Hmmm...on a scale of 1-10, how much do you like budgeting?
If your answer is anywhere from the 1 to 4 range, this post is for you! Keep up the good work and stick to your budget!
Just like dieting, budgeting restricts your money and has influence over your decisions. It takes tracking your spending and planning ahead, much like tracking your daily calories, for it to be effective. Staying dedicated to a budget can seem stale and boring, but we’re here to say it doesn’t have to be that way. What’s a diet without allowing for one treat here and there? Otherwise it would be too dreadful to continue! Don’t let the same happen with your budget– allow some room for leisure you’ll be more likely to stick with it which can help you immensely in the long run. Take a look at our 4 methods for having fun while on a budget.
- Affordable date nights
It’s easy to blow money on fine dining, going to the movies, and shopping on date nights. You don’t think about it until the night’s over and you have a considerable dent in your wallet. While it’s great to splurge for a fancy night every once in a while, frequently dinning out can wreck your budget. Why not try dinning in or going somewhere with special dinner deals? Cooking at home can actually be quite enjoyable, and if you don’t know how to cook, learning together can be a fun (and comical) experience too. There are also tons of free activities to do around town such as community events, parks to stroll through, and sometimes even free movie showings... so get creative for date nights your wallet will thank you!
- Vacation Wisely
Everyone needs to take a vacation every once in a while, and even while you’re on a budget this can be a possibility. It just takes some planning ahead! What my family and I like to do is drive to Colorado and camp for a few nights, then spend a few nights at a resort. This way we save money by driving and camping, leaving some flexibility in the budget for which resort we end up staying at. Camping is just as fun for us and makes for a memorable trip.
If camping is not an option, try alternatives to hotels such as Air BNBs or simply staying with friends. I think vacations are a great thing to invest in, and they don’t have to break the bank.
- Have a “Fun Fund”
While drafting your monthly budget, I encourage you to include a “fun fund”. This can simply be setting aside $30 bucks a month to use for whatever your heart desires. You could save up for the new road bike you’ve been eyeing or spend some each week on eating out. But your fun fund acts like another inflexible part of your budget, just like the money you’d set aside for savings or paying off debt. Saving $10 for something fun can help the rigidness of a budget feel less constraining.
- Create something!
Pinching pennies tends to bring the creativity out of people. Why not use this time to pursue the artistic dreams you’ve been waiting to do? When you are trying to avoid spending money doing something like going to the movies, you could instead start writing that book you’ve had in mind. Or if you try limiting the times you eat out each month, try creating a new and delicious recipe at home. If you’re great at painting, you could even sell some of your work for commission. Make use of your creative talents and interests during this time while you may be financially tight, think of it as investing in yourself!
Don’t put yourself in too much of a bind while on a budget, no matter how tight. Having fun and including room for leisure can help you stay motivated to stick to your plan for a long time.
There are many ways to have fun while on a budget, these are just a few, what are some of your favorite ways? Comment below, we’d love to know!