The statistics on budgeting are bad – approximated at about 30% who maintain a budget. Financial guru’s make budgeting sound like a boring, but necessary, habit that’s good for our willpower and life. It is. But, you don’t have to just walk down the path of budgeting x% on food, y% on accommodation, etc.
Budgeting can be a really creative process. Here are 3 tweaks that can make it fun –
– ‘I am healthy’ fund. Set aside an amount every month (say $100) for medical expenses. For every healthy month, give yourself a small treat.
– ‘I can vacation in style’ fund. Again, another small fund to pamper yourself to a luxury vacation every year (or whatever maybe your inclination).
– ‘Screw up’ fund. This is my favourite. It sets aside a monthly amount for screw ups and bad purchases. Rather than attempting to erase our screw ups into memory, I believe in creating a honour roll so we can learn from them.
For example, I screwed up 2 years ago by spending $400 for a lifetime subscription for a service I barely used (you could argue I have about >75 years to make it worth the while, of course! :)). Ever since, I’ve instituted a rule that I must sleep over every non-critical purchase above $200.
And, if you have just begun budgeting and set a tight budget for yourself, set a small overspill fund to gradually rein in your budgeting. The great news is that budgeting, like a good life, is a game.
You can design it any which way you want.’
PS: Imagine if companies set aside a tiny amount every month for a “screw up” fund. Don’t you think that will be a LOT more effective than those drab speeches from executives about how they “foster innovation?”