As notorious and strict I am about making a budget, I always seem to overspend somewhere. One of our biggest challenges, I feel like, is not spending our hard earned money on ourselves. We always end up feeling like we work hard and everything just goes to responsibilities and no fun. So, when we do decide to spend, we end up splurging. Therefore, I implemented a new category into our budget for allowances. Each paycheck, before anything gets spent, we each take 1 days worth of pay to spend on whatever we’d like. It’s been almost a week since we got paid and here’s how we’ve done so far:
Less impulse buying. My dog’s birthday is coming up so we went to the pet store to get everyone a treat for the big day and my husband came across a turtle filter. While we physically had the money in spending, and in our allowance, he thought it would be better not to. This was great because we didn’t go to the store for a turtle filter, so now we’re using self-control!
Splitting things in half. The day after we got our paychecks, we decided to have date night and order Chinese take-out. Our total was $19.99 and we literally went $10 each (I gave Lucas the penny because I’m a stickler like that). I thought it was only right, because how fair would it be for me to have more than him when I got to enjoy it too. Now we didn’t do this for everything – there are a few things that are necessities, such as groceries, pet food, laundry, etc., that just came out of our regular spending rather than allowance. The allowance was strictly for wants, not needs; we didn’t need to order Chinese take-out, we had food at home, but neither of us wanted to cook. Our total came out to half the amount it typically does and we had just enough food to get full for the night. Yes, when we order Chinese, we typically spend $40 and have leftovers (talk about over-spending).
Planning date nights. We always say we’re going to see a movie or eat in a nice restaurant, but something always comes up. We end up spending more than we should have in one place or another, usually because of impulse buying, and then our ability to afford date night goes out the window. We have a date night planned out and I’m really excited because I know it’s going to happen!
So far the idea of adult allowances has gone really well! Not only has it impacted our fun-money, but it’s also positively impacted our spending in other areas! It’s been a lot easier saying, “no we don’t need that for the house”, or “we need that, but we don’t need to spend $200 on one either”.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in one day. This has been a struggle for Lucas and I for some time until I thought of this, and we’re barely one week in. I feel like ultimately, it will continue to work, but that’s only going to happen if we stick to it. I hope if you have these problems, and you try this idea, it works for you too!