If you want more money to have more fun, prepare for it. Here's how to build a fun fund.
One of the best ways to ensure that you have money to do what you enjoy is to build a fun fund.
Your fun fund should be all about enjoying the moment and doing what you like best. A good fun fund can be a way to be spontaneous as well. Too often, we get caught up in planning where every dollar goes. When you splurge, it's too easy to feel guilty.
Instead, build a fun fund that you can draw on for the things you like.
How to Use Your Fun Fund
I've used a fun fund for several years. Often, some of the things my fun fund (sometimes I call it my travel fund) has helped with include:
- Short getaways over a week or weekend
- Large purchase for something I think will add to my daily life (like a TV)
- Spa day
- Symphony season tickets
- Table at a gala dinner
Figure out what would enrich your life in some way. It's usually a want and not a need. Then set aside regular funds to build a fun fund that you can tap into when it's time. I find that having this available helps me feel like I can afford to do more.
How to Build a Fun Fund
There are a number of strategies you can use as you build a fun fund.
Keep the money in a high-yield savings account
You can set aside a certain amount of money each month, build the fund, and then draw on it when you have unexpected fun things to do. If you create a budget, the fun fund is an outside item—something you tap beyond your regular budgeting for eating out or your short-term vacation savings goal.
- Money is very liquid and accessible
- Funds are safe, so you don't have to worry about losses
- It's easy to transfer money from one account to another
- Yield is low, so your money won't grow as fast
- Depending on how you access your money, you might be limited as to transactions
Another option is to build your fun fund by holding it in a low-cost brokerage and then adding to it regularly. This is my approach. Choose income investments like dividend stocks and bonds for your fun fund. When you receive income from those investments, reinvest it. One way to build a fun fund using investments is to use a site like M1 Finance.
- Potential for your money to grow faster, giving you access to a higher dollar amount
- Set up automatic investing in line with your preferred asset allocation
- Losses can translate to a tax deduction
- Potential for loss since you're using an investment account
- It can take several business days to access your money, so you need a process and to plan ahead
- If you sell for more than you bought, you might have to pay capital gains taxes
Your fun fund can provide you with a way to enjoy life more without stressing out about budgeting and budget categories. I make my fun fund a regular line item in my spending plan. It grows over time through regular contributions and investment gains.