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How much spending money do the adults in your house get?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
My DH and I each get $30 a week in spending money. This is truly money to spend on whatever we want -- not gas for the cars, not gifts for people, not take-out we get as a family, etc.

DH spends his mostly on alcohol (he likes a drink or two each night) and candy, and I spend mine on haircuts (DH shaves his head!) for myself, outings with our son (Starbucks, mostly), books for me, etc. In the past there have been times when I haven't taken my share at all, or only a partial share.

I'm the one who does the budget and sort of decides things (though DH is informed and we do discuss bigger purchases -- he just prefers to let me handle things). So I'm the one who decided on $30 a week. DH is pretty good about that (he would never take out more or anything) but every once in a while he'll lament that it's "only" $30 a week and that this amount has not changed in about ten years.

So, how does it work in your house?
post #2 of 41
$20 per week, per adult. Used for: books that aren't career-oriented, food out that's not as a family, hobbies, clothes, video games, etc.

DH doesn't pay for his haircuts ($18 at haircuttery), because I think he would choose to not cut his hair if he had to pay for it . However, I pay part of my own hair cut - If I want a salon hair cut, I pay for any amount over $18. It seems fair for the household budget to afford $18 per haircut per person, but if I want a better cut, I can pay the difference myself.

post #3 of 41
We have a similar system of "no strings attached" money.
We each get $50 per week. This is what fits into our budget and what we each agree on. DP usually saves his money for bigger purchases like a guitar he wants (or amps/accessories), or spends it on eating out. I tend to use my money for social activities, eating out or home decorating that isn't really necessary but that I want to do.
post #4 of 41
Same thing in our house, only I dropped "my allowance" as things have gotten tighter over the past year.

Dh gets $40/week ($80 per paycheck, automatic deposit into 'his' account). He WOH, so frequently goes out to lunch for meetings and such.

I have a very-very-very part time job on weekends, for which income is highly variable (could be $10/month, could be $200-300). That paycheck is deposited into my account and I either keep it or spend it on family stuff, depending on how much it is and what my/our needs are. Last year, I spent what I needed on haircuts/books/whatever with the leftovers after purchasing bank CDs to pay for the kids' school this year. I liked the security of having it prepaid a year in advance. I am now saving for next year with the bulk of my checks. Dh never asks how much I keep for myself versus how much I throw back into the family pot, so this system is working for us even though "my" allowance is a little less defined.

If anything, dh dreams of returning "his allowance" levels to pre-kid, dual-income amounts. I would love to, but I don't see it happening anytime soon...
post #5 of 41
We don't really do it like that here. DH has his own spending money that comes from our "Mortgage" account. I generally don't use that except for giant purchases like a new stove or something.

I have $1160 per month to spend on everything else: gifts, groceries, hair cuts, fast food, etc.

ETA: I think $30 per week is very reasonable in the scenario you are describing if it's just "running around" money.
post #6 of 41
None from our own budget. Sometimes if there is enough grocery money we might grab a treat or something. I get a check from a relative though each month with the stipulation that I spend half of it on myself. I am buying a snap press next month.
post #7 of 41
Dh gets $60 a paycheck (every other week), which is to also cover gas. He is not trustworthy with a debit card so he gets cash. When it's gone, it's gone. His gas is approximately $20-$30 of that depending on gas prices, which location he's at, etc. He also gives a co-worker who can't drive due to a medical condition a ride often and that co-worker will chip in for gas even though it isn't really out of dh's way too much.

I use the money for eating out, clothes for me, clothes for the kids, etc. He uses his for golfing, going to games, We do have separate clothing budgets but if we see something we just have to have but don't need, that's where the money comes from. We'd like for it be more, but budget just doesn't allow. If your budget allows and you've had the same amount for 10 years, I would lean towards increasing it to $40, but he certainly isn't suffering at $30/week.
post #8 of 41
I officially get $40 per month (though I usually spend more like $50-$60). This covers mostly things like books and any fast food we might grab (which is rare as we live far from any town of size).

DH doesn't really talk Official Budget with me, but I think he spends around $80 a month on himself, mostly on fast food when he's at work. He told me a couple weeks ago that he allows himself $40 per week for "running around" money. Which really bugged me for a minute, until he told me that he was irritated that his running around money was gone due to spending it on new deadbolt locks for the house that week (which I would count as a household expense, not blow money). I guess he and I have different definitions.
post #9 of 41
DH & I talked about this recently and agreed on $50 but honestly, I think it needs to be less - $25-30. We'll talk today when he gets home... though our initial agreement was to put $300 in our acount for 2 wks and see how it goes - using that $300 for gas, eating out, everything. I'm honestly feeling like it should be cut down more to like $200, but we'll see...
post #10 of 41
We used do something like this and it worked out great. We each got $50/ month for whatever. Our budget is way too tight for that now, so unless we want to take $ from the cash grocery budget there are no extras. I was just whining about this yesterday actually- it is really hard to stay with such a tight budget indefinitely with literally NO splurges. I think if you have the room in your budget for a little spending money that it is a great way to avoid feeling deprived.
post #11 of 41
Dh gets $200 per pay period (every 2 weeks). It is to purchase gas for the car in toting the kids around and then the rest is to do with as he pleases. I don't give myself an allowance, per se, as I don't tend to spend money much on things that are just for me. I have a $50/mo yarn allowance, but, that certainly does not always get spent. That's really the only stuff I tend to purchase that is just for me. Even the other crafting stuff I buy tends to be for things for the kids, so, it kinda works into their clothing/gift budgets.
post #12 of 41
We both work and make similar salaries. Anything left over after contributing to savings, retirement, college funds, and the joint account for household expenses is descretionary spending money for the earnee.
post #13 of 41
DH and I each get $50 a month for spending. This is for coffees, alcohol (mostly what DH spends his on), food out (often mom/coffee dates). We have a separate line item for haircuts, clothes, etc. We also have $100 per month for the kids. This covers their clothes, activites, etc and if we do something as a family that's really for them (i.e. going apple picking) that will come from there. I find I don't really need to spend all of mine.
post #14 of 41
we each get $75/month... but then we both like to have a drink now and then, so we have a separate alcohol budget...
post #15 of 41
DH has $138 automatically deposited into his personal checking account each month. He spends it on his hobbies and any prepared meals out that are just for him. Food that he has to prepare at the office (they have a full kitchen) comes out of the joint food budget (incentive to eat healthier).

I have $15 transferred automatically into my personal savings account each month. I don't spend it. I buy investments for fun every so often (my savings is high from previous work). I also take out $20 in cash each month from our joint checking account. I spend this on any prepared meals just for me and hobbies just for me and random things just for me. I mostly save my twenties up for the 2-3 scrapbooking weekends each year I attend in the mountains with friends. (A family member of two of the girls owns the cabin and we just chip in for food and utilities. We usually pay about $60-70 each.) Most of my hobbies are already saturated with supplies at this point, so I am able to "shop" from my stash. Most new purchases are to finish an actual project I'm in the midst of and most of those are for the family or gifts (so come out of the joint budget). A lot of my hobbies I can do for free with a little creativity and research.

Clearly, this isn't "even" or "equal". I handle the family finances and would just reduce my personal spending amount whenever I needed to balance our budget. DH reduced his in 2010. I had $10 a month for the early part of the year until I cut some other family expenses. My amount doesn't bother me now ($10 did). It works fine because I take the time to itemize the family needs I am aware of and place them in an appropriate category for funding. DH doesn't want to account for his stuff and I don't mind. (I don't mind him not wanting to AND I don't mind doing it for myself.) I have a budget for my haircuts built-in to the family budget. It used to include DH's haircuts, too, but I started cutting his hair and he likes it. I cut DD's hair, too. I figure the family benefits from me cutting their hair, so the family can pay for my salon cuts. DD & I take classes and go on Girl Scout outings. DH doesn't. Those things come out of the family budget. It all works out.

ETA: The bottom-line is I wasn't spending my personal spending money when it was the same as DH's ($150-200 per month back a few years). I would save it and go without the items it was supposed to cover. I was neglecting my personal needs. The way we do it now, I enjoy my life a lot more!
post #16 of 41
Our budget works much differently. Neither one of us has an allowance or designated "blow" money.

That said, we both spend reasonably on ourselves, we just don't categorize it the way you do. We have different lines in our budget for alcohol, eating out (either together or just one of us going out) and for entertainment (which could be concert tickets or going to family event). We also have a pretty liberal "household/misc" line in our budget which covers everything from haircuts to shampoo to gifts to books.

In general, the way it works is that we watch the budget and if we know there is a big expense coming up, DH and I spend less on ourselves. If it's not so busy of a month and we have more wiggle room, DH and I feel comfortable spending more. Neither of us polices the other, although I am the one who manages the budget and keeps track of expenses. We generally discuss larger purchases, but we don't ask for permission, if that makes sense. For example, DH recently bought baseball playoff tickets, which were a moderately large expense (a couple hundred bucks). He didn't ask me if he COULD buy them, but let me know that he was planning to buy them, so I could reajust the budget accordingly. We talk about finances to make sure we're on track for our larger goals, but we don't obsess about the little stuff, unless we go outside our spending parameters.
post #17 of 41
when stbx and i were together, we agreed on $60 per month. yeah, it's not a lot! however, stbx also spent $80 per month on cigarettes, $60 per month on soda that only he drank, $120 per month on i-don't-want-to-say-what, plus was always mooching a bit more money for video rentals or fast food or whatever, and it was next to impossible for me to ever say no to him, so it was very unbalanced. he spent his $15/week on music.

i now give myself $100 per month in spending money. i use it for lunches out, thrift store fun, a magazine, a coffee treat . . . stuff like that.

stbx apparently uses all his money to support his habits, as he claims he can't buy groceries, even though he's working (partially in exchange for his rent), contributes nothing for our children, and has no other bills.
post #18 of 41
Right now, none. That's because the money we have isn't stretching even to meet the necessary expenses, so "running around" money isn't available. We're pumping every possible available dollar into paying off a debt that we have decided we can't live with anymore. Plus, we have no income two months a year, so I have to save aggressively towards getting through those months.

It's a really tough year for us. We made some poor decisions last year that have run us into some trouble, and we're paying for it now.

If either of us needs to buy something that isn't budgeted-- like a meal "out," or like last week I wanted to donate some $$$ to buy a gift for my boss who was retiring-- we have to pull from other budgeted expenses. Usually that means we cut from food, clothing, or gas money. Well, usually food, because we're already spending as little as possible on gas and clothing.

We do have a small budget for things for the kids-- that buys school supplies and the odd toy or outing or treat for the kids. But DH and I basically do without.

In last year's budget, though, we had about $25 a week for each of us. This year, I'm working one fewer day a week, so we've scaled back.

We do have a change jar, though-- that covers the really genuinely trivial incidental stuff like a pack of peppermints or grabbing an iced tea while DS is in his gymnastics class or something.
post #19 of 41
We don't really have set amounts. If one of us needs or wants something and it's not exorbitant, we just buy it. Books, clothes, perfume, baseball tickets, lunch out ...

This works for us because we're both pretty cheap and spend less than we make. We each know we can trust the other not to go hogwild, and neither of us is tempted to overspend if we don't have a set limit.
post #20 of 41
I have a budget of $1500 per month for everything. If I want/need something, I can take it out of that money. That also includes money I make on my own from freelance writing.
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