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View Poll Results: How much is your monthly "allowance" per person per month ?
I / We don't have an allowance 79 66.39%
$1 - $100 / person / month 5 4.20%
$101 - $200 / person / month 10 8.40%
$201 - $300 / person / month 5 4.20%
$301 - $400 / person / month 3 2.52%
$401 - $500 / person / month 4 3.36%
> $501 / person / month 13 10.92%
Voters: 119. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-22-2014, 03:36 PM   #21
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DH gets $200 cash every payday (gets paid every two weeks). He uses this for incidentals and to save for cash expenses during his 2x/year golf trips to AZ. He retires in 2016 and we will revisit allowances then.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:43 PM   #22
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One problem I had with the poll part is that I see an "allowance" and cash spending as too separate things.

That is, cash is a method of spending, but isn't the category.

It is unclear in the poll if you are asking how much "cash" each can spend each month or if you are asking more how much each can spend each month that doesn't have to be accounted for.

We spend very little cash, but each gets $200 in the spending money category (most of which is spent by credit card).

To us, this avoids any arguments or even discussion. So, if DH wants to waste spend $50 on something that I think is useless, I don't really care since it comes out of his spending money. And, vice versa of course.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:06 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
DW has a variable allowance, and because I'm such a good planner it exactly matches her actual spending each month. Same for me.
That's the way it works here too. We don't have a set amount to spend on irregular stuff like the small size graphic tablet I bought last month for the laptop, but that's something I won't be replacing anytime soon either. We have a budget of course but it isn't cast in stone. If we spend over this month we'll spend less the next.

But we are making a conscious effort to minimize the amount of "stuff" we buy since we're going to be moving in the next five to eight years.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:11 PM   #24
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Hmmm. We don't have a cash allowance.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:18 AM   #25
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DH gets $80/mo in pocket cash, I get $50/mo. I spend very little of mine, DH can rarely make it into the 3rd week and still have more than a few bucks left. He spends his on Ebay or at thrift stores for crap like old radios, clocks, amplifiers, turntables, sometimes books and records. If he's out late on a thrift store run he may use it to pick up something to eat.

We have a budget category for things like clothing, haircuts, gifts, etc so it's not for things like that. It's just for his personal need to pick up old used stuff that other people don't want in their houses and he wants in his. Many times he has to buy parts for these old things and he fixes them with the intention of selling them on ebay or a garage sale. But mostly they sit in our house in an extra bedroom or the attic.

Before DH retired he used to use household money for his crap collecting "hobby". He was easily oblivious to how much he was spending using the debit card, but it was beyond reasonable. When he retired he agreed to limit it. So he still gets to do the thing he likes to do, he just has to keep it reasonable. I couldn't spend $80 if I tried, so $50 is fine for me.

I use mine for going out to lunch with my sister or a friend or for minor expenses that are mine and not for the household. Most months I still have $35 or more left at the end of the month and I accumulate the excess in a cash stash and save up for something USEFUL and NEW like the iPad mini I bought last year. I'd much rather have the cash or an occasional shiny new toy than piles of other people's discards.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:03 AM   #26
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$30/week for me. Covers ALL my personal expenses: clothes, gasoline, haircuts, mani/pedi..........

I do take an additional monthly amount for entertainment/eating out of $25.

NOTE: I am retired so those $$ coffees, lunches out w/co-workers, drinks after work are things of the past (then again, so is a paycheck).
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:57 AM   #27
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No allowance. We live on $12,000/month and buy whatever is needed. Out of that I spend about $1,000 a month on my hobby (fine art photography).
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:22 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
We don't have allowances. We buy what we want, when we want. Thankfully, we don't have expensive wants.
Here too.
In fact, I go even further. One of my budget categories is a catchall. All cash taken out from ATMs is accounted for here, but I don't track what the cash is spent on. The same category also includes all dining paid for with credit cards and all "entertainment" items like tickets to events, etc.

The whole "cash/dining/entertainment" category amounts to about 12% of our total annual spending, so it's not a huge amount. Breaking things down to finer and finer slices of spending just isn't worth my time.
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:08 AM   #29
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Just something we've always done and it works for us. Only use CC for gas and on line purchases, everything else is paid for with cash.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:15 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
One problem I had with the poll part is that I see an "allowance" and cash spending as too separate things.

That is, cash is a method of spending, but isn't the category.

It is unclear in the poll if you are asking how much "cash" each can spend each month or if you are asking more how much each can spend each month that doesn't have to be accounted for.

We spend very little cash, but each gets $200 in the spending money category (most of which is spent by credit card).

To us, this avoids any arguments or even discussion. So, if DH wants to waste spend $50 on something that I think is useless, I don't really care since it comes out of his spending money. And, vice versa of course.
To clarify - I was talking about "spending money". Our allowances are mostly spent via credit card, but when I categorize the expense it goes in as "DH Allowance" or "DW Allowance".

We do exactly as you do, and the rule is that neither one gets to opine on how the other spends their monthly allowance.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:24 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Live And Learn View Post
To clarify - I was talking about "spending money". Our allowances are mostly spent via credit card, but when I categorize the expense it goes in as "DH Allowance" or "DW Allowance".

We do exactly as you do, and the rule is that neither one gets to opine on how the other spends their monthly allowance.
OK, so we are talking about the same thing.

I find that doing this has two benefits.

First, it lessens any potential conflict. There have been times that we haven't had the spending money category. But, then I spend way more on certain categories than DH does (books for example). And, he spends more than me on other categories. For example, just this year he spend spent several hundred dollars on a house designing program. If this came out of budgeted money for software for us collectively I would have been upset (he says he will never move, he just got the software for fun). But, since it came out of his spending money, I see that money as already having been "spent" since it is in his category so I don't care how he spends it. It has no effect on me whether he spends it on that software or on books or at Starbucks.

Second, it provides a vehicle to control certain discretionary spending. Unlike some people here, we could easily spend way more money than we can safely spend. I have lots of things I could spend money on and have expensive tastes. Now, I can happily spend much less than that but I do need to watch what I spend.

One of things we put in spending money is computers. DH and I both like high end computers and can spend a lot of money on them. By having that come out of spending money, I know that each month I need to set aside some of the spending money for future computer replacements (currently I have $3500 set aside from saved up spending money which I will spend on a new computer in about a year and may buy a new iPad next year as well).

So, by setting a spending money category that is high enough to cover the cost of a new computer every few years I make sure that I don't overspend on it since things like my books also come out of the same category.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:34 AM   #32
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Katsmeow - we also include computers and other electronics in the spending money budget. Another item that comes out of the allowance is alcohol. I agree with you that it both controls expenses in certain categories and controls potential arguments !
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:39 AM   #33
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I answered this as $101 to $200 a month, but it is actually a bit more complex than that. I put $200 in each spending money category for each of us each month.

But throughout the year there can be other money that goes in there. For example, we get cash back from our Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card. We first use that to pay the fee for having the card. Then, the remainder we give 1/3 to each of our spending money categories and 1/3 goes to our Dining Out category.

Also, if we get "found money" during the year we sometimes put some of that in spending money. Back when we were both working we allocated some part of annual bonuses to spending money (a relatively small amount). Or, if we got some money that was totally unexpected and unbudgeted and not tied to a specific asset, we would usually allocate some part of that to spending money.

At one time we included personal care -- clothing, hair, makeup, etc -- in this category and the amount was more. But, DH and I spend quite different amounts on those categories. I get my hair colored every month and he gets a haircut every few months. He was building up huge amounts of unspent spending money and I was always short of money since so much of it went to my hair. We finally broke those out as separate categories.
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:35 PM   #34
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$ 300/month - Cash in pocket spending money (entertainment, eating out, etc..)
$ 275/month - Golf
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:43 PM   #35
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I have not been saddled with allowance issues since 6th grade. DW and I both have ATM cards and draw out whatever we need, whenever we need it. Still, we seldom use cash at all but seem to favor our CCs.
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:49 PM   #36
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I don't do strict budgeting, and the spending is whatever is needed/wanted. I guess it is approx $100-200/mo per person for me and DW, that is what I put in the poll. For me it covers lunches (still working....) and some small shopping. Much of the small shopping is actually for house, yard or car stuff so it is not personal in that sense. I spend more cash than DW, and also carry more on me than she does.

I have never been a formal budget person, but do keep track of expenses and spending in general. Just not to the detail of what many of you do.
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:17 PM   #37
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An adult "allowance" is not a concept in our household.

Every so often, I check both adults' wallets to be sure there is at least $20-$30 cash in there, and replenish as needed. Mr. A. can go months without spending a cash dollar.

We put as much as possible on the credit cards, and write checks when required (taxes, contractors, contributions).

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Old 08-23-2014, 02:33 PM   #38
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When we are getting low on cash, maybe about every 3 months or so, we go to the ATM, withdraw some cash, and divvy it up to replenish both our wallets.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:47 PM   #39
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I have always taken money out of checking about $200 at a time. When I run out, I take out another $200. When I was working, I went through $400-$600 in cash per month. Now I'm spending around $200 a month in cash, but in use my credit card whenever possible.


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Old 08-23-2014, 04:00 PM   #40
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I have not been saddled with allowance issues since 6th grade. DW and I both have ATM cards and draw out whatever we need, whenever we need it. Still, we seldom use cash at all but seem to favor our CCs.
I think she is using the term allowance but really means a spending money budget category for certain discretionary spending. For us, we use it for personal discretionary stuff such as books, computer programs, online subscriptions, individual hobbies, that kind of thing. None of these things are "needs" and we find that it reduces conflict and helps planning better.

We put electronics in there because they are a combination of need and want and find that we control overall spending better doing it that way.

That said, the amount for the category is something we come to by agreement and it is subject to change and from time to time we do change it.
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