Guest post from Jadah of Family Sponge
My friend Linda introduced me to the term “fun money.” It seems like a funny concept, and it took me over three years to finally adopt it into my own life, but now I want to share this life-changing and simple cash system to you.
My husband and I have always had a toxic relationship with money. If we have the money, we spend it. If we don’t have the money, we spend it. Then one day, we maxed out our credit cards, and we could no longer spend money we didn’t have.
I actually used to be good with paying my full credit card balances at the end of each month. I had an excellent credit score, owned my own condo by 22 years old, and was very responsible with bills and credit card payments.
But then I had a baby and fell in love! I left my job to stay home with my daughter, our income got smaller, and our expenses increased. I mean I “had” to have a Phil and Ted’s stroller. I had to.
Even if I already had a Graco stroller and Peg Perego stroller and was a baby-wearing enthusiast who didn’t even use a stroller much. I thought I “had” to have that $400 stroller!
Fast forward three years later: my husband and I use a cash system.
We were forced to really look at our budget and enter the world of conscious spending. The funny thing is, we never had a budget, so I had to create one. We only use our debit cards for paying for gas, a few random online purchases, and our online bill pay. We use our cash system for groceries, toiletries, and “fun money.”
Here’s how the “fun money” cash system works:
1. Designate what the “fun money” will be used for.
Our “fun money” is for anything that is not a living or survival expense: movies, eating out at restaurants, iTunes music, clothes, tickets to a concert or game, gifts, enrichment classes, books, office expense splurges, etc.
2. Budget a set amount of money per person.
We budgeted $200 per month per adult and $100 per child (Zoe’s fun money goes towards her classes like ballet). So that’s a total of $500 per month budgeted for “fun money” in our family. That might sound really high to you. If so, choose a number that is doable with your own budget.
3. Set up a “fun money” payout date on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.
We chose to distribute “fun money” bi-weekly based on my husband’s paydays since his checks from work get direct deposited into our bank account.
4. Choose a person who will withdraw and distribute the “fun money.”
Since I work from home, I make a visit to the bank on payday and put our “fun money” into an envelope labeled with our names on it.
It’s nice to have this fun money to do what ever we want without having to worry about going over budget or spending money we don’t have.
Do you have a system for “fun money”?
Jadah Sellner is the editor of Family Sponge and a work-at-home mom who blogs about creative inspiration and balancing family life. Her passion is to build a community who strives to reach optimal levels of love, respect, and healthy living.