Do you have them?
When Jordan I merged our finances a couple years ago, we maintained our personal chequing accounts. We thought that it would good to have some money available each month that we were only accountable to ourselves for – that we could spend without checking in with our partner.
For the last couple of months or so, Jordan has maintained that he would like to eliminate our allowances from the budget. He had thought that in efforts to simplify things, and stop over using his credit card – this would be the best solution. I’ve been…hesitant, but unable to really explain why. I suppose, it was to uphold the original intent – to have money that we’re not accountable to each other for.
I had hinted in my last post – that once our debt was paid off again, Jordan and I would continue the allowance conversation to see where it took us – and that if my needs of family vacation/camping ect. were met – perhaps I didn’t need an allowance any longer.
Since reading my last couple of posts, and Jordan and I continuing to make positive headway in the way we have our conversations – I asked him a question. It was simple really, on our drive home from work.
“so, in November – when my aunts and mom come to town for our annual Christmas shopping trip – where will the money come from that I spend on myself?” While I start on our Christmas shopping then (and we have a budget set up for that), I inevitably spend $200-$500 on myself. This could be for clothes, undergarments, buying lunch or dinner – or all of the above.
Jordan then said…
“I’ve actually been thinking about this. I don’t want to get rid of our allowances”
He went on to say that in one of our previous conversations, he had admitted to feeling like he couldn’t spend any of our joint money without checking in – so he winds up using his credit card for both personal and home purchases. He hasn’t had that feeling since we started spending money according to the New Plan, but said that if we got rid of the allowances – then we’d be right back there. Where we have to check in for personal expenses.
So – I asked. If we don’t get rid of allowances and personal credit cards – how will we help you to not spend more money then you have by way of your credit card. He said that he would still like to cancel it – as soon as the debt is paid off. That way, he can just take out cash. He still wants to be able to buy a video game or whatever using his ‘unchecked’ allowance.
That means - allowances are back on.
With that said, our conversation moved to new territory. How much should our allowances be. Way back when, when we set this system up – we had decided on $100/month. It sounded good – but we didn’t have a real good reason for that number. I thought I would through it out to all of you, to the couples that organize their finances jointly, but have allowances.
How do you do it? How much do you get?