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Allowance Update

May 27th, 2007 at 08:04 am

I hadn't updated our allowances and so was updating Quicken and running totals and all that. No point I guess since dh was in the hole and I figured I was too. But I was amused because I updated my allowance balance and I have a $1 surplus for May (well as long as I don't buy anything through the 31st - but not really worried about it. Wink )

On the flip side I did tell dh that I would probably consider his rock climbing (going again tomorrow) an allowance item, but since he is so in the hole, whatever. I also got that whole 2 duffle bag for 1 thing which at the time was not sneaky but I realized if I put that to my allowance it should go to his, so whatever, something we needed, will just pass up the allowance. which leaves me a $50 balance to spend for June. Woohhoo.

I find a lot of it is gray area though, but for the most part keeps us reined in a bit.

So far this year I have used my allowance to cover a big cell bill (I went way over - my fault). Bought some clothes, bought nothing for 2 months. Then this last month I bought a new wallet, replaced the diaper bag, replaced my backpack, and bought a monkey doormat.

I also bought some cannisters for the kitchen which were more grey area. I felt we needed them to organize the kitchen a bit. Though we don't NEED them. I tried to discuss with dh where those or the monkey would fit but he didn't have any input. I think since he is so in the hole, that he didn't want to appear unfair, so he pretty much said, whatever, he didn't care.

I guess mostly for the stuff that the other spouse gets NO benefit of or sees no point in getting, that is what the allowance is for. Mostly for those purchases we can't agree on. So it's May and I have spent $250. I am sure all else being equal dh would not care if I wanted to replace my backpack, etc., so not the greatest examples. But, at other times he would argue. Just the fact that my backpack was no longer usable I guess this time means I could have passed it off as necessary. But it's gray and serves its purpose. In the end it really doesn't matter as long as we are cutting back our spending, that is the point.

When I buy clothes it generally goes to allowance because for the most part I have enough to get by. Dh would never buy clothes though, and so when he does he NEEDS it - LOL. I am cool with that - he bought a couple of pairs of shorts (amazing) and so I gladly let him take it out of the general fund - hehe. As I made him replace his duffle bag - yeesh.

Mostly though I think the allowance has done its job. Dh might have bought some big things, but there are no little purchases to be had. & I have certainly reined in my spending compared to the last couple of years.

As you do notice that for the most part dh buys electronics and I systematically go through the house replacing old things. It feels like a neverending battle. But I am not all innocent either as the monkey doormat and the mounds of clothes certainly show.

Which reminds me dh and I were having an allowance discussion because a friend who makes good money but always seems so bad off mentioned her husband had a $600/month allowance. I about choked when she said it (looking at our $50/month allowances). I was telling dh and he reacted the same. Imagining all of the many electronic gadgets he could buy and then explaining he couldn't even spend that much money in a year - $7200 or whatever it would be - LOL. To be fair I said I did imagine it probably included gas and eating out and all that, which we just include in our budget. We mused how we probably could not afford any of our luxuries if we ate out so much ourselves.

But digging deeper, between the 2 of us, $1200/month allowance. Hmmmmm. We both would spend maybe $100 on gas, maybe $50 on eating out on a good month, $100 on a bad month. Maybe $100 on just misc. items, and $300/month/each left over to play with? I'd put mine in a ROTH frankly. LOL. Dh would be in electornic heaven - he could probably buy whatever he wanted. But that is when dh told me, that he decided he didn't put much value on experiences. We had already had a big convo about this before, that most of the stuff we put our money to we still have and use. We put a lot of money to his theatre room and the TVs and our laptop, but these are things we use every day, and get continued benefits from. Neither of us is inclined to spend the money we don't have on eating out and stuff we won't remember. So yeah, I have to give my friend the benefit of the doubt, that that includes all spending money, but I do notice they spend a lot of money on cars, hair and nails, eating out, vacations, etc. Whereas we are likely to spend little on any of these things so we can have a nice home and dh can have his electronics playland instead.

I am happy for people who love their vacations - reading the cheap vacation blog post. I agree mostly with the concept. But as a kid we never had fancy vacations. Personally I could not see spending $1500 on a vacation myself. Not every year any way. I guess for me I always appreciated the one time we went to Disneyland, the one time we went to Hawaii. It was SO special because we had never done anything like it before. So I know too many people who think we are so deprived we aren't into the whole vacation thing, but somehow I don't worry about it too much. I have said before though, we live an hour from the family cabin, 2 hours from Tahoe, an hour or 2 from the beach, and lots and lots of camping nearby. While the kids are younger we can do plenty of that with very little money and I think they will be just fine. Probably get out a lot more than I did as a kid. Plus grandma treated us to Hawaii last year, and our cruise and Florida this year. The kids will be SPOILED regardless. But if not for that I really could do without. It's just not a big deal to me. I think my family were always mostly homebodies, and we follow suit a bit. I think why we value having a nice home. We want our home to feel like a vacation. I guess I don't see the need to have to get away to enjoy. For the most part, vacations are just something I will never really *get,* just from the way I was raised. I see plenty to keep me occupied in my own backyard, and that probably helps. Wink

& funny enough dh feels the same way because he was vacationed out as a child. Vacations were big in his family and always a huge deal. He has been everywhere and seen everything so for the most part he rather sit at home - LOL. IT's kind of funny how we were raised so opposite in that one regard but have the same viewpoint today. Honestly, I get annoyed he is not a little more adventurous sometimes. I guess it can go so many ways.

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