This and That

Allowances

Posted on: September 22, 2011

For me the term allowance conjures up the long list of chores I had to do around the house in order to earn money. Cleaning my room, making my bed, dusting, and weeding the garden were the main ones I can remember. Every weekend if I did all these tasks I would get one dollar, which eventually grew to two dollars, then three, final up to five dollars; that is until I was a teenage and was expected to get a job. Of course for kids the point of an allowance to to teach responsibility, family team work, and that money doesn’t grow on trees; it has to be earned by doing work.

But allowances are not just for kids anymore. Allowances are a great tool for us adults when trying to control our spending. When hubby and I were trying to figure out a budget we first had to determine where all our money was going…because it wasn’t going in the bank. We calculated that in a single month we were spending one hundred dollars on Starbucks coffee. One hundred dollars!! That was both of us going three times a week. Crazy! We cut back on a lot of stuff, entertainment, eating out, clothes shopping, and mainly trips to Target. Target is an evil place! So after all the cutting back and we had set the budget the feeling of sadness swept over us. We missed our Starbucks, eating lunch with friends, buying a little special treat for ourselves. So we gave ourselves an allowance.

Now the amount allocated for the allowance is key. You should not be able to got out to dinner on your monthly allowance or buy a new pair of jeans or play a round of golf ; there are other categorizes in your budget that you need to save and account for these things. An allowance should be able to get you one, maybe two cups of Starbucks coffee a month or buy lunch with co-workers once, twice if you went to Del Taco. Hubby and I each get ten dollars every two weeks to do what we want.

I know an allowance might seem childish or old school but it really helps keep us on budget. When you don’t feel deprived you are less likely to overspend and more likely to stick to your budget each month.

Try it! It will work!!

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