Can You Still Have Fun on a Debt Elimination Plan?
Absolutely! In fact it is strongly recommended that you do budget in a little fun money to keep feelings of being deprived and discouragement from taking over and derailing your debt elimination plan.
It doesn't need to be a lot of money, but enough to get some satisfaction out of it. Allowing yourself this pleasure is a good motivator in keeping your spirits up.
The fun money in a debt elimination plan can be compared to Weight Watcher's points system for weight loss. Within this highly successful system are points called 'flex points' which are to be used outside of the normal daily point allotment. Flex points can be used as one chooses either by saving all week for a splurge, or a few each day.
How much fun money is enough? If possible, $25 to $50 a month per person is the suggested amount. Anything less than that is likely to feel cheap and unsatisfactory. Of course, you need to stick to what you can afford and if $25 is too much than make it $10 or so. It's still better than no fun money at all.
Fun money should be spent on things connected to personal interest like books, magazines, hobby supplies, jewelry, knick-knacks for the house and so on.
Some of the things that fun money should NOT be used for include:
- Eating out
- Basic clothing
- Personal appearance products (makeup, lotions etc)
These are considered normal expenditures and belong in the budget under separate categories. Many people think eating out should be cut from a debt elimination plan and it shouldn’t be because you’ll eventually give in.
Eating out is part of our American culture and there isn't any reason to forgo this pleasure totally. If you budget in a few dollars for eating out a couple times each month, you'll be a lot happier.
Clothing, personal hygiene items and hair care are considered necessities in our daily life, however most people spend far too much in these areas. The idea is to pare down costs using common sense and realize when a purchase is over the top - such as spending $175 for jeans, or $80 for a simple hair trim and blow dry.
Now that you know what fun money is and is not, you can realize the value of allowing yourself a small reprieve now and then while in debt elimination mode. It will help you to stay the path over the long haul until you are finally debt free!