Two things you’re thinking as you read the title of this blog. First, “this is a voice over blog. Now Marc is offering financial advice?” Two, “there’s a difference between wants and needs and we can’t always get what we want.”
To address the first concern, yes, this is a voice over blog. No, I am not a financial guru, and would never claim to be one. That said, I implemented a rule in my life at the beginning of the year that has changed my life. So what I have to say is worth hearing.
Two, you may say you want a fun fund, but you need to pay your mortgage. Fair enough. You may say, “I can’t afford a Fun Fund.” I’m telling you right now… you can’t afford to not have a Fun Fund!
…you can’t afford to not have a Fun Fund!
What Is A Fun Fund?
At the end of 2012 I set a goal for myself. No matter what, regardless of the circumstances and financial strain, I was going to create a Fun Fund for myself. Into this fund I would deposit 10% of every single dime a I make.
If I get a cheque for $50, I deposit $5. If I get a cheque for $500, I deposit $50. I do this no matter what. If I was afraid I wouldn’t make rent, it didn’t matter, I would have faith and keep taking that 10% and dropping in into a separate bank account.
7 Months With A Fun Fund
Creating my Fun Fund was, unquestionably, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself financially. It was also, undoubtedly, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my voice over business.
Look what I’ve done in the first seven months of my Fun Fund…
- In January I took my girlfriend to Vegas for a few days for her birthday to see Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio.
- In May I went to Toronto for the weekend for VoiceWorld 2013 and took in a Blue Jays game while I was in the city.
- In May I flew my mom to Boston for the day to see a ball game at Fenway Park and enjoy an honest to goodness fresh lobster dinner.
- In June I took my girlfriend to Michigan for the weekend to see Huey Lewis & The News in concert.
- In June I flew dad to Maryland for the day to have a fresh crab dinner at a restaurant on the water where crab is delivered live throughout the day.
- In August I’m heading to Bristol, TN for my first ever NASCAR race at the track I wanted to visit the most!
- I wrote this blog in an Executive Suite at a hotel in Buffalo. I came here for a couple days, literally on a whim, just to get away, simply because I can.
You say you can’t afford a Fun Fund, I say you can’t afford to not have a Fun Fund!
What Does A Fun Fund Do?
Nobody wants to spend 365 days a year at home on the couch watching TV or mowing the lawn or sitting in front of the computer screen working. That doesn’t inspire very many people. It doesn’t motivate many people. It certainly doesn’t for me, anyway.
Back in December I made a list of all the places I wanted to go, things I wanted to do, and purchases I wanted to make in 2013. I totalled up roughly how much money all of those things would cost. Now I had a budget.
I took that total budget and divided it by 52. That gave me an idea of how much I’d need to earn each week (assuming I was saving 10%) in order to achieve all of those goals.
Now it’s August, and I’ve crossed almost everything off my list!
Be Inspired. Get Motivated
Every single day I look at pictures of my Fun Fund items. I get so excited about what my next adventure will be. I set countdown timers on my computer. If I’m going away with someone, like my girlfriend, I would send her countdown text messages.
My Fun Fund drives me to work my tail off in my voice over business. Paying rent and my cable bill is important, but it’s not very fun. Putting money away to see Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas… now THAT’s fun!
My entire attitude has shifted. I’m not working to pay my bills – not fun. I’m working to take adventures and buy things like a new iMac (on my list before the end of the year) – lots of fun.
That shift in my attitude has caused me to approach my business with a new enthusiasm. I wake up each day excited to get going because my next adventure depends on it. I audition, market, cut demos, and do everything I do knowing that I’ve got an amazing adventure (reward) waiting on the other end.
You Can’t Afford Not To
In the grand scheme of things, 10% of my income is nothing. I’ve been taking it automatically off every cheque for close to a year now, and I don’t even miss it. In fact, taking that 10% has more than paid for itself because my new found motivation has caused me to make more money! I’ve already nearly doubled my income from 2012!
I strongly encourage you to consider it. Think about what you want to do. What you want to purchase. Where you want to go? Write it down. Take pictures and make a Dream Board. Then set up that account, start taking that 10% and watch your life change!
The most important thing is to just try it! Don’t talk yourself out of it before you even start. Dream a little. Get excited. Have fun. Don’t talk yourself out of it or list a bunch of excuses. Just do it! It could change your life. It changed mine!