Wednesday, August 28, 2019

My Year of the $100/Month “Fun Things” Budget

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When I left the workforce in September last year, I decided on a fun experiment.  I gave myself a $100 per month budget for “fun things”.  Since our household income was basically reduced by 40%, we had a lot less disposable income every month.  I couldn’t just buy whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  (Although I never did that.  I have been responsible with money since I left my parents’ house and went to college.)  Todd cut back on his spending also, so I wasn’t the only one who had to cut back.  We are a family and we have always shared money in our 25 years of marriage.  The difference is, I made a game of it and kept track of every item I spent the fun budget on myself and how much it cost.  So today I’m going to share with you the things I bought! 

First, a few statistics.  I had some very low-buy months where I spent way less than $100.  My lowest month was April, when I only spent $10.  My highest month was September, when I spent $261.  (Still getting used the idea of a fun budget, LOL.)  Miraculously, the 12 months averaged out to $98 per month!  Almost exactly my budget, ha ha!

Also, there are some rules or tenants that governed what exactly falls into the monthly “fun budget”.

  1. It had to be something I spent on myself.  Not for our family, and not for our house.  On myself.
  2. It covers items that I WANT and do not NEED.  For instance, if it’s a face cream that I have been using for years and it’s part of my regular routine, and I’m repurchasing it, it doesn’t count against the “fun budget”. 
  3. All clothes and shoes fall into the “fun budget”.  Because after 2-3 years of being into fashion, I do not NEED anymore clothes or shoes! 
  4. It doesn’t cover fun experiences or things that Todd & I do together.  We have a separate entertainment budget for that.
  5. I no longer purchase books or music.  I only read books from the library (physical or ebooks), and we have a Spotify subscription for music.
  6. It doesn’t include souvenirs from vacations.  We have a separate vacation budget.
  7. I didn’t count the things I got with gift cards or credit card rewards.
  8. Prices are what I actually paid for the items.  Most of the time I tried to wait for sales or discounts, so I rarely paid full price.

Keeping track of it was easy, because for 25 years I’ve entered every penny we’ve spent into Quicken.  (Every month and year, I know exactly how much we’ve spent on every single spending category.)  I’m so used to keeping track of spending and reconciling bills against my own records.  So all I had to do was tag my “fun budget” spending in Quicken and run a report on that tag.

I also just want to mention that I thought $100 per month was a good fun budget for my financial situation.  I realize that some people may not have $100 per month to spend on fun things, and some people may have a lot more than $100 to spend.  It’s not a judgement on anyone.  It’s what I decided was reasonable for our family budget.

I’m going to list the monthly spending backwards and start with August 2019, since the most recent purchases seem more exciting, LOL.  All are rounded to the nearest $1.

August 2019:  $94

  1. La Roche Posay Cicaplast B5 Baume $10
  2. Ponds Rejuveness AHA Collagen Anti-Wrinkle Cream $6
  3. CevaVe Renewing Gentle SA Face Cleanser $10
  4. Revlon Kiss Lip Balm with SPF 025 Fresh Strawberry $3
  5. SEXYHAIR Healthy Styling Paste $9
  6. Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation Golden Beige $2
  7. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil $6
  8. COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream $12
  9. COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask $10
  10. COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence $12
  11. Lada Labo Tokyo Skin Plumping Gel Cream $15


July 2019:  $98

  1. Paula's Choice Resist Super Light Wrinkle Defense Lotion SPF 30 $13 (had a Nordstrom reward note)
  2. Blick Arts - 4 pens $10
  3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Med Brown $14
  4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush 12 Dual-Ended Firm Angled Brush $14
  5. Cover Girl TruNaked Queenship Shadow Sticks in Mogul $8
  6. Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso $6
  7. Ardell Duo Lash Adhesive Clear $5
  8. Finishing Touch Flawless Women's Painless Hair Remover $10
  9. Ardell Faux Mink Strip Lashes Wispies $4
  10. Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery 50 g Sunscreen SPF 50 + / PA ++++ $8
  11. Maybelline New York Unstoppable Eyeliner, Sapphire $4


June 2019:  $133

  1. Dermstore Beauty Fix box – June $35
  2. Elta MD UV Elements SPF 44 Tinted $29
  3. Pentel Refill Ink for EnerGel 0.7mm Needle Tip Liquid Gel Pen, Pack of 12, Black Ink (LRN7-A-12) $10
  4. Platinum-Plated Sterling Silver Round 3-Stone Ring made with Swarovski Zirconia (2 cttw) $26
  5. Eva Naturals Vitamin C+ Serum $9
  6. Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in red dahlia $5
  7. Burt's Bees Lip/Cheek Stick in Blush Bay $9
  8. Maybelline Color Sensational Made For You 373 Mauve For Me $5
  9. Yes To Grapefruit Single Use Mud Face Mask $1
  10. NYX Professional Makeup Bright Idea Illuminating Stick Pearl Pink Lace $4


May 2019:  $224

  1. Ponds Clarant B3 Cream $6
  2. Ponds Cleansing Balm $8
  3. St. Ives Radiant Skin Face Scrub, Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange $4
  4. Aquaphor $5
  5. Love Beauty Planet Deodorant $6
  6. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen SPF 50 Tinted Face Mineral Lotion $11
  7. Various Planner Stickers $31
  8. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution $7
  9. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution $9
  10. Drunk Elephant The Littles Set $81
  11. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% $7
  12. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream $50


April 2019:  $10

  1. Trader Joe’s Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer $10


March 2019:  $48

  1. Clean Mama - homekeeping printables $24
  2. Thayer's Rose Toner $8
  3. Pentel pens $16


February 2019:  $15

  1. Book – Make It Up $15 (the exception to my book rule, since I was going to mark this one up and use as reference)


January 2019:  $54

  1. Trader Joe's all purpose balm $4
  2. Various bath things at Lush $32
  3. Various things at Bath & Body Works $17


December 2018:  $13

  1. Various hand creams at Bath & Body Works $13


November 2018:  $89

  1. Concord & 9th - Christmas stamp & die set $26
  2. Splendid - draped waffle knit thermal hoodie in black $63 (my favorite hoodie in my closet!)


October 2018:  $136

  1. Happy Planner stickers $6
  2. Bath & Body Works - lotions and candles $45
  3. Sunglasses $16
  4. Happy Wax - burners & melts $58
  5. Glade wax warmer $11


September 2018:  $261

  1. Old Navy - vests and sweatshirts $94
  2. Fanny pack for Disneyland $15
  3. Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer $11
  4. Tea Tree oil $9
  5. 2019 Hobonichi Cousin planner $56
  6. Wedge sneakers $28
  7. 3-layer necklace $22
  8. BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer $26


So, what do you think of the concept of a $100 per month “fun budget”?  What types of things would be included in yours?  Is this something you would be interested in reading more about every month as I embark on year 2?

Disclosure:  When possible, links used are affiliate links.  I make a tiny commission if you choose to purchase products from my links.  They are at NO cost to you.  It’s just a tiny amount to offset my blogging expenses and blogging time.  You are not obligated to use the links at all, but I thank you if you do!

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