How to Save Money on Entertainment While Still Having Fun

One of the easiest ways to save money is to cut back on your entertainment budget. However, if you don’t do this mindfully, you’re likely to get stressed out and frustrated by the entire process, and give up on budgeting altogether.

Today I want to give you some ideas about how to have fun without breaking the bank.

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Christmas is Coming

How will Uncle Adam feel if he doesn’t get a gift this year? How will Grandma feel if her gift this year is less expensive than it was last year? Ask yourself this question instead: how would your loved ones feel if they knew that their gifts were putting you into debt? Would they still want them?

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Why Budgets So Often Fail (Part 2)

Every year we want to buy our loved ones gifts during the holiday season, but because we so often forget to budget for them, we end up using credit cards to buy those gifts. If and when we finally pay off that holiday debt, we’re often so relieved that we don’t think to start saving for next year.

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Why Budgets So Often Fail (Part 1)

If your plan isn’t built around your life, and assumes that you’ll have one, it’s no wonder that you don’t stick to it at all, and throw up your hands saying “this budgeting thing is impossible! I give up!”. Instead of giving up on budgeting, change your budget instead. If your budget assumes you spend $20/month on entertainment when you’re used to spending $200/month, you’ll give up. In order to not give up on budgeting entirely, what about cutting back to $150 or $100/month instead? You have to build your plan around your actual life and what brings you happiness, instead of building your life around your plan and being miserable all the time.

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Choose Your Hard

There’s no use denying it - adulting is hard. You have to go to work, make sure bills are paid on time, clean your house, make and keep a budget, cook, maintain a social life, and sleep.

For most people, one of the more difficult tasks on the list is budgeting. You have to take an honest look at your spending habits, which is terrifying enough on its own. Then you have to make the hard choices about what to cut and what to keep, and in what quantity. After you’ve made your plan, with stars in your eyes and full of motivation on a Sunday afternoon, you actually have to stick to your plan for the rest of the week, and month, and year. Your plan will change over time, but you actually have to stick to a plan for the rest of your life. And that’s hard. Thinking about the fact that you have to stick to it makes it even harder.

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Burnout & The Power to Take a Break

Do all of those choices make great financial sense? Absolutely not. I’m sure that Dave Ramsey would tell me that I’m making poor financial choices. However, they were truly required for my emotional well-being, and I don’t regret them at all.

Has it been difficult to see my bank account balance decrease knowing that there’s no money coming in? Absolutely. But I had a 6 month emergency fund in place before I started cutting back, and now my savings can get me through even more than 6 months. For me, this absolutely was an emergency. Even if something is a bad financial decision, it still might be the right decision for you.

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How to Budget by Paycheck

Traditional budgeting wasn’t designed around how life works, so if you’ve struggled with it in the past know that it’s not your fault.

My method of budgeting is different. Instead of budgeting by month, I budget by paycheck. We do this by first splitting your expenses into three different categories that we treat differently. The categories are fixed and recurring expenses, day to day spending, and non-recurring or random expenses.

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Why You Need a Car Repair Fund

My total cost for 3 brand new tires? $292.79. My car repair fund that I've been diligently contributing to every month had more than that in it, so this unexpected $300 expense was an inconvenience, not an emergency. Even if the repair fund only had $100 in it, it still would have been an unexpected $200 instead of the full $300 expense. Any amount that you have saved for these, let’s face it, expected, expenses, the less they will be able to derail you financially.

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