Author Topic: What's Your Personal Allowance?  (Read 7104 times)

justplucky

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What's Your Personal Allowance?
« on: April 30, 2015, 12:41:57 PM »
My husband and I combined finances two months ago, and we started out with a $200/month each personal allowance (aka, money we don't have to be accountable to the other person for). This is on a yearly income ~$100,000. I know the allowance is high; I hope to reduce the amount after we both become more at ease with discussing finances with each other after being in control of our own financial destinies for so long.

Do any of you have joint finances with a spouse that includes a personal allowance? If so, how much is that allowance? Also, if you feel comfortable sharing, what's your combined income?

SuperSaver

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2015, 12:58:41 PM »
My fiance and I each get 5% of my take home pay.
This is fair because I make more than him so by having 90% of my income deposited to our joint account and 5% to each of our individual accounts we get the same dollar amount to play with.
It averages out to be around $60/pay period for each of us. So $1,560 each per year. This doesn't include money we receive as gifts. That gets put into the persons individual fun account.
The money is spent on: beer, videogames, makeup, tanning/nails, clothes, magazines, books, meals out /entertainment only one of us took part in and gifts.

We make a combined base salary of $73,300 + bonuses and overtime. We are both 24 and just starting out.

Gin1984

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2015, 12:59:44 PM »
$5/each/week plus $10/week joint fun money and we have had that amount from making $24,000 (he was a PhD student and I a Master's student) to $67,000.  However, hair/body products are not within that, they were included in our budget.  In addition, my husband plays hockey for $440/year and that also has its own spot in the budget.  So, it really depends on how much you are willing to talk and compermise.

mak1277

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 01:22:40 PM »
My wife and I never had any personal allowances.  We combined finances when we got married and that was that.  Neither of us have spent a dollar in 8 years that wasn't visible to the other except for stuff purchased in cash, which isn't much.

okits

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2015, 01:33:22 PM »
We don't do allowances, either.  We are both on the frugal side and intent on FI, so we just spend what we feel is reasonable. We do discuss purchases, but I can't think of the last time we weren't in agreement on a question of spending.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2015, 01:35:44 PM »
My husband and I have combined finances. We do not have a personal allowance.  We can both spend whatever we want, whenever we want.

He does all the finances, so at first I thought he was fairly judgmental about my credit cards ("Did you spend $2.38 at the ice cream place?") but he's just making sure the charges are accurate- he emails me monthly what all our account balances are, so I don't know (or care, really) what he spends day to day. We tend to tell each other if we spend more than $50.  And "talk" about it if we plan to spend more than $200.

But we both agree on the "don't buy stupid shit" budget (we otherwise have no line item budgeting), so it isn't that big of a deal when one of us decides we want something. Today he emailed me to tell me he bought some new camera stuff.  No biggie, but since he did I will wait until next month to buy the quilt stuff I was about to throw the trigger on. We just try to keep balance, we have never had any issues..

Travis

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2015, 01:39:37 PM »
Every dollar of our income is acccounted for.  My wife and I share $75 a month for unplanned shopping and $30 a month for my son (treat, museum visit, some other fun activity).  I also budget $50-$60 a month for eating out for the family.  If the shopping/activities money doesn't get spent it gets rolled over to next month. The eating out money is returned to the general budget.

SuperSaver

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2015, 01:49:49 PM »
Oh our fun money accounts are still linked to our Mint.com so we have 100% transparency in purchases. I probably know down to the dollar how much is in our various accounts at any given time. The only reason why we have fun allowances in different accounts is because we wanted to leave our credit union accounts open after merging finances and because it is a comfort that we can buy whatever we want within reason and it wont detract from our goals as a couple.

BMEPhDinCO

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2015, 01:50:23 PM »
$50 per month per person... we made around $50k this past year.  If I get a real, not PhD assistant, job, that may go up to $100 per (ie, about .1% of yearly income).  We also have $200 joint fun each month.  The $50 covers hair, clothing, etc as well as lunches out and personal treats.

SpinGeek

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2015, 02:02:01 PM »
We've had a personal allowance for most of our 27 years of marriage. It used to be $30 a week, but when we both committed to saving more for retirement we cut that to $15 a week. This is on annual household income in the $60,000-$80,000 range. We both know how to log in to the bank to see each other's accounts, so it isn't like we're trying to hide purchases from each other. It just acts as a spending failsafe and allows us to save up for larger purchases.

The allowances pay for books, comics, DVDs, music, yarn, other hobbies and any "over the top" spending for stuff like perfume or cosmetics that aren't a baseline household expense.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2015, 02:08:51 PM »
$200/month but that isn't all spent in a month.  Often it is saved up for larger purchases.  Both of our best friends live far away.  Sometimes I will fly to spend a long weekend with her or he will fly to spend a long weekend with his.  That comes from our personal fun money.  We define "fun" broadly though.  New clothes and shoes generally come from that account too.  I think it would be better called individual discretionary spending.  Joint dates still come from our joint account.  Aside from our fun money our accounts are otherwise all joined. 

SomedayStache

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2015, 02:33:54 PM »
$50/month each

Annual income of ~$85k gross

We're not hiding purchases from each other - but this allows us to get blow money that we spend without guilt.  He usually buys beer or similar.  I'll buy clothes, kindle books, sometimes pay for a few beers out with friends, last month I got a menstrual cup, next month I'm eying some stackable stemless margarita glasses...

rmendpara

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2015, 02:48:13 PM »
Whatever I want. Whenever I want. :)

Just kidding, kind of...

So long as your goals are intact for the year, there's no need to nitpick. Some months/years you or the spouse will spend more than the other... no big deal. Everything doesn't have to be exactly equal all the time. Unless, that's how you both want it. In that case, keep the budgets equal.

SO long as the retirement accounts are getting funded, and the other investments are as well (529, Roth, taxable, whatever your goals suggest makes sense), then enjoy whatever you like.

If 200/mo makes you both happy, then go for it!
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 02:51:08 PM by rmendpara »

SK Joyous

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2015, 04:28:56 PM »
Completely joint finances for all of our years together (from ultra-poor to very comfortable); now at very comfortable, hubby gets $200 twice per month and I take $60 twice per month.  I don't need more than that and so don't take more (and usually end up spending it on household expenses instead of my own anyways lol).  He can spend his on whatever he wants because who wants to be the nagging wife?

mak1277

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2015, 07:29:17 AM »
Whatever I want. Whenever I want. :)

Just kidding, kind of...

So long as your goals are intact for the year, there's no need to nitpick. Some months/years you or the spouse will spend more than the other... no big deal. Everything doesn't have to be exactly equal all the time. Unless, that's how you both want it. In that case, keep the budgets equal.

SO long as the retirement accounts are getting funded, and the other investments are as well (529, Roth, taxable, whatever your goals suggest makes sense), then enjoy whatever you like.

If 200/mo makes you both happy, then go for it!

This is a great spot.  And I completely agree...in my mind there's no point in having a set monthly limit as long as your saving goals are being met.  Said another way, I'd never defer a purchase into next month just because I'd already spent an arbitrary amount of money this month.  If I want something, it gets bought.

GuitarStv

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2015, 07:48:21 AM »
My wife and I don't hide information about spending from one another, and don't have a set budget for frivolous expenses.  We make necessary purchases when needed, and discuss/spend on frivolous purchases when we really want them . . . which actually turns out to be rarely.

Schaefer Light

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2015, 07:56:45 AM »
Whatever I spend on golf ;).

Lucky Girl

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2015, 11:44:57 AM »
We have cash allowances and clothing allowances, but they are based on historical spending more than what is equal.  All the savings come out first.  My clothing spend was pretty high for a while ($175 per mo) but that was after years of maternity clothes and starting a new high profile job.  Then I got on the MMM bandwagon and am determined to drop my clothing budget down to $50 per month!


fdubz

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2015, 01:27:46 PM »
My husband and I each get $100/month allowance.  Both accounts are linked to Mint, so we can both see what the other spends, it's definitely more of a "guilt-free", fun money thing.  We combined everything else.  Our allowances are used for dates, beer, outings with friends, video games, clothing, and anything else that isn't a necessity.  We don't use joint money for eating out, so if we want an outing someone has to cough up their allowance.  This usually results in a homemade meal and a Netflix marathon! :) 
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 08:05:48 AM by fdubz »

nobody123

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2015, 03:12:01 PM »
$100/month/each for "guilt-free" spending on about $5700 take home.  Basically we spend it on things that only benefit us individually and not the family as a whole, such as me going to the bar with the guys, buying lunch at work instead of packing, dues / expenses related to social organizations she belongs to, etc.  We also use it to buy things that we can't agree on as far as it being a 'necessity'.  If one of us can't convince the other of a sizable purchase or know it is truly a luxury item, we have the option of saving up and spending our allowance on it.  For example, my wife wanted some really expensive boots last fall and couldn't decide between two pairs, so she kept both and paid for them out of her allowance instead of taking the hit against our clothing budget.  I tend to spend about all of it every month, she is a saver and makes a handful of larger purchases through the year.

We didn't have the allowance in place prior to her becoming a SAHM.  Before she quit her job, we had plenty of excess income and spent responsibly in general so occasional splurges were not an issue.  She had a little difficulty adjusting to a more strictly budgeted, single-income mindset, and actually requested that we set an allowance for each other to help her out.  I've proposed eliminating them now that we've been successful for the last couple of years, and the kids act as a natural throttle on the amount of opportunities we have to spend money on ourselves, but she still likes having a concrete number to plan with.

FrugalKube

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2015, 10:01:37 AM »
It's around $350 a month for the two of us. It covers getting a haircut, me buying beer, going out with her friends or me going out with my friends, buying clothes, etc.

Since we just recently re-did the budget and combined our incomes I'm going to take a look at this in a few months and maybe adjust it to $200-$250

shelivesthedream

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2015, 11:03:13 AM »
125 a month each, but that has to cover a lot: phone bill, clothes, going out, books... Everything except rent, bills, food, savings and occasional 'household' purchases like furniture. We each have interests and priorities that the other doesn't (I go to the library, he buys books) but this means that as long as we stay within our allowance, we can make our own individual choices. When our income increases, I would to increase our allowances as it often doesn't feel like enough to buy everything I want, but I think that would top out at 250-300/month each. 10 a day is definitely enough - that's like a book/meal/item of clothing every single day! Definitely luxury-level spending.

nereo

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2015, 11:04:34 AM »
$0.
No problems thus far.

fields

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2015, 11:36:26 AM »
Combined income $150000.  No individual allowances.  We each spend as we want, but our wants are minimal.  I spend less than she does, usually under $20/month. She needs more entertainment, so spends on going out to eat, movies, books.  We don't argue about it, because we agree on goals and they are being funded.

Calvawt

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2015, 12:24:18 PM »
We do $150 each.  That does not include things for the kids, eating out, or groceries.  It does include haircuts, clothes, etc.

R62

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Re: What's Your Personal Allowance?
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2015, 02:24:23 PM »
We budget and account for every dollar of income.  Within that budget is $50/week each for discretionary spending.  This actually came about as a result of our quitting smoking about 7 years ago.   As an incentive, we decided we could each keep for personal spending half the money we had been spending on tobacco.

Any non-essentials either of us might want (which, frankly, isn't a lot), comes out of this allocation.   

Not sure we'll keep the discretionary spending category once we hit FI.  I suppose it will depend on how well we do these last couple of years before pulling the trigger.