“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God has given them under the sun.” Ecc 8: 15 (NLT)
And we do. Australians spend $80.3 billion a year on recreation (the 4th highest area of weekly spending, only beaten by the essentials of housing, food, and transport). On top of this we spend another $36 billion on holidays, $20.5 billion on restaurant meals and $14.9 billion on alcohol (ABS Household Expenditure Survey, 2015-2016).
It is good to enjoy life, and if our spending shows what we value (like we discussed previously), it is safe to say that we value FUN.
However, when we spend money that we don’t have we will quickly find that our short-lived fun turns into long term pain.
There is a proverb that says, “The blessings of the Lord makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” (Prov 10:22 NLT)
Sadly, fun funded by debt comes with a large unwanted side serving of sorrow, financial pressure, stress, and tension.
This is case for 26% of Australians who are spending more than they earn (Canstar, 2019).
So how do we make sure that our fun doesn’t turn into sorrow or financial regret?
We make room or create margin in our life (both our time and our finances) for fun. If we do not make space for something in our life it almost certainly won’t happen. We make room in our finances by doing something only 1/3 Australians currently do and that is have a budget, or Money Plan as we like to call it.
If your finances won’t stretch to paying for fun, there are lots of enjoyable things you can do that won’t cost you a cent. With your money plan priorities getting your finances under control, paying for essentials, and paying down debt – but ensure you make TIME for fun. All work and no play is unsustainable over the longer term and may well make you a miserable person to be around. But I would encourage you don’t but expensive fun before your financial future.
Seeing your savings grow, your debt smashed, growing reserves, and feeling in control of your finances can actually be a whole lot of fun and on top of this will contribute to a positive sense of well-being. Research from Deakin University has shown that financial control is one of three core elements that need to be present in our lives if we want to maintain a positive sense of well-being.
Here are a few ideas for free fun. If you want more tips on creating a realistic Money Plan head to legacyroad.com.au