Monday 168: Everyone (Adult) Needs an Allowance


Monday, 11 April 2016

Discretionary money.  Mad money.  Crazy cash.

Call it an allowance.  We all need money we can spend without explaining what we spent, how much, or why.  It’s mine – not yours!

Kids are given allowances to “teach” them about money – how to save, how to spend, how to plan, to learn about the real world of costs.  When I was in first grade, I got a nickel a week.  In second grade it went up to a dime.  When I was a senior in high school I got $30.00 a month.  It wasn’t until I got that did I really begin to appreciate the costs of things, such as stockings or clothing, because I was responsible for it all.  (As an aside, that was quite some time ago, when $30.00 was a hell of a lot of money – minimum wage was $1.65 an hour!)

Dave Ramsey doesn’t think any child should be given an allowance!  He may be right.

I do believe adults need an allowance.  An allowance is freedom from accountability except for one thing:  when your allowance is gone, don’t go whining for more.  Save, plan, wait, be responsible.

Each month, we each get a certain amount of money for our own usage, automatically deposited into our personal checking accounts from payroll.  It’s easy to set up.  We know when our allowance is delivered.  We know how much.  It gives us the ability to feed a bad habit, augment our monthly dollar allocation for hobbies, or whatever.   There is no need to justify it.  And, when the times get rough, it is a good place to run to if the family budget is a bit tight.  Give and take.

This month, $25.00 has been allocated for each of us toward our hobbies.  J spent it on brewing, and when that was gone, the rest came out of his saved allowance.  This month I haven’t spent mine, nor do I have any plans except perhaps for film processing, but that may not happen at all.  I have spent some of my allowance on yarn and books this month, and last month on an old polaroid and instant film.

Maybe kids don’t “need” an allowance because other ways may be more effective in teaching the value and usage of money, but as co-earners, I think the adults in this household have earned it!

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