I remember the first job I ever had. I was around 12 years old and a friend of my parents had finally agreed to babysit me on a regular basis. I don’t remember how much I made then, but I’m sure it wasn’t a lot. But I also remember that most of my money is always in mine saving accountand that I would only keep a small percentage to spend on things like books, music, or whatever my youthful self desired.
Fast forward a couple of years and I can’t pretend I’m saving the majority of my earnings these days. That’s because I have one mortgage paying, feeding children, and a host of other adult expenses.
Still, I manage to save some money every month. Since my income is variable, this amount tends to fluctuate. But in general, I add money to my retirement account monthly, and I add money to mine a lot Brokerage account which I then invest. Plus, in months when my income is growing, I’m pretty good at replenishing my vacation fund and other goal-specific accounts.
All in all, I can say that I’m pretty vigilant when it comes to saving money. Still, I give myself a limited allowance every month. Here’s why.
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It’s about priorities and fairness
It’s not just me and my income that support our family. My husband also makes a great contribution. In fact, we see ourselves as partners. We both work to pay the bills and we both do our part to help out with the house. (He’s the one who always fixes things, I tend to do the laundry all the time, and we usually split the cooking up.)
My husband and I definitely agree that saving money is important. But we differ in how much we can save.
In general, my husband thinks we can afford to save less and have more of our income. I think we should keep trying to save at our current levels, and while I agree that we could spend more of our income, I also feel that nothing is really being withheld that will significantly improve our quality of life would.
My husband and I also have different priorities when it comes to spending money. While we both tend to value experience about things, he’s a lot more into things than I am. As a technician, he loves gadgets and would buy any new electronic device that comes out if I gave him the green light.
On the other hand, I’m not really a fan of things. I have no problem spending money on a concert or a great meal, but normally I won’t pay more than $ 5 for a t-shirt and only if I really need to replace an old one.
Because our spending styles and opinions on saving are different, my husband and I each receive a monthly allowance. And that’s money that we can use for any purpose without asking questions. If my husband wants to buy another electronic item that I can’t even identify, that’s his choice. And if I want to spend my money on gourmet ice cream or sweets, that’s my choice.
Our respective spending grants help me and my husband avoid arguments over money. But it also helps keep our expenses in check.
After all, there really is a limit to how many new gadgets a person needs. And I can admit that there is a limit to how much fancy chocolate a person should consume before it becomes unacceptable from both a financial and a health perspective. These spending subsidies keep us from going overboard and so I intend to keep mine even if I can increase my monthly savings rate beyond what it is today.