You Can Still Have Fun on a Budget

Budgets get a bad wrap. They sound so dreary and mechanical, and not at all fun. But they don't have to be. Keeping a budget doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun. In fact, a budget can help you have even more fun than you realized. You can use a budget to save for a big trip around the world, or a stay in a nice hotel in a big city, or help you visit every state in the country. But even if you aren’t budgeting for a big trip, or are budgeting for something else, there are still ways to have fun while keeping your finances in check.

Ask your budget what you can do

If you've been budgeting for a while, you might find that you’ve gotten better at saving, or maybe you're better at anticipating exactly how much you'll spend in a given month. Even if you’re new to budgeting, calculating how much you spend on certain items can help you find new ways to save your money. And when you’re saving more than you expected or budgeted, you can use that money to have a little fun. (You could also save that money to get closer to your savings goals, but that’s entirely up to you!)

Take a close look at your budget and see if there's room somewhere to have a little fun. Maybe you packed your lunch more this month and saved money on eating out. Maybe you paid off a loan earlier than expected. Maybe you got a bonus at work. Or maybe Grandma sent you a nice little check for your birthday. All of these things and more could help you do something that you enjoy.

Look at budget-friendly fun

Whether you find yourself with a little extra cash or you are trying to keep as much as you can in the bank, there are always fun—and sometimes free—things to do. Museums may have free-entry days for locals. There may be deals and specials available online through sites like Groupon that can help you afford a treat or adventure at half the price. Get a group of friends together and see if you can get a group discount—lots of fun places offer them if the group is large enough. A little research can open up a whole range of possibilities.

Wait for sales

If your idea of fun is buying something new and exciting like a videogame, electronic, or other high-dollar item, it might be worth it to wait for it to go on sale than to buy it the day it comes out. If you haven't budgeted for an upgrade to the latest iPhone, take a little time to save up for it, and maybe wait for a sale. Lots of big places offer holiday-related sales that could help you save a bundle.

Adjust your budget

Having fun is important. It's so important that it should be a part of your budget. If you haven’t already made a space for “entertainment” or “fun,” now might be the time to add it. If you can afford to add a little extra fun into your budget, do it. It’ll make you happier in the long run, which always a good thing. Happy people work harder, which could mean more money for you to save for the future. Make sure you allow yourself to have a little fun each month. Just make sure you budget for it.

Budgeting can seem like a regimented way to live, but it's really just another tool to use to help you make the most of your hard-earned money. You're saving for a reason. Make sure having some fun is part of that reason.

Want to save even more money? Speak with a member of the Dime team today at 1-800-321-DIME (3463) and see if our Money Market Account is the right way to help you save more.