So some great advice I got from someone was that when starting a budget, I should add in some “Whatever Money.” You might call this Mad Money or an allowance, but it is basically money you can use how ever you want outside of your budget categories. It isn’t a lot of money. You don’t get $200 Whatever Money on a tight budget. But you do get a small amount to treat yourself, buy what you want, or go to a movie.
Here’s how I did it:
I seeded this month’s Whatever Money with what I had leftover from last month, plus a rebate check I received which ended up around $20. I’ve added in $10 a month category on my budget for future months for Whatever money and will continue to add in a small amount of any leftover money from the month before. You could also add in birthday/Christmas money gifts or rebates from eBates or Swagbucks too. Money you make from side jobs could also go here but for me, if I was making a significant amount, I’d definitely put some of that towards debt instead.
I spent $7 of my Whatever Money this weekend: A $2.50 new (to me) backpack (I’m starting my master’s this month!), $0.50 flashlight, and a $1.50 electric wine opener from the Goodwill half-price 1st-Saturday sale. And I bought a Starbucks Green Peach tea concentrate from T.J. Maxx so I can enjoy summery tea drinks this month. Fun little things that in the long run keep you on track and away from impulse buys.