The Importance of Planning for Fun!


Planning For Fun

Living a financially fit life means having to make difficult choices on what you can and can’t do. It’s the same concept of living a physically fit lifestyle. I used to be 50 pounds overweight because I couldn’t say no to food and yes to working out. Then I signed up for Weight Watchers, and realized that I needed to make smarter choices in my life. I couldn’t eat 4 slices of pizza AND get dessert. As a financial planner, I frequently have to help my clients make difficult yet smart financial choices so they can live a financially fit life. And I hate the part of my job where I have to tell people “no.” As a middle child who has a need to please others, telling my clients they can’t buy purses or go on trips is not fun. But the way that I work around this “no” is helping them plan for the “fun” in their lives. When you have a plan and you work towards it, then you can actually say “yes” more than “no.” And I not only help my clients with this, but I practice what I preach.

So, last week was my 10th wedding anniversary, and since I knew it was a big one, I knew that I wanted to do something fun and not feel bad about the cost of doing something fun. After a conversation earlier in the year, FB Hubby and I started to put aside extra “cash” into our “anniversary fund.” This was not necessarily part of our overall family budget; however, this was extra money that we had in our wallets at the end of every week that we specifically earmarked for fun. Last week, in anticipation of our celebration, we opened the envelope from our safe and realized that we had $800 for fun!! And boy did we have fun!

If you want to do something fun like take a vacation, buy the newest i-Pad or a new pair of shoes, then make it part of your plan for the year and create a specific fund for the “fun.” You will not only get to have the fun you were hoping for, but you will not have the stress of higher credit card balances or less money in the bank because you had “fun.” We all work really hard to “get by” and just pay for basic living, but without the fun in life, the task of just getting by becomes even more arduous. This week, I hope you think about fun things you would love to do and put a plan together so that you can make it happen. Let me know about your successes!

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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