
I guess I could have lowered my fund spending in my budget, but I'd rather just save as much as I can, and then when I want to spend for something fun, I just do it (so long as it's within reason) because I know I'm still on track with my goals.

mak1277

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2014, 09:44:18 AM »
No budget here either.  When I first immersed myself in MMM/FIRE I sat down and rigorously recreated our actual spending over the past several months in order to set a budget.  What I found was, at our current rate of savings, we are projected to hit my FIRE goal in approximately four years (ignoring potential investment gains).  This coincides with the unlocking of a fairly significant pair of golden handcuffs at my job. 

So I found myself, quite accidentally, square in the middle of MMM's post about having the luxury of not worrying about money.  Also fortunately, my wife and I are fairly frugal already (not MMM frugal, but no debt and no real high class "wants").  So the need for a budget really went out the window and we spend whatever we want on the things that make us happy.  Many of those things are squarely un-mustachian (cable bill, dining out more than we "should", etc.), but none of the expenditure change our FIRE date.

Nickyd£g

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2014, 09:54:16 AM »
I'm in "hair on fire emergency" mode at the moment so I allocate £10 a week for discretionary spending - an afterwork drink with a friend, a regular monthly brunch with a friend, attend a work quiz for £6 every two months, a very occasional cinema visit or a bus ticket if I'm running late for work - I usually walk so any transport costs comes from my "blow" money.  I try to save any change left in a jar.  I don't eat out a huge amount, use the library for books/CDs, have Freeview TV and a tablet so entertainment is abundant.  I do budget £33 a month for the gym and £15 a month for a quarterly hair cut and eyebrow wax but the total of £88 a month from a £1640 a month wage is my total me spending.  Groceries are £120 a month, everything else after mortgage and bills are paid goes tpwards debt killing. :)

In fact, tonight I am going to a "trade school" class - I trade an items for the teachers time [ abox of teabags was requested so that is what I have!] at a local college so pretty much free. 

Zikoris

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2014, 10:29:10 AM »
All my money is fun, especially whats in a brokerage account.

You know, I think I agree with this - since we're very conscious of everything we buy, what we do spend gets us a LOT of bang for our buck in the fun department. Even stuff like rent - we pay half the cost of a comparable place in the neighbourhood, and get to live in a really fun, lively area walking distance to everything.

Hummer

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2014, 10:47:25 AM »
My wife spends $60 a month on online clothes shopping. It irritates me greatly but I know she spends a lot less than some other people I know. We go out to eat once per month so we probably average $100/month although the figure can vary.

Mrs. Frugalwoods

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2014, 10:52:33 AM »
All my money is fun, especially whats in a brokerage account.

You know, I think I agree with this - since we're very conscious of everything we buy, what we do spend gets us a LOT of bang for our buck in the fun department. Even stuff like rent - we pay half the cost of a comparable place in the neighbourhood, and get to live in a really fun, lively area walking distance to everything.
Big time +1. We don't budget, we just keep our spending super low and save circa 65%-85% every month. Honestly, our "entertainment" line item is usually $0. We don't eat out and, except in rare instances, we don't do entertainment that costs money. We're all about the free stuff.

However, we do sometimes drive 2-3 hours in order to go hiking, which is free, but the gas for the car obviously is not. And, we took a little weekend hiking trip last weekend and stayed at an Airbnb property on a farm to treat ourselves in lieu of camping. We still didn't eat out a single meal or pay for any entertainment. But, I suppose the cost of the Airbnb stay, and the gas for the car, could be categorized as "entertainment."

APowers

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2014, 04:27:37 PM »
We have a "Fun Activities" budget of $20/month. Usually it doesn't get spent and rolls over. I think we have about $450 in the Activity Fund at this point. If we didn't set aside an amount every month, we'd probably never spend anything on anything extra.

I tend to be a little awestruck at how lavish $300/month seems; I don't think I could spend that much every month on entertainment/fun stuff without feeling like a spewing volcano of self-centered wastefulness.


Emilyngh

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2014, 04:46:47 PM »
I do agree that a "fun" budget is not inline with MMM.   However, the one area where IME it can be helpful is with spouses who would feel deprived without a little money that you're not tracking.

Eg., we started getting an "allowance" b/c DH would occasionally buy snacks from a gas station.   This drove me crazy.  *SO* wasteful.   But, this was really almost the only money he ever spent, so it was equally stupid for us to fight about it.   It helped both of us just to say "fine, as long as you spend less than $75 a mo total, I don't care how it's spent, even if it's on super pricey Combos and Mt Dew."

If it were just me, I would not have an entertainment/allowance budget.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #44 on: November 21, 2014, 06:51:11 AM »
We don't have cable.
We don't have gym memberships.
We do have cell phones (I'm on call at work 50 hrs a week)
We do have exactly the right amount of internet for 4-6 adults.
Any hobbies are covered inside our fun money.
Gas and maintenance for our one car household is not.
And our fun money is a total of $200/month for two adults.

Our bring home is $2500-$3000/month. We struggle with our consumerism obviously, because we still budget $200 month even though we are in debt at 6.8%. We are not acting like we are on fire. This number is an improvement from even two months ago ($400) Waaaaaay better than 7 months ago ($1000 with only income of $4000). I'm comfortable with $200 and am now working on reducing fixed expenses or "responsibilities you still have to pay even if you have no money which is dangerous" bills.

mak1277

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2014, 08:07:17 AM »

I tend to be a little awestruck at how lavish $300/month seems; I don't think I could spend that much every month on entertainment/fun stuff without feeling like a spewing volcano of self-centered wastefulness.

Kind of dependent on your take home pay isn't it?  Maybe the better question is what % of your take home (or gross, or whatever) do you budget/spend on fun money?


Zikoris

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2014, 08:10:16 AM »
One thing to keep in mind is that people count different things in "fun". Some include eating out, television, clothes, while others just include entertainment.

Emilyngh

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2014, 08:54:15 AM »

I tend to be a little awestruck at how lavish $300/month seems; I don't think I could spend that much every month on entertainment/fun stuff without feeling like a spewing volcano of self-centered wastefulness.

Kind of dependent on your take home pay isn't it?  Maybe the better question is what % of your take home (or gross, or whatever) do you budget/spend on fun money?

Why?   Why in the world should it be dependent on your take-home pay?    It costs more to have fun the more money you make?   Sounds like hedonistic adaptation that we should all be trying to avoid here.   This is MMM, not Financial Peace U.

Zikoris

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2014, 09:13:45 AM »
How does all of your fun money break down in a month? Here's mine for last month:

Total- $219, split between two people. Exceptionally high because of dance lessons.

Of that:
$158 - Two months of ballet lessons for me
$26 - Movie for two (yay Maze Runner!), including popcorn
$22 - Spooky Halloween train ride for two
$7 - Fries at a bar with some friends
$6 - Fancy donuts at the artisan donuterie

We also went to a housewarming party for some friends, which was very fun but didn't cost anything.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 10:17:51 AM by Zikoris »

mak1277

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2014, 09:22:48 AM »

I tend to be a little awestruck at how lavish $300/month seems; I don't think I could spend that much every month on entertainment/fun stuff without feeling like a spewing volcano of self-centered wastefulness.

Kind of dependent on your take home pay isn't it?  Maybe the better question is what % of your take home (or gross, or whatever) do you budget/spend on fun money?

Why?   Why in the world should it be dependent on your take-home pay?    It costs more to have fun the more money you make?   Sounds like hedonistic adaptation that we should all be trying to avoid here.   This is MMM, not Financial Peace U.

I'm not saying it costs more, but I'm saying I have more freedom to spend on things that are not necessities because I make more money...that's just a fact.  I understand your point about hedonic adaptation, but I'm not going to line up to be face punched because my savings rate is *only* 72% this year even though I spend far more than $300 a month on "fun" things.