When you are beginning to put together a budget with your family, it might be a good idea to think about incorporating personal allowances into your plan. This is a way to give each member of your family their own pool of discretionary money without judgement from other family members. I have a hard time biting my tongue when my kids want to spend their money on yet another squishie or army men set. I do encourage them to save their money for upcoming trips, but sometimes can’t help taking them with me to Target or Staples where they are tempted by all of the toys at the checkout. Maggie had spent her money this way right before our last trip and had to learn a lesson the hard way when Carter had money to spend at the gift shop and she didn’t.
I keep track of the kids’ spending with the RoosterMoney app. It allows me to set a weekly allowance and then subtract each purchase as we go. That way, too, I can use my credit cards to earn rewards on their purchases. Plus, if they buy souvenirs at Disney, I will pass my gift card discount on to them, which makes their money go further. Funny story: I refused to let them buy a balloon at Disneyland because it is a cash-only purchase, and they would have to pay full-price. I guess I need to work on taking out the judgement, but I can’t bring myself to pay too much, even if it is on someone else’s purchase.
This can work with your significant other as well. One person may like to save up their personal allowance allotment to purchase a big-ticket item, and another may prefer to spend it liberally on everyday indulgences like Starbucks or lunches out. Work together to come up with an amount that works for everyone and is within your budget. You can even keep track of the amount in an envelope for each person on Goodbudget using the rollover feature.
So if you find yourselves butting heads over certain areas of your budget, you can take the headache out of the equation by instituting personal allowances for each member of your family. That way each person can decide for themselves how to spend the money without having to check in with the other. Bryan and I don’t have too many discretionary items ourselves that we disagree about, so we don’t use personal allowances, but the kids get $5 every week to spend as they will. I really do try to keep my judgement of their spending to a minimum, but like I stated before, I will encourage them to save up before a trip. One way I accomplish this is to limit how often I take them to a store so they won’t spend all of their money! Maybe we should all use this idea to help curb our spending!