As a few of my last posts mentioned, my husband and I get $75 each every month for “fun” money and $100 to use jointly for date nights or other shared entertainment expenses. Coming up with this system actually took us a few years.
The idea of an “allowance” was a turn off in our early twenties. We thought we were frugal enough that we would just naturally choose not to spend much. That lasted for a while until I realized that I wouldn’t allow myself to buy anything and I resented my husband’s big purchases. I’d buy gifts for others, but I kept putting off everything I really wanted (like a pair of discounted Crocs for $30 or even a new pair of $15 jeans). Then I’d see hubby spend $100 on Magic: The Gathering and feel like the world was ending.
I think I was somewhere between a nag and an outright b…well, you know. That’s when my husband insisted on a new system and I whole-heartedly agreed.
We decided that we’d get allotted “fun” money and I’d stop critiquing those purchases. We chose a total of $250 a month since it would work based on our current spending and that $100 of it should be put aside since we go out together frequently and didn’t want to handle a silly “who’s paying” situation.
Since then, I’ve developed a healthy addiction to Shirt Woot and a slightly annoying addiction to ABC Distributing…I never knew how much I craved cheap junk…seriously, I have to watch myself. I still don’t come anywhere near my $75 limit, but I don’t freak out anymore when I decide to splurge a bit (like my $35 work Crocs or my $11-$16 funny shirts).
My hubby saves up for a few months, spends it all, and starts over. It seems to keep him happy although I know he wishes he had more than $75 to work with…maybe after one of us gets a raise.
I try much harder to accept his 60,000 MtG card collection and I’m even supportive of his new obsession with Curling.
All I can say is allowances aren’t just for kids anymore…which is ironic since I never had one then either.
What system do you use? How do you successfully budget in the fun? LOL…shameless plug…