favorite things life money

Married? You might need an allowance

It may sound silly, but allowances are a great way to ease financial strain on a marriage.

Allowance. Sounds so restraining. So … childish.

But: Hear me out!

When you have combined finances, there’s a lot of work involved in managing it. No matter what two people are involved, there’s always going to be be a differing opinion on what the money should be spent on. It takes a lot of work to figure out that compromise. A lot of ongoing work.

But for the fun stuff? Everyone should get to do some fun stuff! Without judgment from others. Without guilt that the money could be going to something more useful.

Before we instituted the allowance, I did much of the money management. And whenever the husband asked me if he could buy something, my answer was yes! Unless the money wasn’t there, and then the answer was, not right now, but in a few months. But … I rarely gave myself that same permission. My default setting is to save. To feel guilty for being too indulgent.

And the husband often expressed doubt that we had the money for the things he wanted … and then guilt for buying them. Especially because he could see me doing a whole lotta not buying stuff for me.

It was not a healthy dynamic I was creating. We stayed in our budget, sure, but I was breeding inequality. Totally my fault.

Enter the allowance! Every month, we have two allowance “bills”. One for me, one for the husband. Each for the same amount of money. We used to use separate savings accounts to keep the money in, but now we use ynab to do it virtually.

And this allowance pot we each have? No rules. No judgment. No guilt. Spa days and yarn I’ll never get around to knitting? Go for it! The husband wants gaming laptops and xbox games? Why not?

It may sound silly, but it’s so freeing to have a little pot, all your own.

Give it a try. You might just that find you like it.