Planning Spontaneity Into Your Budget

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

The definition of spontaneity seems at first to be in direct opposition to planning, particularly when you link it with finances.  But that’s the interesting thing. Spontaneity is best enjoyed and least regretted when you actually plan for it. Being spontaneous has a bad reputation; many people  have found themselves with serious financial problems because they let their spontaneity have free reign.  Control, then, is the key. Spontaneity in itself is a healthy and necessary trait that carries its own sense of joy and freedom; but, when it comes to finances, you have to plan for it.

So how do you fit spontaneity into your personal finances?  If you’re like most people, you keep (or are at least trying to keep) to a strict budget in order to reach your financial goals. This leaves very little room for spontaneous spending…or does it? Here’s how to approach spontaneity in your budget and in your financial planning.

Leave yourself wiggle room. Planning your finances right down to the penny is an admirable accomplishment and proves you’re serious about managing your money wisely. However, this is far from realistic. As we know, ‘life happens’, and stuff comes up we don’t expect. You might be asking, “isn’t this what my emergency fund is for?” You should have an emergency fund, but it’s only for true emergencies. If you’re using your emergency fund for more wiggle room when the spontaneous or unexpected opportunity presents itself, you might want to reexamine your habits. Leaving yourself some wiggle room means leaving a certain amount of your monthly household income unallocated.  This way, if a unique opportunity or urge to splurge hits you, you’ll have a set amount that can be used for just about anything without hurting your budget.  You don’t want to use all of it up every month, however. There may be other non-emergency expenses that catch you off guard.

Budget blow money. You might not think you have any money to blow, but you’re probably already doing it. Do you budget your morning trip to a gourmet coffee shop, or is that just ‘blown’ money? Creating a part of your budget for his and her blow money allows for little, spontaneous splurges that make life a whole lot more enjoyable while maintaining financial responsibility. The amount you let yourself ‘blow’ will depend on what you can afford to set aside. Moms, try not to spend all your blow money on your kids or husband. Putting even a little bit of money into pampering yourself can be just enough to brighten everyday tasks.

Work spontaneity into places you already spend. You probably don’t think of your grocery planning as a playground for spontaneity, but think again. With a set amount of money, you can purchase a wide variety of items. Try a new recipe, a new vegetable or fruit, a new packaged product. Stop at random garage sales to spend your clothes or household item shopping money. Do you have a budget spot for entertainment? Instead of renting movies or going to the theater, consider a concert, play, or a comedian. The key to spontaneity in your budgeted spending is to think outside your usual routine.

Enjoy spontaneity that’s free. Perhaps you really don’t have any wiggle room in your budget, at least for the time being. This doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous. There are plenty of spontaneous activities that don’t involve spending money. You can honor your budget and still have a little fun. Consider taking up a new sport or hobby, free informational classes, or a spontaneous trip to the beach or park for a picnic. Do something different for a change, something you’ve been wanting to do but don’t have time for. Just as you would plan to have money for spontaneity in your budget, leave some room for spontaneity in your time budget.

Being more spontaneous will not only help you live a happier and more fulfilled live; it can help you reach out to and be a blessing to others, as well, such as by spontaneous giving of your money or skills.  So start planning for more spontaneity.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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