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Sometimes You Just Need to Have Fun and Spend Money

I am an extreme saver. I constantly do stupid things to save money (25 Examples of My Extreme Cheapness), and I often hesitate to spend money on something other than investments and the necessities. Thankfully though, I have learned that saving money isn’t everything. In fact, sometimes it’s not even healthy and can turn into a bit of a scarcity-minded disease. At certain times in life you just need to have fun and spend money!

Of course, this means that you first need to get rid of those stupid debts and actually build up a savings account….

Top Reasons to Have Fun and Spend Money

Given that I’m an extreme saver, I don’t think I’ve ever written a post quite like this. Kind of liberating actually! Sometimes you really do just need to have fun and spend money for all of the reasons listed below.

20160117 - have fun and spend money vacation1) You’ve Earned It

I constantly see co-workers that are broke, buy new cars, and then are high-fived by their friends…”You deserve it!” This is absolutely NOT what I’m talking about here.

If you want to spend money instead of saving it, then I would assume that you’ve worked hard at digging your way out of debt for at least a year or two and are now finding yourself in a much better position to spend money than you would have been just a few years ago. The purchase shouldn’t put you in tight spot, and should be reasonable considering both your bank account and your income.

Liz and I got married in July, spent only $500 on our honeymoon, and then did nothing but pad our savings for the next 6 months. By the time January rolled around, we decided that it was a good idea to spend a couple thousand bucks on a vacation to Sanibel Island!

2) You Actually Have the Money

PR Newswire reports that 52% of millennials go into credit card debt to take a vacation. In other words, they never had enough money to take a vacation in the first place (and had no business going). If you want to take a vacation, I suggest that you have zero consumer debt (no credit card debt, student loans, or car loans) and 6 month’s worth of expenses in the bank. Beyond that, if you have the cash to take the trip, then by all means, take your trip, have fun and spend money!

3) It’s Good For You

I listen to Dave Ramsey podcasts quite often. During one of his shows, a elderly man called in and was happy to report that he had saved up $1.5 million during his lifetime. He and Dave celebrated for a moment, and then shortly after the man asked his question:

“I realize that I have more money than most, but my wife wants to take a cruise that’ll cost us $4,000. After a lifetime of saving, it makes me extremely nervous to spend that much money. Should we take the trip?”

Dave’s response….”Dude, you have $1.5 million. Find a better cruise line and spend $8,000!”

After saving, and saving, and saving…..and saving…. it can be hard to spend money! Not only that, it can be downright paralyzing! But, what’s the use of saving for all those years if you’re never going to have fun and spend money? As an extreme saver, I understand that saving money can be fun, but spending it is fun too! AND, you’ll actually have something to talk about for a change! 😉

have fun and spend money4) You’re Making Memories

Instead of buying a bunch of stuff, Liz and I believe that our money is much better spent on relationships and memories – in other words, vacations! Just last week, we were on the shelly beaches of Sanibel and Fort Meyers, hand in hand and talking about whatever came to our minds. We kayaked in the mangroves of Tropical Bay and saw dolphins playing throughout our entire vacation stay. Thanks to this vacation, we’re more relaxed and more in love with each other than ever.

If you have the ability to have fun and spend money, I suggest you make some great memories in the process.

When you have fun and spend money, what do you splurge on?



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I agree but I would still budget the fun money and enjoy. Sometimes people can get so caught up in the savings game that they forget about living life to the fullest. You can’t take your money to the grave so take some time to have fun with what you’ve earned. I know we plan on it!!

    • You definitely can’t take your money with you, and I think it’s important for everyone to spend at least a little bit on themselves once in a while. Thanks for the comment, CBB!

  2. For sure, build some fun into your spending plans. I’m an extreme saver, too (or was when I worked full time) so I know how easy it is want to save every dime, leaving little (if any) for fun. But achieving financial independence is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s important to include in your monthly spending some allowance for “fun” money. Maybe you collect it up for several months and then take a trip……or spend a little each month on things that are fun for you. Either way, it’s important to include it in your plans.

    Keep working for your goals…..but try to have a little fun along the way, too.


    • I used to save pretty much every penny, especially when I was tackling my debt head on. But, now that I’m completely debt free, it’s a little bit easier to splurge now and then. Plus, it actually IS fun! 😉

  3. Memories > things
    I was an extreme saver, but felt that I lost my closeness to my friends and family because of it and after paying off a big bill, I am back to spending some dough. I am now much happier and have added to my circle of friends.

    • Totally agree Barb! I’ve discovered that memories are way more important than just holding onto some cash.

  4. As with a lot of things in life, to me it is a question of balance. I splurged a little last week and bought two powerball tickets (one for the Saturday drawing, one for the Wednesday). I won $4 so I ended up breaking even and it was fun to dream a little that I might win something bigger. The better news is that hubby did some number crunching yesterday and we discovered we paid off close to $14,000 in credit card debt in one year! I couldn’t believe it when he told me that.

    • Great job Suzie! Paying off $14,000 in one year is awesome! Keep it up and I can’t wait to hear about your future successes!

  5. As some others have said, you have to find balance. Being one extreme or the other is very unproductive and often not sustainable.

    We are aggressively tackling our debt ($65,000 paid off in 2.5 years), but we also save some money for fun and leisurely activities.

    I see no point in just saving for sake of having money, nor do I see a point in spending for sake of spending money. We should find purpose in our lives and assign value to things. We have tried to be intentional with our saving and our spending, and align our lives accordingly. It is much easier to save for something you want (i.e., vacation, home, retirement) than to just keep hoarding money. It is also much easier to control your spending if you make sure every purchase aligns with larger goals and values.

    • Great job paying off all that debt Brittney! You can definitely use some for fun and leisure, but be sure to have a plan on what to do with your excess cash once all the debt is gone. This was a harder step than I thought it would be when I got there.

  6. Making memories is so important. It’s tough to put a dollar value on memories.

    • It really is. I probably missed out on a lot when I was younger. Heck, I could barely bring myself to eat out with my friends at Wendy’s!

  7. Number 2 is definitely something people refuse to admit when thinking about or planning to take a vacation. I have avoided travelling for the past while because I was busy paying off my debt, now I’m saving for a trip instead of going back into debt like most people would. Great post.

    • For sure. If you’ve got credit card debt that you can’t pay off every month, then you probably shouldn’t be spending money on a vacation that you can’t afford. Glad you were one of the few that came to that realization Alyssa!

  8. Yep I’m one of those savers who is having trouble justifying spending on fun but fortunately I have my beautiful wife who has been helping me in this area. lol Really though I was so into getting out of debt that I really forgot the need to enjoy life more. Good post Dereck.

    • Haha, yup, that’s how it works sometimes. If it were up to me, I probably would never spend a single dime on fun. Thankfully there are people in this world that can teach you and I how to have a good time once in a while. 🙂

  9. But there are loads of ways to have tremendous fun without spending tons of money, yes?

    • This is true Kurt, but you can’t always lean on those $5 date nights. Sometimes you’ll actually have to travel somewhere, let your hair down, and actually spend a substantial amount of money. It really is fun once you have the funds to back it up!

  10. I have traveled while still carrying student loan debt, but this was after I had paid off 90% already and was just a few months away from being debt free (which I am now), and the interest was negligible at that point, and it was the only timing that would work. I would never travel without some money in the bank and I would never put a trip on a credit card, the interest rate is way too high and there are always unexpected additional costs. I believe in spending money on things that matter to me, and saving by not wasting money on things that don’t, like having flashy belongings and constant partying.

    • Sounds like you’ve got a good head on your shoulders Giovina. You bent the rules a bit, but you thought it through and decided it was worth it – and it didn’t really hurt you financially! Thanks for the comment. It’s always good to see a slightly different opinion on the topic spending money.

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