Everyone needs a little spending money built into their budget, right? I’m a big fan of the ‘fun-fund.’ But let’s face it, with limited income and trying to pay off debt, your fun-fund usually suffers. So when you can’t increase the fun-fund, you make whatever amount go really far. Here’s a couple of ways I've managed to do this.

$10 for $5

Probably the most popular way to make your money go further are websites like LivingSocial and Groupon. I’ve purchased many a deal for date-nights and family outings at significant discounts. Why pay full price for something when you can pay 50% less? That’s more money left in you fun-fund.

Another way to get more for less is using a gift card. Websites like raise.com have gift cards for retailers, restaurants, etc. at a discount. You might be able to stretch your eating-out money for the month if you can snatch that $50 Chipotle gift card for $35.

Reward Programs

I probably have 37 loyalty reward cards, which can be easily stored on a variety of smartphone apps. I sign up for every single one. Why? Because free stuff. And I never turn down free stuff. This summer alone my family has used reward programs and promotions to get free food, go to the movies for free, get free admission to local attractions, etc.

Most of the programs I sign up for are available to anyone, but there are some local ones that depend on where you live. Some are organization-specific. Your local credit union might have information about local opportunities near you. Make your fun-fund go further by taking advantage of reward programs and deals. No need to increase the budget. Just spend smarter. 

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