Fun Fund: Saving Money for Entertainment and Travel

You know you need an emergency fund. Personal finance bloggers like me are always writing about how important it is to be prepared for a rainy day. But what about a “sunny” day? Shouldn’t you be ready for that as well? If you want to be prepared for entertainment and travel, you can build a “fun” fund. Such a fund is about more than just saving up for your next vacation, or large purchase. It’s about creating a fund that you can turn to when you feel like celebrating a little, or getting away.

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Creating a “Fun” Fund

You don’t have to be saving for a specific purpose in order to start building a fun fund. After all, your emergency fund isn’t made especially to cover the cost of a specific emergency. Your fun fund doesn’t need to be just for a specific purchase (although you can start one to pay for a specific hobby or monthly night out). Instead, it can be built up so that you can enjoy entertainment and travel regularly.

There are a couple of ways you can go about building your fun fund.

Deposit Accounts

One way is to build it up as you would an emergency fund. Set aside a certain amount of money each month. Put it in a good savings account, or start a CD ladder to provide you with interest earnings that can add to your fund. Eventually, you will build up enough that you can draw on your fund for unexpected entertainment expenses, or even for travel.

Income Investments

Another option is to build your fun fund with the help of income investments. Dividend stocks have received a great deal of attention lately because of the way they have the potential to provide regular income, on top of the potential gains in share price. It is also possible to include income investments such as bonds and P2P loans in an income portfolio. This income portfolio can help fund trips, hobbies, entertainment purchases and more.

You can add the income payments to a high yield account, or you can reinvest them if you are trying to build your portfolio up a little bit faster. Realize that building an income portfolio requires time and persistence to build. You might not be able to see a large enough revenue stream to do a lot with with your income fund for a while, but you can get a solid start on it, and begin using the income for fun.

Using Your Fun Fund

Once you have built up your fund, you can begin using the money for fun, whether it’s buying a new video game, or for spending money on a trip. With a more traditional savings account, you can wait until you amass enough to do one or two things. If you decide to use the income portfolio, you will need to wait until your holdings are large enough to provide income for different activities. However, it is possible to build up your holdings so that you receive a sufficient income to regular entertainment activities. Even two or three hundred dollars a month can be helpful, if you are looking to add to your fun fund, or just have extra spending money.

It’s important to make sure that you can afford to spend money on entertainment and travel, if those activities are of value to you. Many of us like to have fun, but it’s vital that you live within your means and avoid going into debt for entertainment and travel. Setting up a fun fund can help you enjoy the life you want, without breaking your budget.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons



Author

By , on Oct 17, 2012
Miranda Marquit Miranda is a professional personal finance journalist. She is a contributor for several personal finance web sites. Her work has been mentioned in and linked to from, USA Today, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. She also has her own personal finance blog: Planting Money Seeds.

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{3 Comments}

  1. I totally agree with this. We should treat ourselves once in a while and save some from our salary for spending on things that makes us happy. When I do this, I momentarily forget about all the other expenses and my problems. This is fun!

  2. Pam:

    So good to see this post. I agree with a fun fund idea. I have funds for just about anything you could think of, they help me stay within my budget. I use the envelope idea and when the envelope is full I can do / get what I want or need . When the envelope is empty then I know that I have hit the end of my budget. It has worked great for my family for years.

  3. Great post. This is a great way to eliminate the guilt that is often associated w/ “Blowing Money” on something frivolous. If you save for it and plan for it you should be able to have fun with it. Love it, great concept!

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