09 June 2010

On my allowance

So, the one thing I forgot to share in the discussion on allowances (and thank you for all of the discussion!) is that Andy and I too are now getting an allowance. This idea was Andy's brainchild, and, quite honestly, I spent a lot of time pushing away this one. I guess because I have always lived the budget like what was leftover after bills was fair game. This is not the best way to do things. From what I have read, you budget every dime down to 0, whether it is going to bills or savings. I didn't want an allowance. It would make me more accountable.

But Andy pressed on, and this month, I relented. So on the first of the month, I handed him and myself half of our allowance (we get the other half mid-month on my payday). I have to say that I love having that cash in my wallet to use or not. I actually took me until yesterday to spend any of it. My niece was over for the day and I told her I would treat for lunch. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I realized that I would have to, gulp, take it out of my allowance. To my niece, who will probably read this, I am glad I did, BUT I then drove to Wendy's (her choice) trying to figure out how to most cheaply get lunch. Luckily, she only wanted a cheeseburger and fries which I was able to get off the value menu.

This brings me to another thought, though. As I was driving, and this was more of the issue of how to pay as little as possible, I had a hard time choosing what to get for me. I have been a little more diligent, shall we say, in making more healthful choices. My thyroid is not totally in line yet, but I am really trying to make an effort in what I eat. So here was the dilemma-do I get myself something off the value menu knowing I would spend less but consume calories I don't need or do I get something healthier and watch my discretionary fund dwindle? I opted for the salad with grilled chicken, happy that I made a healthy choice, but sad that it cost a whole lot more!

Needless to say, now that I have an allowance, I am not going to be offering to treat as much!


gramma2many said...

sometimes accountability stinks doesn't it?
Have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey, the money guru? He teaches these principles too. Following him, a person can become debt free in a very short time.

becomewhatyouare said...

We build "discretionary" money in our budget for Chief and me. It's more about NOT being accountable than it is about being accountable! When it came from the household budget (yarn, needles, audiobooks, etc.) I always felt like I had to justify it to Chief. Mind you, he never made me feel that way... he trusts me to not waste funds... but I felt that way. Once we started setting aside that money, I didn't feel that way anymore. It took me 4 or 5 installments before I even spent any... and then I spent a good chunk of it replacing my daughter's stolen iPod Touch (so I'm still "treating" LOL). I really like not being accountable for the discretionary money and I like that Chief doesn't feel like he has to justify the small purchases for some of his wants, either. :)

Jamie Jo said...

Good job Therese!

Maybe next time you can think of something easy and great to make at home? Sometimes something as simple as french toast & fruit is special to the guest.

We have always been tight on the money until this past year (so 12 years) living paycheck to paycheck. No allowances, just no money to do those extra things. Now, I know I take it for granted, and do special treats way too much for picnics or whatever. Maybe that is why God made it so tight for so many years?

Anyway, good job, you are my hero!

Mum2eight said...

Steve and I get an allowance too. I like to have it in my purse. I hate spending it more so than the money I get for bills and shopping because it is just for me and what I really really want.