Author Topic: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget  (Read 24243 times)

Goldielocks

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2014, 11:55:13 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.

I agree that $300 is lavish, but DH is not fully on board, so needs to pay out of this for kids Christmas presents, his college books, and any PC or other tech upgrades from this.  It also limits his favorite, eating out, by reducing his tech spending if that is his choice.   He may not see the point of working part time, like he is now, if he could not spend part of it.

We just recently (2yrs) set up allowances, so we are matched for spending.

 Right now I only spend about $50 per month for fun money -- eg lunches out,, clothes and cosmetics/ conditioner and thrift store finds for kitchen.   So I have a lot in my acct, and will be able to give each of my kids the ability to take a high school traveling trip to europe or NZ, each, in the next 2 years.   I will also spend for 2-5 days of skiing passes this year, which I need to pre-save $200 per day for.  Now that is my idea of fun money.

Apocalyptica602

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2014, 12:20:51 PM »
My fiancee and I have combined finances where we pay all bills from, as well as our dedicated combined savings goals (house downpayment, taxable investing, IRAs etc)

We do fun money into our former individual personal accounts based on our income, (both high earners, but she between 50-70% more).

I get $100 per paycheck, and she gets ~$165 or so.

So that's $216 / month for me and $357 / month for her (we're paid bi-weekly)

What we consider our 'individual fun money' is ANYTHING we spend without the other one being present. Drinks with co-workers, work lunches or eating out separately, video games, computer parts, clothes / makeup / accessories, whatever else.

Those amounts seem pretty lavish when put into perspective here, and we've found that we're saving more fun money than we're spending, so we may either dial it down in the future or just let it amass and have a discussion on whether we want to roll some of it toward our downpayment fund, or combine it toward a vacation etc)

NewStachian

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2014, 12:29:48 PM »
I used to budget a lot, but I don't really do that anymore. I keep a 12-month rolling average of my spending trends in different categories and throttle my investments off that, and track my %income to savings off that. I categorize gas, bills, food, and entertainment with the last category being the catch-all.

Entertainment is about $1k a month for me and the Mrs. This includes all travel.

laserlady

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2014, 01:19:26 PM »
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.

That's what I do too.  My spending is low enough that I don't worry about it, but I just looked at my past three months of spending to see my average amounts for that time period.  Here are all of my "fun" expenditures for the past three months:

September:  $52 on used books; $9 on Netflix; $70 on internet and cable
October:  $20 on about 100 used books from the library discount sale; $2.50 eating out; $16 on clothes; $9 on Netflix; $70 on internet and cable
November:  $16 eating out twice (once while on a business trip); $12 on a new shirt; $9 on Netflix; $70 on internet and cable.

I spent more over the summer because I traveled to two different family events across the country, but these numbers are pretty typical.  Now I'm wondering whether I need to call and try to renegotiate my internet/cable bill again . . . .

Villanelle

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2014, 01:27:22 PM »
Another "don't budget" voice.

I evaluate every purchase on its own merits.  I can afford to do so, and I find that having $x allotted to a category means psychologically I feel like it is fin to spend $x, without really considering things.  If every penny needs to be given permission to leave, so to speak, then I look at every purchase with a critical eye. 

CryingInThePool

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2014, 01:56:11 PM »
+1 on not budgeting but tracking spending.

Following the adage to pay yourself first I invest 75% of my take home and then I don’t worry so much about the rest.  I do track spending via YNAB so that I’ll have data I trust informing when my Stash is ready for me to walk away.  It’s important for me that the data reflects generally how I want to live my life after my j-o-b is over; that includes meals out, movies, concerts, digital books etc., just very little ‘stuff’.   Could I save a $300-400 more a month? Probably, but worth more to me in peace of mind to have a real run rate of expenses and knowing I have areas I could cut back should I hit a few bad market years.

If you’re in debt or not fully contributing to all your accounts then maybe a budget is the helping hand you need not to over spend.  But after checking off all the big boxes on the MMM path and breaking the consumerism habits of a lifetime I stopped sweating the small stuff -  which for me fell into the fun/entertainment categories.

Cassie

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #56 on: November 21, 2014, 02:26:42 PM »
When we first semi-retired 2 1/2 years ago we did not spend much $ at all on fun.  Maybe ate out 1x/month-never went to a movie, etc.  Then recently we realized we were really missing those types of things so now have added them back into our budget. Depending on what activities we want to do this is about 300-400/month which we easily can afford.  This does not include traveling.  About every 3 years we take a nice 2 week trip to Europe.  We do a few weekends locally every year and some years a driving trip.  At age 60 we have decided that we need to have fun while we can because we have known many people that wait to long & then never get there either due to illness or death.   Our trips to Europe have not been that expensive because we have chosen countries that do not cost a fortune, we only eat dinner out, we look for deals for airfare/hotel, etc.   I think for many it will depend on what stage of life you are at & your own individual circumstances such as debt, kids, etc.   

Emilyngh

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2014, 03:03:27 PM »

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.

No.   The fact is that anyone who has anything close to a MMM savings level has more than enough "freedom to spend on things that are not necessities;"  having *more* freedom, than "more than enough" doesn't really count for anything.  Either spending more than $300 on fun things increases one's happiness, or it does not, and this does not depend on income.

mak1277

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2014, 03:18:04 PM »

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.

No.   The fact is that anyone who has anything close to a MMM savings level has more than enough "freedom to spend on things that are not necessities;"  having *more* freedom, than "more than enough" doesn't really count for anything.  Either spending more than $300 on fun things increases one's happiness, or it does not, and this does not depend on income.

The original post I responded to said that $300/mo seems lavish.  To me, $300 is insignificant and certainly not lavish.  To someone who makes substantially less or has less of a 'stache, $300 may in fact be lavish.  That was my point...nothing more, nothing less. 

But it's all relative...my goals are based on a percentage saved, not an absolutely dollar amount spent.  If I made less, I would spend less, in order to maintain my savings rate.  I suppose if I made more, my savings rate would go up since I pretty much spend whatever I want to right now.

Emilyngh

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #59 on: November 21, 2014, 04:38:26 PM »


The original post I responded to said that $300/mo seems lavish.  To me, $300 is insignificant and certainly not lavish.  To someone who makes substantially less or has less of a 'stache, $300 may in fact be lavish.  That was my point...nothing more, nothing less. 


And my point is that whether or not $300 is lavish is not dependent on income.    Perhaps it's dependent on one's level of hedonistic adaption, but this is not directly correlated to income and is not something to aspire to.   $300 is $300.   It buys the same amount of goods and can be spent on the same things, regardless of income.   A Mustachian could make a shit ton of income and have a huge stache, but would still realize that spending more than $300 a month on "entertainment" is lavish.  Period.   I recommend this MMM blog post: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/22/what-is-hedonic-adaptation-and-how-can-it-turn-you-into-a-sukka/

Cassie

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #60 on: November 21, 2014, 04:56:49 PM »
I think that his article was more about keep buying & upgrading your life with stuff will not make your happier.   However, spending $ on experiences can definitely make you  happier if that is something you enjoy.  Also I think it is about spending $ on those things that truly make you happy-not just randomly spending to keep up with the neighbors, etc.  For instance, even though I have a small modest home it is important to me for it to look nice so I have spent more $ on that then some people would. I don't constantly upgrade because I buy quality things that will last & am happy with that.  One of my adult sons & his wife value travel over anything else.  So they choose not to buy a house, live in a small apartment and every 2-3 years travel for a few months overseas.   I think if people could live their values they would be happier spending less. There would not be a hole they were trying to fill with things.  I value a long walk outside with my dog everyday but I also value going out to eat, etc. Some things are free & some are not.

mak1277

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #61 on: November 21, 2014, 08:42:39 PM »


The original post I responded to said that $300/mo seems lavish.  To me, $300 is insignificant and certainly not lavish.  To someone who makes substantially less or has less of a 'stache, $300 may in fact be lavish.  That was my point...nothing more, nothing less. 


And my point is that whether or not $300 is lavish is not dependent on income.    Perhaps it's dependent on one's level of hedonistic adaption, but this is not directly correlated to income and is not something to aspire to.   $300 is $300.   It buys the same amount of goods and can be spent on the same things, regardless of income.   A Mustachian could make a shit ton of income and have a huge stache, but would still realize that spending more than $300 a month on "entertainment" is lavish.  Period.   I recommend this MMM blog post: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/22/what-is-hedonic-adaptation-and-how-can-it-turn-you-into-a-sukka/

I quite like how you say "Period" as if because you yourself think $300/mo is lavish that simply makes it so.


Emilyngh

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #62 on: November 21, 2014, 09:15:35 PM »

I quite like how you say "Period" as if because you yourself think $300/mo is lavish that simply makes it so.

No, I say "period" b/c this is the MMM forum and it's very clear that $300 a mo on entertainment is lavish to a Mustachian.    MMM often refers to his $25k a year lifestyle as "lavish".....

Cassie

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #63 on: November 22, 2014, 10:51:46 AM »
Please remember that Mr MM spending of $25k does not include his traveling.  That is business related & he does not consider it personal spending.   I think that the term "lavish" is not necessarily defined as a certain $ amount & there is certainly not a cut off point of $300 for someone to be considered Mustachian.  That is truly ridiculous!

MBot

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #64 on: November 22, 2014, 03:53:25 PM »
Take home approx 4k (varies depending on my extra hours worked)

Every month $200

$50 me, $50 him "fun money" (pool league, coffees, work lunches, golf simulator, lunches out)
$50 date night (money to spend time with each other - dinners out, lingerie, movies)
$50 social (going out with others in groups/double dates for coffee/movies or dinner)

This works pretty well for us. For example, this month we went out to Southern BBQ for ribs with a few people with the "social"

We budget money to go OUT of the house at least one a week together because we rent out rooms and it can feel really crowded in the common living space. So it's worth it to spend a bit and go out for a few hours by ourselves

For date night, we've done a few nights out with coffee or snack only, and will go to our local "festival of trees" together which is a $12 total donation to charity at the door.

rocklebock

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2014, 04:20:59 PM »
I'm another non-budgeter. The "fun money" concept doesn't do it for me. If I go out for drinks with some friends, do I pay for that with "fun money"?  Yes, obviously. Wait, but what if those friends are my colleagues, and it's actually a networking event, and I have to go because I'm on the board of the organization sponsoring it. Does that still come out of "fun money" or does it no longer count as fun? If I go to Target and buy some socks, a t-shirt, and a scarf, do I have to itemize which of these are necessary, vs. which ones are "fun" to make sure my spending hasn't gotten out of hand? What if I really do require a scarf for winter, but I buy a "fun" $15 scarf instead of an ugly $5 scarf? Does the extra $10 come out of "fun money"? Too complicated for me. I know how much my average monthly expenses are, and I know what that affords me.

gaspony

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2014, 04:47:12 PM »
We budget about 3% of our monthly income. Since we work on commission it changes and this level has been pretty good for us to keep up with the 50% savings rate of take home pay that we try to maintain. 

Mortgage Free Mike

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #67 on: November 22, 2014, 04:51:22 PM »
Love this post... About $200 entertainment.  I lump eating out into the category of restaurants/eating out.  Rarely do I go over the $200 for entertainment.

APowers

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #68 on: November 22, 2014, 05:20:55 PM »

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?

Yes and no, I think. On the one hand, $300 may seem like a lot or a little depending on whether you're comparing it to $2,000 or $22,000. On the other hand, given activities (say, going to the zoo) don't cost any more just because you're wealthy, so $300 buys the same amount of fun regardless of income.

I just can't imagine blowing $300 every month on fun activities. What would I even spend it on?

For what it's worth, our $20/mo is about 1.1% of our monthly budget, and ~0.06% of take-home pay.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 05:44:12 PM by APowers »

Zikoris

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #69 on: November 22, 2014, 06:12:11 PM »
For us to spend $300 in one month on fun, we have to either:

1. Do something really crazy and expensive - skydiving, white water rafting, etc. I don't see doing this repeatedly month after month.

2. Buy "bulk entertainment" - that would be either me paying for several months of dance lessons to get a discount, or my boyfriend getting a dozen movie tickets through his company's group buying program. That would then be followed by several low months that would balance it out.

So yeah - $300/month = lavish. Nothing wrong with that, we're Mustachians and do plenty of lavish stuff ourselves, but call a spade a spade.

Villanelle

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #70 on: November 23, 2014, 07:28:09 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?

Yes and no, I think. On the one hand, $300 may seem like a lot or a little depending on whether you're comparing it to $2,000 or $22,000. On the other hand, given activities (say, going to the zoo) don't cost any more just because you're wealthy, so $300 buys the same amount of fun regardless of income.

I just can't imagine blowing $300 every month on fun activities. What would I even spend it on?

For what it's worth, our $20/mo is about 1.1% of our monthly budget, and ~0.06% of take-home pay.

When I spend $300+, it's usually travel.  Dh and I are living in Europe for 3 years and we decided that it was well worth it to us to travel our asses off while we are here.  It was a very conscious decision for us.

I know mustachianism means different things to different people.  For me, it more about conscious spending, realism (especially being honest with ourselves) and being a better steward of resources, and less about dollar amounts.  So by that metric, $300 can be perfectly mustachian, based on what Mustachianism means *to me*. 

« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 10:59:11 AM by Villanelle »

Ricky

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Re: How Much Fun Money Do You All Budget
« Reply #71 on: November 23, 2014, 09:14:28 AM »
Some people on this forum are just being a little too elitist. MMM isn't a bible. Just because he defines $25k/yr as "lavish" does not make it gospel. Just because he wants to do things himself (which I believe to be more of something he just wants to do than save money) like carpentry doesn't mean everyone reading is going to take up carpentry and become a contractor for the next foreseeable future. Jesus died on a cross. It doesn't mean I'm going to do the same thing.

$300/mo is arbitrary. The "retirement calculator" comes out the same whether you're spending $50k/yr or $10k/yr. As long as your income still supports a certain savings rate, you'll still retire in X number of years based on the math and desired SWR. Also, if its $300 on travel, then that's extremely low. If it's $300 for 5 people in a household doing vastly different things that improves their happiness tremendously, then even that # is low to me as well. If it's $300 on movie tickets for two people, then that is most certainly outrageous. You can't judge a book by it's cover.

Quote from: Villanelle
I know mustachianism means different things to different people.  For me, it more about conscious spending, realism (especially being honest with ourselves) and being a better steward of resources, and less about dollar amounts.  To by that metric, $300 can be perfectly mustachian, based on what Mustachianism means *to me*. 

Agreed. Some people just take it word for word.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 09:16:49 AM by Ricky »