As a small business owner, it can be difficult to separate yourself from your work at times. You spend every waking minute trying to think of ways to grow your business and improve your own efficiency, and you can lead yourself to burning out very quickly.

The key to any successful business owner’s success is learning to manage your time, and that also includes setting aside designated free time. As someone with increasing expenses from your own small business, this can be hard to do but it is an absolute necessity to be able to sustain your early growth without going mad.

Vacationing business owner

An easy way to avoid the burnout is to provide yourself with a safe and simple budget, as of both time and money. Everyone should have a budget – and not just because it’s the sensible, adult thing to do. Budgets are also great for those of us who are still a little, well, immature. That’s because a good budget can actually leave you with far more cash to spend on fun. Here’s how.

Save on necessities and spend on fun

Of course, the first goal of any budget should be to save money. That means saving it and not spending it. But, hey, maybe you’re comfortable with the amount you’re saving. If you are, that doesn’t mean you should stop looking for ways to cut costs. On the contrary, now cutting costs is fun – because cash saved in one place can then be spent in another (namely, the “fun stuff” category).

Consolidate your fun

The next thing to consider is how you spend on fun. Is your superfluous spending coming along at a trickle? A latte here and a knick-there can add up. Look for ways to save on fun – can you get a coupon for that movie ticket, or go to a matinee showing, or skip the popcorn? – and, more importantly, stop spending money on tiny doses of fun. Instead, save up for big-time fun like a vacation abroad – or, yes, a movie night that actually includes lots of popcorn.

The point is, the little ways in which we reward ourselves cost us. Impulse buys, extra legroom on the airplane, a few rounds of Tetris at the mall arcade, and the like are all nice luxuries and fun times, but if we get just a little bit more spartan during our work weeks we can have a whole lot more fun on the weekends – and ditto for working months and vacation weeks.

Fun budgeting

Budgeting: a means to an end

Budgeting isn’t fun, and it’s a zero-sum game. But if you focus on the ways in which budgeting can actually make your life more fun on the whole, you’ll see that it’s a worthwhile habit to cultivate.