Sounds good right?! Yes, it does and yes it is! When you are planning your budget and you have got your spending under control (see other blogs on budgeting) – it is essential that you allocate some money for fun. What constitutes fun? This is money that you spend on yourself, seeing friends, going out, treating yourself… literally whatever makes you happy.
Why is this ‘essential’? It’s basic really. We are emotional beings and yes, we can be strict and tough and work to our budget – for a while. But eventually, it gets old. Dull. Boring. And life isn’t about all work and no play! The best way to stick to a budget and not to have a ‘blow out’ that destroys all the good work you’ve put in, is to make sure that you build in a safety valve.
If you find yourself scrolling Asos and ‘accidentally’ hitting the ‘Buy’ button. If you go out with your mates for ‘one drink’ and then stay out for, let’s say, five cocktails and need an Uber home… this can quickly blow a budget and then, you feel bad. But what if I was to say, that 10% of everything you earn (after tax), should be yours? To spend. On you. Here’s the reason this helps you to stay on track. It’s totally guilt-free! I’ll explain why.
There are a few ways of slicing your income for bills, savings etc. This 10% level works for me. I’ve been doing this for some time now and it makes a massive difference to the way I enjoy that money and the treats I buy with it. I put 10% of my income every month into a separate bank account. I’ve even called it my ‘Fun Account’.
Firstly, we all need to see the fruits of our labour and feel like we actually got paid so we can enjoy life – not just to pay the bills. Critical that we do actually pay the bills – but not just that. Work to live, not just live to work.
Secondly, money is a form of energy. What happens when we restrict it or even hoard it? It stagnates, there’s no ‘flow’ of energy. Like water, if it gets stagnant, it dies, goes toxic and is unhealthy. A flow of money means it has to flow out for it to be able to flow in. Do you notice that you may tense up around the subject of money? Notice it now. Think about your financial situation and see how it makes you feel. Good? or not so?
When we put structures in place to allow ourselves to spend some money without any guilt at all, we are able to feel that there is enough, that it isn’t so scarce. We relax with the money we have and don’t imprint the energy of ‘lack’ or not having enough onto it. So, it feels better and we behave better with it.
The last rule is this. You have to spend that money – every month. All of it. Trust me, it won’t be hard to! But if you start to get stingy with it, it will stagnate again.
So next time you want to go have a manicure or drinks with mates, buy that new pair of jeans, whatever, make sure you do it and feel great about it. Just budget for it first and you don’t have to ever feel guilty again.