We work to have a better life. Every day, we wake, we grind, we bend over backwards, put our heads down and do the work so we can afford the best of life. After all, na everybody like better thing.
For salary earners, we’re sure that at the end of the month, credit alerts go enter. For business people, we know when that deal clicks and we’re sure of making some dough. And then the planning begins: house rent, servicing the car, electricity bill, family expenses, black tax, transportation, feeding and so on. But hold on, where is the budget for fun? None? We guessed right!
A lot of people feel guilty when they take part of their income to have fun. For them, there are always more important things to do with money. And they are not wrong. We know how the economy is, and we also know that the cost of living is skyrocketing, but people’s incomes aren’t. Salaries are barely increased, but that’s not the egg seller or the landlord’s business.
Some motivational speakers and financial analysts don’t make things easier – “Ensure you spend your money only on things that’ll bring in return.” So you look at the chicken pie you’re about to buy; isn’t this wastage? See, we get it! But what if we told you that just as you make a budget for food, house rent and other pressing needs, it is also important to make a budget for fun? That it doesn’t bring in financial reward at the moment doesn’t mean the reward isn’t there. Besides you have done the work, you should enjoy the dividends, else, resentment will build up and you get fed up with everything one day.
Now, the problem with getting fed up is that some people go overboard with their spending. They wake up one day thinking “what is it sef, lemme eat the life of my head” and boom, they remove a chunk of their money, splurge and then feel guilty later on. You see, that is where budgeting for fun comes in. Imagine if, every month, you set aside a certain amount of money, watch it compound and then when you have a substantial amount, you decide on how you want to spoil yourself. Or you have a plan to splurge on yourself, say in about 10 months’ time – like going on a vacation with your friends, a staycation at a hotel, travelling to another state for a while, or even going shopping – and then you put aside a certain amount of money monthly for that purpose. To a large extent, it’ll also free you from the guilt that accompanies splurging.
Studies show that having fun has a lot of simple benefits. It reduces stress, increases your productivity, heals emotional disturbances and fertilises creativity. Having fun generally helps you think better.
We know what the economy is saying, but we also know that we pay attention to things we prioritise. If you make having fun a priority, you’ll most likely find a way. Taking 3000 – 5,000 naira out of your 100,000 naira salary monthly may not cripple your budget. Even if it does, you’ve worked hard, you need to reward yourself for showing up, even on days you did not feel up to the tasks.
A lot of times, we’re hard on ourselves, and so we fear that when we spend on fun, it means we’re frivolous or not prudent enough. That’s not true. A fun budget not only helps you track your spending, but it also gives you the freedom to spend on items and experiences that enrich your life.
There are ways you can create a budget for fun. One is to make it simple, i.e., cut your budget according to your income size. You can have a list of things you wish to do, so list them all out. It could be travelling around the world, eating in a restaurant you haven’t been to, or having a particular dish you’ve been craving. You probably cannot afford them all at once, strike out the ones you can’t afford and go for the ones you can.
If you want to go on a staycation that’ll cost you 150k and you earn 200k monthly, you can save up to 15k every month and then go for it in the 10th month. Having fun doesn’t have to be something grand; it could be buying a handbag of 10k for yourself, or going to eat rice and chicken at The Place. The most important thing is to prioritise yourself and reward yourself for how far you’ve come.
No one is encouraging you to empty your pocket or spend your house rent on Azul. The idea is to do something that’ll shift your attention from work and the hardships of life generally, relax your body, and keep you refreshed. This bodi no be firewood, so take care of it.