How to make budgeting more fun
Yes, you can have fun budgeting and setting financial goals
- By having some fun with budgeting, you’ll be rewarded by the end results and have a good time along the way.
- If you want to make budgeting a little more personal, start by naming your different accounts and budgets.
- Every time you reach a goal, treat yourself to something fun.
If you’re like a lot of people out there, the thought of budgeting doesn’t exactly sound like a good time. There are a lot of negative perceptions out there about how budgeting means you have to cut back on fun and start a deprivation diet.
By having some fun with budgeting, you’ll not only be rewarded by the end results, but you’ll also have a good time along the way. Here are a few tips to help you have some fun with budgeting.
Make a big deal out of setting your goals
If you’re reading this, you probably have a few personal finance goals in mind. Maybe you have big goals like saving more for retirement or saving money for a down payment. Maybe your goals are a little smaller like reducing monthly spending. Whatever your reasons, laying out your goals is the first big step.
Before you start budgeting, you should take a look at your monthly income. Next, take a look at all of your expenses. Once you see what you’re left with, hold on to that number. The next step is to take a look at all of your debt. Let’s say you have student loans and a credit card. Write those numbers down as well. This will give you a quick glance at your overall finances.
Now for the fun part. When you go to set your goals, make a big deal out of it. You can get crafty with a big poster board and color-code your progress. Every time you reach a milestone add a sticker or new color. Hang your posters somewhere you’ll see them every day. This will give you a nice boost of motivation every morning.
Give your money names
Money can seem so impersonal. If you want to make budgeting a little more personal, start by naming your different accounts and budgets.
Let’s say one of your financial goals was to pay off a student loan. Give this savings account a fun name like “debt-free by 2023”. Every time you deposit money into this account, you’ll chuckle at the name. You’ll also be reminded that your one step closer to being debt-free by 2023.
To get even more personal, if you’re budgeting for things like eating out and taking cabs, for example, you can put some cash into an envelope for each budget. Keep these envelopes in a drawer or in your purse and once the cash is gone, you know you can’t add more until the next month or week.
Make budgeting a little more fun by writing a funny saying or name on your cash envelope to designate what it’s for. Your dining out envelope can read something like, “this food better be worth it”. Your taxi money envelope could say, “you could be walking”.
Give yourself a fun budgeting treat
Now that you’ve set your goals and made your budget, have a little fun every time you reach a new milestone or reach your goal. Once you finally pay off that student loan, for example, you can plan a trip to your alma mater for a football game with friends.
Maybe you successfully added your goal amount into your retirement fund. Every time you reach a goal, treat yourself to something fun you normally wouldn’t. Even if it’s just ice cream at lunch one day, a small treat can be just what you need to feel rewarded for meeting your goals and sticking with your budget.
A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:
- Fast and simple ways to manage your money | Living 101
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- Why you should retire early for happiness, not financial independence | Living 101
If you’re worried about your financial independence, you may be missing the point of early retirement.