Slush Fund: The Missing Piece Of A Successful Personal Finance Strategy
Successfully managing your personal finances usually includes some sort of budget or spending plan, and an emergency fund. But that may not be enough. There may be another aspect that could be useful in helping a person get the most out of their money. I like to call it my slush fund.
My wife and I were walking through Sam’s Club recently picking up some items that were on that week’s list of groceries and household goods. As we were making our way through the store, we found ourselves looking at summer related items, specifically a wall of deck boxes. In case you don’t know what a deck box looks like, they look like this:
Basically, they’re heavy duty plastic boxes that hold yard patio furniture. pool toys and the like. They usually sell for between $50 and $320, here.
But, back to our deck.
The deck box we had was in very poor shape and needed to be replaced. We couldn’t find one the size we wanted nor a price we were comfortable in spending during the summer closeout sales, so we decided to wait until fall. We hadn’t thought about it in months, but here we were looking at a deck box of the right size for just under $100. It was a great price, plus it came already assembled so I wouldn’t have to spend a few hours trying to correctly put it together.
This could have been a missed opportunity. We hadn’t planned on spending $100 on a deck box, and all our weekend discretionary funds were already accounted for. We could have waited a week or two, but at that price and the fact that they came already assembled worried me as to whether they would still be available. This is where our slush fund came in handy.
Let’s define what a slush fund is:
- A reserve of easily accessible funds
- Suggested value of $50 to several hundred dollars
- Separate from the emergency fund
- When used, refunded through weekly budget
- Used for purchases or events that come up unexpectedly
We were able to purchase the deck box using money from our slush fund. It would make no sense to use emergency funds to buy the deck box, as we’d then have a reduced ability to handle a real emergency should one present itself. It was a great deal, but we had no ability to purchase it using our weekly discretionary funds.
Without our slush fund, we may have missed out on the opportunity to get a deck box at a great deal (and already assembled!). While budgets and emergency funds are the foundation to a successful personal finance strategy, a slush fund can help you take advantage of unforeseen opportunities and get the very most out of your hard earned cash.
How about you, Clever Friends, do you have a slush fund? Have you had to decline taking advantage of a great opportunity because you didn’t have one?
Check out some of my favorite posts:
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Thinking of becoming a member of the National Consumer Panel?
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Saving on water utilities if you have a pool
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.