How to you split the spending money?--"allowances" for SO and yourself - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-19-2011, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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So DH and I have different ideas on the budget. I do the bills. He normally is good about not spending but since we've been having a little bit extra, he's been nickel and diming us (well, really, $20 atming and fast fooding) our money away on a daily basis.  I can talk all I want about not doing it,etc, and he will just agree, then still buy lunch,etc. So I think we need to set up some boundries with our money. 


What works for you guys? We have 3 different bank accts...

#1 the main one our paycheck goes into, we both have checkcards for. This account runs out of money fast...I pay ALL bills out of it,etc. This is my former acct since high school, they know me, etc. Great bank, near my family if I need them to put money in,etc. 

#2 We have one local acct we just cash checks at, no atm card,etc.

#3 The 3rd is a great online bank, our savings is in this acct,it refunds ATM fees,etc. We have check cards for that account.  He's pulling money from savings to spend money here.  Just for reference, all banks are actually credit unions, no fees,etc. This is my favorite bank, we earn points for g/c,etc. 


So I'm thinking I'll set up a transfer every payday to bank #3 with certain amounts going to his acct and mine. (2 checking accts under that 1 main acct) I just can't figure out an amount. $50 a week? $100? Should I make it the same for both of us? He works, but can take lunch, he just doesn't. I don't work (SAHM) but I am often out and about and will do lunch with friends,etc or hit the coffee shop and get some tea w/friends,etc. (1 yr old in tow), 

What do you guys do?

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#2 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 04:31 AM
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DW and I each have separate spending accounts.  At the beginning of each month, a lump sum is transferred over.  I get $200 and she get $250.  This is money that we can spend with no questions asked.  Lunches, coffee, snacks, books, etc.  Basically anything that only personally benefits us.


We used to get the same amount, but I wasn't using it all and she needed a bit more.  We both work full-time, and although there is a salary differential (I make 2/3 of what she does), the amounts aren't tied to that.  When DW didn't feel that the monthly money was sufficient, she was whipping out her credit card to pay for these types of expenses.  Every 6 months or so, she'd have this huge credit card bill of $700-$1000 and we'd have to bail her out using family money.  This happened twice.  We both totally got on board with this new system and amounts and we haven't a problem since!  Frankly, I do feel like that's quite a bit of money to piss away each month, but it's so much better than allocating a small amount each month and then having two really large credit card bills each year in addition.

DW and I are moms to two teens (DD 17 and DS 15) adopted through CAS in 2007 and a toddler (DD 2) born at home in March 2011.

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#3 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 04:54 AM
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DH works full time, I was working PT and homeschooling the kids but am now disabled and not working or homeschooling. We have a joint account into which all income gets deposited and we each have our own personal account linked to the joint account. Each week $20 gets automatically transferred from the joint account into each personal account. That's for us to spend (or not) as we want, no questions asked. Anything we pull out of the joint account is open for discussion. So if I decide to pull $40 out for lunch with friends from the joint account, dh is free to ask me to use my personal account for that next time, since that's really a 100% personal expenditure. And if I see that he's ordered a new computer toy from the joint account, same deal. In general, expenses under $50 from the joint account once in a while aren't a big deal as long as the bills get paid, and we trust each other's get good deals on things like groceries and clothing. (Once in a while is something like once every few months, for the record -- definitely not multiple times a week!)


I think personal spending money should be given out equally, in an amount that can be supported by your budget and still allows you to meet your savings goals. We use our personal spending money for everything from that quick stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way to a meeting to lunch with friends to that new computer one of us has been lusting over. When we're out together or as a family, we use the joint account instead, for things like meals and tickets and such.

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#4 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by gumshoegirl007 View Post

DW and I each have separate spending accounts.  At the beginning of each month, a lump sum is transferred over.  I get $200 and she get $250.  This is money that we can spend with no questions asked.  Lunches, coffee, snacks, books, etc.  Basically anything that only personally benefits us.


We do the same thing.


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#5 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 12:35 PM
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We have the same setup as you do, OP, with a "family account" and then separate personal accounts.


Each paycheck, I have $80 automatically transferred to dh's personal account for him to use as he sees fit -- lunches out, etc. -- because he is a former "nickel and dimer" from family money and this works a lot better for us.  I don't feel angry and resentful when he buys lunch out anymore (I think it is such a waste!) and he doesn't feel like he has to account to me for every dime.


It helped our marriage, to be honest.  I hated trying to balance the checkbook and feeling like I would have been able to add to the car payment that month if dh just wouldn't have needed to buy xyz, and then I was mad at him...etc., etc.


I highly recommend it.


I don't spend near as much as dh - he works FT, I work ~16-24 hours per month, so I don't need as much spending money.  However, this means I get to dip into family funds to buy a cup of coffee on Wednesday mornings out with the other SAHMs without feeling a tiny bit guilty!

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#6 of 10 Old 02-21-2011, 02:54 PM
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I made sub accounts.  We both get a set amount twice a month.  The sub accounts don't have cards or anything attached to them, but as we spend the $ out of our regular account I transfer that amount out of our sub accounts.    DH has gotten pretty good as asking if he has enough $ for something.  If I know something is coming up, or see he's starting to spend more I'll transfer more money into it but right now they are set up so we end up with an excess in our sub accounts.

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#7 of 10 Old 02-22-2011, 08:10 AM
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We have separate bank accounts.  DH is a SAHP.  Some bills are in his name some are in mine. I pay the bills that are in my name from my account and hold on to $400 for the month for food/supplies.  the rest of the money I pull out and we put in his account to be applied to the other bills.  We dont have allowance.  if I want to buy something I do, and he rarely ever buys anything.  it would be easier if I got put on his account but I'm lazy lol

Unassisted birthing, atheist, WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids 17, 11, 6, 3
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#8 of 10 Old 02-22-2011, 08:37 AM
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We have lots of accounts over here dizzy.gif


1. Checking and savings in my name only, in a credit union 2 states away (I only have access to it when we visit my family 4-5 times a year). DS's child support is deposited in this account so it just builds up for a few months before I take it out when we visit. Usually this money goes towards paying my lawyer, who is in the same state so I just take the money out and bring it to her office.


2. Checking and savings in my name only, in a local credit union.


3. Checking and 2 savings in dh's name only, in the same local credit union.


4. Savings in both our names, in the same local credit union (this is used as our vacation fund. We also used it as our wedding fund but it's drained now since we just paid it off).


5. Savings in ds and dh's names (not mine because of a snafu when we started the account), in the same local credit union.


I also have a credit card in my name only and dh has 2 credit cards in his name only. He says he's going to add my name to one of his credit cards, but I don't think it really matters since I just use his credit card without my name on it and nobody has said anything about it. LOL!


We do not get "allowances" or anything like that. He spends what he feels he needs to spend and I do the same. I only work very very part time (and I'm in school ft) so my money runs out much quicker than dh's! Both of us usually just use our credit cards (hardly ever carry cash) and pay them off in full every month. DH asks around the end of every month how much I need to help pay off my credit card. Neither of us have ever gone through a period where we overspend so, thankfully, we've never had to deal with that. DH works with financial stuff at work so that's his "thing" and he always makes sure we have money.... somewhere.... LOL! If we make any major purchases then we discuss it ahead of time and make sure we have the money (except when dh bought his car when I was visiting my family.... LOL! But I knew he had been looking for a car for many months and he did call before he signed the papers.... lol).

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#9 of 10 Old 02-25-2011, 12:23 PM
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We used to just put everything on a credit card and pay it off at the end of the month. That worked fine but we decided to get a tighter reign on our finances.


So, DH and I get spending money each month in cash and when it is gone, it is gone. We have made exceptions before for big ticket items that are on sale just before the 1st but that is basically it. We do not use the debit card or credit card at all anymore without speaking to each other first. This usually means DH mentioning that he needs to put gas in the car or pay a doctor co-pay and asking whether he should do debit or credit.


We both WOH full-time but do not get the same spending money. DH gets more because he requires more. He is a free spender and he needed more available to feel like he wasn't being stifled. This allows him to be generous and buy me something once in awhile (a soda, ice cream, etc.). He hoarded money and was kinda resentful when he got less allotted every month. I do get "on paper" less than him. I often do not take all my allotment or save it up for months and buy something for the household (did I really want to spend all my "fun" money on a stove or those new pots/pans we got last year?).


We do not tie them to who makes more. For us we had to have a frank conversation about spending habits and just agree that we needed to be more cognizant of the little things. Then we brainstormed amounts until we felt comfortable (I had to talk him down from a giant number that he thought he needed). You might want to total up all the little amounts for the last couple months and then figure out an average for that spending. Start from there and work your way down to an amount you both feel is acceptable.


It is a bit of an odd system but it works for us. DH always gets the same amount and I flex mine lower often just because I don't require the sodas, snacks, etc. that he feels are necessary for his survival. :) DH always appreciates when I spend my money on something for him and I appreciate it when he treats me to something unexpected. This money has a DON'T ASK policy so that we don't have to account for everything. If he wants to spend 1/3 of his money on a $50 video game, it doesn't affect me and we don't argue about it.

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#10 of 10 Old 02-25-2011, 12:38 PM
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We have a joint savings account, joint checking and 2 sub accounts.  All biils get paid by me.  Every payday I pull out his "allowance money".  He gets ~$100 every 2 weeks for gas and anything that he alone requires.  He has a very fuel efficient car so only puts maybe $50 in the 2 weeks into gas so gets about $50 as fun money.  He would eat out every day if he had the money in his hand or a debit card (he does have a credit card for emergencies).  He is a pretty free spender.  We have food he can take for lunch and works at a food plant.  I will give him a gift card to his favorite place every couple of months though so he can go a couple more times while maintaining our buget.

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