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My Allowance is Frugally Fabulous

February 11th, 2007 at 04:35 am

Yes, it is!

A new member joined the blog ranks today, and mentioned that she's feeling constrained by her spending plan. Little L, I have felt your pain! The more I thought about this the more I realized that my allowance has given me the best of both worlds.

I have a fairly rigorous spending plan for our household. Right now it's just me and DH (unless you count the cars, which I sometimes do!), but DH is a spendy type which can sometimes put a crimp in my frugal style. Line items on my plan include (among others) housing, car payment, all debts, all utilities, house and car insurances, house and car property taxes, house and car maintenance, gifts, holidays, medical costs, retirement savings, etc.

And then the 2 slightly different line items. "DH allowance" and "TinapBeana's allowance".

Our allowances are exactly that: pocket money that we can do whatever we want with. I don't keep up with his, he doesn't keep up with mine. We don't have to keep track of what we do with it, if we don't want to. I list my grocery and household purchases item by item in a spreadsheet, but I don't have to do that with my allowance.

Having this little bit of money to splurge if I want makes things so much easier. Same for DH. He saw a golf bag he wanted, but the house hadn't budgeted for it. It was on sale, a good price but only available for a limited time. He put it on lay away with the sporting goods store and is paying for it out of his allowance. It's not a need, but it is something that will bring him some amount of happiness (and exercise!). All without trying to figure out what to 'shift' in the household budget.

So, readers, if you're starting to feel constrained (or possibly suffocated!) by your spending plan, I suggest you consider giving yourself an allowance. Doesn't matter what the amount is, big or small, just a little something that you're comfortable with. When you want doughnuts or a special coffee or a night out on the town, use your allowance for it's intended purpose: to keep you sane and on task.

4 Responses to “My Allowance is Frugally Fabulous”

  1. Bookie Says:

    A budget should be a tool, not a straitjacket. The individual allowance idea gives everyone a measure of freedom.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Agreed.

    I always left a misc. category so if I had a good month we could spend it, if not it could pay the bills, etc. I like that plan overall. But we sliced the budget so hard this year we went back to our allowances to be more fair. I think having a misc. category works really well if you are single, but you have to institute allowances to be fair when there is more than 1 of you. As an allowance it is not quite as flexible, since we are both saving what we do not use instead of tossing it back on a bad month, but I did leave a little in the misc. category too - figured fun things for the family or kids. But on bad months it can pay the bills too. I think flexibility in a budget is key. & allowances in a marriage is also pretty key when things are tight.

  3. KEALINA Says:

    i actually think that's a great idea for DH and I to use but am still trying to bring him around to that idea as he thinks it will encourage us to spend more... and he might be right... for now we simply discuss and agree on all purchases and it works because of our current setup...maybe someday as our budget changes we will institute an allowance...

  4. Money changes everything Says:

    Thanks Tina! You reached me too on this one!

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