Brian and I often get ridiculed for not having “fun” with our budget. I say that it is blatantly untrue! We simply pick and choose what we like to spend our fun money on. We don’t like to spend our money idly and we like to make sure we have enough spending money for unexpected splurges throughout the week. We also like to make sure we get the maximum value from our fun money. Here’s a quick example.
A few weekends ago, Brian and I attended EPIC, a Vancouver expo that promotes sustainability and green living. Tickets to the show were $15 per person per day at the door. How much did we pay? Definitely not $15! In fact, we only paid $10 for Brian’s ticket and $7 for mine. We did this by taking the time to read the website ($3 discount for buying online plus $3 discount for students) and then spending 2 minutes searching for an online promo code (another $2 discount). So right off the bat, we only spent $17 for our admission.
We spent about 3 and a half hours at EPIC, which works out to a cost of just under $6 per hour. During those 3.5 hours, we sampled free beer, wine, tea, coffee and snacks. And this was not a teensy amount either. Brian had about 15 samples of free beer, at 1-2 ounces each! I had six or seven samples of beer myself. We also picked up a free 20 minutes of travel time from car2go, an armful of goodies from Choices Markets, and four pouches of free cat food. If we owned a dog, I would have grabbed the free dog food as well!
During the show, we decided we were hungry and spent a further $5 each to enter the Epicurean Zone, which featured more food and drinks. For our $5, we got to try 14 items of our choice. We had samples of gourmet tacos, pizza, roast beef and salmon. We also got to try samples of expensive gin and vodka. Brian had four samples of gin at 0.5-1 ounces and I may have had one or two myself, plus some fruit wine. Think about it – one shot of hard liquor at a bar or restaurant is ALREADY more than $5 on it’s own. For five dollars, we had the equivalent and then some…. plus food!
It was not all eating and drinking either. We also got to play giant Jenga, learn about new sustainable products for our house, and see new green cars up close. You could even test drive some of them right at the expo! There were live demonstrations and various cooking, gardening and home improvement shows to watch as well.
In total we spent $27 to eat, drink and have fun for a whole afternoon. We got a bunch of free stuff to take home and we supported a lot of local vendors in the process. All for $27! And really, $27 is not a lot of money. It’s two drinks and an appetizer at the Cactus Club, two tickets to the movies on a Friday night (but no snacks!!!), or an average order of takeout for 2 people. In other words, if we had not spent our fun money consciously, we would have gotten a lot less.
How do you budget your spending money?