Thursday, January 15, 2015

24 years old with an allowance

Early last week I talked about managing our spending better in 2015. Well our little Rios Duo received some exciting news last week (no I'm not pregnant). But it's not official yet, so we're just sitting here stewing in our own personal excitement until we hear anything else.

Anyway, this exciting news means we need to crunch down and cushion our saving account over the next couple months (again, no, I'm not with child) so we're going on a spending freeze of sorts.

Roland and I can't just say "don't spend anymore money" and that be that. We're not disciplined enough... maybe it's just me, Roland could probably do it. So instead of banning spending all together, we're allotting ourselves an allowance. We each get $20 a week to do with whatever we want. We've tried to do this before, and it worked for awhile, before the lines blurred as to what should be considered "allowance spending" and what should be considered "account spending". So this time, we're making strict(ish) guidelines so I know when I'm standing in line at Hobby Lobby, these calligraphy pens DEFINITELY are allowance spending.

Account Spending:
Groceries: Duh. This includes our food and Toby's food/treats.
Toby's Grooming: Sorry Toby, this is what your allowance goes to. Once a month we take him to get his ears and teeth cleaned, and his claws trimmed. He hates every minute of it.
Gas: Because our cars have to get around somehow...
Work-Related Clothing: Roland has to wear a suit everyday, and although he's gathering a nice collection, he still has some that could use some replacing. And usually he doesn't buy them unless they're a great deal. So suits, dress shirts, and under shirts for Roland.
Eating out: This is our splurge thing. Roland's boss/friend was moved a couple months ago, so now he's always ready to go to lunch with me, which I love, but it gets expensive, eating out for lunch, and then later in the week eating out for dinner too. So we're narrowing it down. We'll go to lunch once a week, and we'll go out to dinner once a week. Although it's still considered "frivolous spending" eating out is something we really enjoy.
Emergency Car Repairs: last year the week before the wedding I wrecked my car... into my dad's truck... we had money to fix it, but EVERYTHING in our savings account was either allotted to something for the wedding or honeymoon, it was really the worst timing ever. Eventually we took it in and they temporarily fixed it for $90.

Then there are things that probably aren't necessary, but we (I) just can't live without them.
Allowance Spending:
Shoes: I just got some new Uggs (which I'm kind of having buyers remorse over, shh), so I'm pretty much on a shoe ban for awhile.... but sometimes, I find a pair that are such a steal I can't just leave them behind. They'll haunt my dreams "Sarah! WHY DID YOU LEAVVVEEEE USSSSSSSSS?" So if I want shoes, they'll be bought with the allowance spending.
Casual Clothes: I pretty much wear whatever I want to work, thank goodness. But I don't really need anymore clothes right now. BUT Roland has a habit of saying "I need more casual clothes to wear outside of work" which he probably does, but then he buys a couple "casual" outfits and they never get worn. (Sorry dear). So casual clothes will not be account spending. Even if I say "but I can wear it to work too!"
Eating out alone: This is kind of wear the lines blurred last time. We also had an "eat out" budget and it wasn't clear that the eat out money was for when we were eating out together. Going to lunch with a friend or even buy yourself is qualified as allowance spending.
Traveling: Later this month I'm planning on going to Norman to go to a CHOCOLATE festival with a friend. If Roland were going with me, or if we were traveling further together, it would probably have it's own "vacation" fund..

This post is getting long, and that's all I can think of for now. I may update this occasionally if we run across some other things that blur the lines of allowance/account spending. As is life, I'm sure we will.

What are some of your budget tips?

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  1. I think budgeting in the extras is a good idea. If you totally deprive yourself, you'll make some huge purchase eventually that you'll regret! Plus, it'll make shoes and clothes seem more like a treat :)

  2. Consider putting your allowance spending budget buckets on separate prepaid cards that are automatically loaded each week - easy way to partition the money and stay on track with no risk of debt, and more safe & online-friendly than cash in envelopes. More info on the technique here: