Well, we’ve made it to the “April showers” season of life here in the Pacific Northwest, so I think it’s the perfect time to discuss how to create some rainy day excitement in your budget (and why you should!).
Rainy Day Funds, Explained
When it comes to rainy day excitement, I’m really talking about having a rainy day fund. What is a rainy day fund, you ask? Quite literally, it’s another form of savings, similar to an emergency fund, that is used for smaller expenses, sometimes including minor emergencies, necessary travel, or anything else that might otherwise drain your emergency fund.
Alternatively, people use these funds as a method of saving for those moments when they don’t have any extra money in the budget, but they want to go do something fun and exciting. Personally, since I have a fund for everything, our rainy day fund is for those times when we just need to get out for the mental health of the whole family and do something different for a day. In the past that’s included getting a hotel room for the night to play in a swimming pool, taking a day trip to a scenic park, and even going to the movies.
How to Use Your Rainy Day Fund
No matter whether you’ve had a rainy day fund or are just considering one because of this challenge, there are a few questions to ask yourself before you begin:
- If I had a rainy day fund, what would it be used for? This list is especially important because, when expenses arise, you want to make sure the fund you’ve worked hard on is only used for what it was intended for.
- If I already have a rainy day fund, are there set guidelines in place as to how I can use it?
- How much money could I divert to my rainy day fund without hindering my current budget or debt payoff plan? Even a little bit each month or week can make a huge difference in the long run.
- Can I make an additional sacrifice in my budget or daily expenditures to add a little more to that account each month?
- Will I pull that money in cash to make sure I have it on hand and separate from the rest of my “bills” money or will I carefully track it some other way?
You’ll also want to make sure your spouse is onboard with the diversion of any income to your rainy day fund. Remember, it’s always better to plan ahead WITH THEM, rather than having to explain yourself later.
Challenge: Create Your Own Rainy Day Excitement
I’m challenging you to create a rainy day fund. If you already have one, then I’d like you to contemplate how you might add a little more money to that fund each and every month. It might not seem like a big deal at the time, but when you need it, you’ll be happy you made the sacrifice!
Leave a comment below and let us know what your rainy day fund is or will be used for!