Finances: Save for Something FUN

Saving Money for Fun

When we start to look at our finances, we overlook an important piece of information.  That is that if we remove all money from our “extras” pile, we will grow to resent our new plan.

It is vitally important to your financial planning success to allow for saving/using some of your money for “FUN STUFF”.  The kinds of things that would be left undone without a plan to include them.  For example, getting ice-cream off the “Ice-Cream Truck” in the summer.  All too often, we forget to have fun and enjoy ourselves, when we are planning our budget and spending plans.

My challenge to you is to work some “fun money” into your savings plan, so you can do the random fun things that come up.  Start small, whatever that looks like for you.  We do $5 a week in a jar, and if an opportunity comes up, we check the balance.  If we don’t have enough in the jar, everyone takes a look at their own personal money, and sometimes we each chip in a little from our allowances to make it happen.  BUT, it is always an option now that we have a plan for the “little extras” that come up.

Finances: Needs vs. Wants

Needs vs Wants

Have  you ever really considered the category your expenses fall into??  In today’s society, there is a fuzzy line of distinction between needs and wants.  Whereas not so long ago, 40-60yrs, the line was much more clear.

We all need certain things, like air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, a home to live in, a way to make a living and so on.  What trips us up are the amenities we have started to take for granted, such as cable tv, cell phones, cars, mp3/ipods, computers, internet etc…

Each of these things plays different roles in different peoples lives, therefore there are things that can be shifted from each of these lists onto the opposite list for some people.  No two people can be guaranteed the same lists.  You have to look at your situation as an individual/family and decide for yourself.

Don’t let anyone else tell  you what is important to you.  I will never forget an encounter with someone that changed my perspective on this topic.

The conversation went something like this: “You PAY for your water? (I buy bottled water), I get MY water from the tap!”  (caps and exclamation point were her emphasis)  I was taken aback and then bit my tongue.  I wanted to spout back “You spend your money on Wine, I spend mine on Water, we both made a choice!”  I didn’t do so because I realized that I would only be feeding into her sense of “right to judge”, and my comment would have be me judging her just as poorly as she judged me.  (I do buy wine too, I’m not opposed to it!)

So, take a look at your expenses, see what expenses fall into which category.  You don’t need to do anything with this list at this point (unless you want to), but being aware of your choices will open your eyes to the way you are spending your money.

Awareness is the first key to understanding something new.

Finances: Budget don’t Begrudge It

Woman looking at budget

UGHHHH, the dreaded “B” word!

I know that thinking about budgets is not the most sought after topic, but none the less it is important.  In my experience, what we think about and focus on grows.  SO, I have found that if you spend some time regularly looking at your expenses/income, that you will start to notice patterns of spending.

Simply put, Knowing where your money is going is a powerful place to be.  When you don’t know you can’t make changes.  Especially if you don’t like the way things are going.

My challenge for you this week on budgets is this.  Just write down what you KNOW you have for bills.  (Mortgage/Rent, Food, Gas, Electric, Cable, Phones, Water, Insurances, Car Loans, etc…)  This will let you begin to see what it costs you to maintain the lifestyle you are currently living.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you out.  I have lists of typical expenses, so we can go through the list and get more specific if you’d like.  Just pop onto my calendar (no charge)!!

Enjoy the journey!