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Can allowance be fair when you have a spender and a saver

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    Can allowance be fair when you have a spender and a saver

    My wife and I give ourselves an allowance of $50 a week to spend on whatever we want. Her's is normally gone by the end of the week. I save mine. I've saved up $350 and I feel kind of guilty about spending it on a bigger purchase (this is my normal cycle - save and then buy something expensive). But, if I put that money into one of our saving funds (vacation, car maintenance, etc...), it wouldn't be fair to me. Should I not feel guilty and buy whatever I want since she's already spent the exact same amount or should I put it into one of the savings funds?

    #2
    Originally posted by project15 View Post
    My wife and I give ourselves an allowance of $50 a week to spend on whatever we want. Her's is normally gone by the end of the week. I save mine. I've saved up $350 and I feel kind of guilty about spending it on a bigger purchase (this is my normal cycle - save and then buy something expensive). But, if I put that money into one of our saving funds (vacation, car maintenance, etc...), it wouldn't be fair to me. Should I not feel guilty and buy whatever I want since she's already spent the exact same amount or should I put it into one of the savings funds?

    Yes, you should not feel guilty.

    My and DH are in the same boat. He needs his allowance and I rarely spend mine.

    On the other hand when I have saved up enough to buy something I really want, I don't feel any remorse. If he says anything to me, I remind him that I've been saving my "mad" money. Hopefully over time, your SO will learn that saving for the bigger wants is viable for her too.

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      #3
      I guess you have balance. Can you imagine a spender spender relationship. On wednesday their pulling their change together to share a big mac.

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        #4
        Lower her allowance.

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          #5
          Originally posted by project15 View Post
          Hers is normally gone by the end of the week. I save mine. I've saved up $350 and I feel kind of guilty about spending it on a bigger purchase (this is my normal cycle - save and then buy something expensive). But, if I put that money into one of our saving funds (vacation, car maintenance, etc...), it wouldn't be fair to me. Should I not feel guilty and buy whatever I want since she's already spent the exact same amount or should I put it into one of the savings funds?
          Unless you really really want a bigger purchase that you'd feel happy with long after you bought it, I wouldn't feel guilty to splurge like that once in a while. But I would definitely resist big purchases just because you feel "it's unfair to you" since your DW spends frivolously. To me, it sounds more like a little revenge to have a very short satisfaction.
          On the other hand, I agree with your felt "it's unfair to you" if you had to stick your saved $350 in the vacation fund, because you're probably afraid your honey will spend the bigger piece of that fund vs. her contribution to it.
          I wouldn't feel such unfairness with the car maintenance fund though.

          My other suggestion would be to open a saving account just for yourself (but disclose it to DW) and save for a car or in case you wish to invest you could invest your savings.

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            #6
            Originally posted by project15 View Post
            My wife and I give ourselves an allowance of $50 a week to spend on whatever we want. Her's is normally gone by the end of the week. I save mine. I've saved up $350 and I feel kind of guilty about spending it on a bigger purchase (this is my normal cycle - save and then buy something expensive). But, if I put that money into one of our saving funds (vacation, car maintenance, etc...), it wouldn't be fair to me. Should I not feel guilty and buy whatever I want since she's already spent the exact same amount or should I put it into one of the savings funds?
            IMO the saver should not be rewarded and the saver should not be punished.

            IMO the spender should not be rewarded and the spender should not be punished.

            In this case punishment is the guilt either person feels. You need to displace money and emotion, and this problem will never come up again.

            In addition, the spending/saving patterns do not entitle you to be better than the other person.

            Because some people here have more money in the bank than me, it does not make them better than me (impossible-LOL). At same time because I invest aggressively or save a good chunk does not make me better than anyone posting here with 100k of cc debt.

            I am me, and no reason to compare myself to others.
            In your relationship, avoid making financial comparisons with spouse as well.

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              #7
              I agree that you really shouldn't be justifying your allowance usage based on what your spouse spends. The whole point of an allowance is that you are allowed to spend it anyway you please. Neither of you should feel any guilt for the way you spend your mad money.

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                #8
                If the allowances you have given yourselves fit with your long-term savings plans, then do not feel guilty about a larger purchase, as long as it is something you are buying because it will really bring value to your life in proportion to the cost.

                As far as funding a vacation, if the 2 of you will be going on the vacation together, I think that should be a seperate budget item, or the 2 of you should contribute equal amounts from your allowance.

                I actually spend quite a bit less than my husband on "mad money" things on a weekly basis (in January my mad money spending was zero), but he is a passionate golfer and I understand how important it is for him to have golf in his life, so I am happy for him to spend on that. On the other hand, I also do not feel guilty when I do a "big spend" such as my trip to Washington DC (without my husband) last fall.

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                  #9
                  The money is yours to do with as you please and saving is just another way to use money

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                    #10
                    So if you had twin kids would you reduce the savers allowance? or increase the spenders? Of course not!

                    Use your own money as you see fit, and let her do the same. and if using it as you see fit includes putting it in the vacation fund to go sooner..why not? you get to go on vacation too don't you?

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                      #11
                      Thanks for reassuring me guys. I normally do the larger purchase items as said in the original post, it's just that this time, I had a little guilt while thinking about what I wanted to buy. I guess it's because I wasn't sure I wanted to blow my money on something just because I have the money to do so. I'll keep saving it until something "perfect" comes along.

                      As to lowering the allowance - i've lowered it a bit over the time we've implemented it. She's at the absolute lowest she can go (a gym membership eats some of hers up - yes she uses it). The budget works for us in it's current state and we both agree to it. If I pushed it too much lower, she could decide not to stick to it which would be the worst case scenario.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by project15 View Post
                        Thanks for reassuring me guys. I normally do the larger purchase items as said in the original post, it's just that this time, I had a little guilt while thinking about what I wanted to buy. I guess it's because I wasn't sure I wanted to blow my money on something just because I have the money to do so. I'll keep saving it until something "perfect" comes along.

                        As to lowering the allowance - i've lowered it a bit over the time we've implemented it. She's at the absolute lowest she can go (a gym membership eats some of hers up - yes she uses it). The budget works for us in it's current state and we both agree to it. If I pushed it too much lower, she could decide not to stick to it which would be the worst case scenario.

                        There is more to life than squeezing the most savings out of a given budget. My wife reminds me of this often.

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                          #13
                          I am in the exact same boat as you. We have a few hundred dollars at the beginning of the month as "blow money" and I rarely use mine and my wife is always out at teh end of the month - or sooner. She knows that is how she is, but she also doesn't ever want any big ticket items. I am the one that might save for a new lens for my camera or some new golf club, etc... Because she doesn't necessarily want those more expensive things, she doesn't have a problem spending her money as she gets it on little things. As for me, my wants are more expensive, thus I have to save to afford them. I think it works out well. I don't feel guilty that there is $200 in my pocket and $5 in hers. We are talking about wants and not needs.

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                            #14
                            Don't feel guilty at all. That's the beauty of setting aside allowances--it's your money, no questions asked. She enjoyed her purchases, you enjoy yours.

                            I honestly think the allowance can benefit the saver and the spender equally. I (the saver) find it helpful to have because it gives me license to spend on my "wants". I sometimes have trouble backing off and realizing we're saving enough and we have to enjoy some--I want to push until it hurts and then I resent that I have no "fun" money. The metered dose of pocket money I get each week lets me enjoy some little pleasures without making me feel like I'm losing control of the whole budget.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by pearlieq View Post
                              I honestly think the allowance can benefit the saver and the spender equally. I (the saver) find it helpful to have because it gives me license to spend on my "wants". I sometimes have trouble backing off and realizing we're saving enough and we have to enjoy some--I want to push until it hurts and then I resent that I have no "fun" money. The metered dose of pocket money I get each week lets me enjoy some little pleasures without making me feel like I'm losing control of the whole budget.
                              Very good point that I hadn't thought of. It's true that I save and save and save without spending very much on fun. I guess having this amount acrue in MY "account" forces me to eventually spend it on fun items rather than throwing it into a fund and not spending any money on whatever I want.

                              I will admit that spending money on myself makes me happy

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