How to make budgeting fun

Let’s be honest, nobody – especially students - likes the sound of ‘budgeting’, unless you’re a budding accountant or financial advisor of course. In everyone else’s case, it doesn’t get more boring than budgeting, right? The thing is though, it’s one of those turbulent tasks which is completely necessary to help you keep on top of your money – and ultimately, guarantee you have enough cash for your next night out.

With that in mind, here are five tips to making budgeting a whole lot more fun – yes, trust us, it really is possible!

Don’t call it budgeting

Let’s start with the basics and think about changing the name.

If you’re not a big fan of budgeting, then calling it a ‘budget’ is your first mistake because simply thinking about the word will fill you with dread. Instead of scheduling in time to budget, why not re-name it something like ‘Money Mondays’, ‘Cha-ching Tuesdays’, or ‘Finance Fri-YAY’. While we’re not anticipating winning any awards with those name alternatives, we promise you, calling it something a little less mundane will instantly cheer you up.

Don’t do it alone

Budgeting is definitely more fun if you do it with friends. So, get your mates round – or new flatmates (hello ice breaker), grab yourselves a takeaway, turn up the tunes and have some fun discussing money. Honestly, it makes financial planning so much easier when you plan your pennies with someone else.

Also, having a few mates round to discuss any financial worries and concerns you might have, is sure to help you feel a lot less alone – the chances are, they’ll be feeling the same!

Make it look pretty

Make budgeting beautiful by adding a touch of colour (or a whole rainbow, whatever takes your fancy). However you decide to budget, there’s always room for creativity.

If you’re sticking with spreadsheets, then there are plenty of fun budget templates easily accessible on the internet for you to have a play with – or you can get inventive with Excel’s readily available colour palette. If you’re someone who prefers taking pen to paper, then grab the highlighters, dig out your gel pens and make some magic.

Don’t just stick to digital

If spreadsheets aren’t really your thing, then don’t hesitate to mix things up – after all, this is your budget and the only way you’re likely to stick to it is if it’s done how you want.

Treat yourself to a pack of colourful post-it notes, along with a big fat marker pen and create yourself your very own wall budget planner. You can colour coordinate the notes depending on the category, for example, food, social and clothes. Think of it as killing two birds with one stone – you get to plan your cash while adding that pop of colour to your room.

Also, budgeting this way might feel a little less restrictive – something that a lot of people struggle with when planning financially.

Get someone else to do it for you

If budgeting really isn’t your thing and the thought of doing it makes you utterly miserable then there is of course an alternative solution: just download an app that manages your finances for you.

While there are plenty to choose from, here are two of our favourite super student-friendly (and free) downloadable apps that promise to make counting those pennies slightly less painful:

  1. Wally – Perfect for those who want to easily track what they spend, Wally gives you an insight into what money is leaving your purse, while helping to increase your savings. It allows you to set a budget and keep organised.
  2. Mint – Mint promises to give users a fresh new look on finance management. It brings everything together in one place, including spending, balances, and budgeting, as well as your credit score.
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