You’ve heard of the term “Save it for a rainy day” to reference putting money away for when you might need it. In fact, it's generally recommended to have three months to a year's salary worth of saving for emergencies. While having an emergency fund is definitely important, we've also been doing this on a smaller scale to put a little F-U-N into our fund.
My wife has periodically stashed cash in the past, and I've been more active in doing so myself of late. We have several budgets set up on FitFin, one of which is a “Cash/ATM” budget of $100.00/month. This particular budget was largely ignored for the most part until recently, when I decided to start “paying myself” out of it. What I do is get $20.00 cash back when I go to the store. My general rule of thumb is to only get the cash back if my overall bill is less than $50.00 (that amount includes the $20.00) and I can only go up to my budget limit each month ($100.00). Then when I get home I put the money away in a little box. The money adds up quickly, and we’ll use it only for fun. It’s our little way to reward ourselves for working to be disciplined with our money.
We’ll use the money for things like going out for ice cream, a movie, bowling, etc. One thing that we haven’t used it for (but would be fun) is a hotel room for a quick overnighter in the mountains (we live in Denver). You’d be surprised how quickly the money adds up, as we tend to forget about this little hidden treasure of loot! It’s kind of fun to have the extra money around for fun things. It also helps to sock this money away when planning a vacation down the road.
It’s just something we’re trying out, and I don’t know if the trend will continue or not, but for now, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s definitely something to consider, especially to reward yourself for staying on track with your budget!