An Allowance Isn't Just for the Kids

Solve 99% of fights about finances

Have you ever argued with your spouse or significant other about money? There’s very few of us that can say we haven’t. And if you haven’t argued about money, then you probably will. Unless you follow the advice in this post. Since my wife and I implemented this one change in our finances, we have had virtually no arguments about money. So what did we do? We decided we each get a montly allowance.

How does this work? We do chores for a quarter?

Well, there’s no chores involved here. Our allowance works by allotting each of us a certain amount of money per month to spend on anything we want. Outside of the allowance, we don’t buy anything unless it is necessary (e.g. groceries, rent/mortgage, etc). This means we each know how much the other is spending and we each know that we get to spend the same amount. Those two bits of knowledge, or lack thereof, are at the heart of every money argument we ever had.

Tracking your allowance

We keep track of our allowance in our a spreadsheet where we enter all of our expenses/income. This keeps things straight and lets us see built up allowance, since we don’t always spend it in the month that we get it. We each receive $20 per month, but you can decide with your partner how much you each get. A lot of couples we talked to think that $20 is a joke, too small of an amount. But you would be surprised how fast it builds up. Also, keeping the allowance somewhat lower than you’d like will certainly help with saving money in the long run by keeping you from making silly impulse buys.

Enjoy the freedom

There was a huge benefit that we did not see coming when we started our allowance: the freedom to buy without asking. When you each agree that you can spend your allowance any way you want, you no longer have to check with each other before buying things. This will make you feel completely stress-free about everything you buy with the allowance.

If I had to pick one action that has improved our finances and financial relationship the most, it would be starting a monthly allowance. It eliminates fights about money and builds excitement when saving it for larger items. Try it out for yourself and you’ll see!

Image credit: Alan Cleaver