Balancing Money – Step #2

This post is dedicated to Step #2 in my Balancing Money Series. We already figured out what I owe so now it’s time to give myself an allowance.

STEP #2 – GIVE YOURSELF AN ALLOWANCE

Yes, we may have gotten an allowance as kids, but did you know that giving yourself one as an adult will put you on the right track to a hefty savings account?

Figure out what you owe each month versus what you make and look at whats left over. Give yourself a weekly or monthly stipend to just use exclusively for whatever you want. This will allow you to not feel so helpless when in save mode and will teach you some valuable lessons in purchasing what you truly want rather than mindlessly purchasing something that doesn’t bring you joy. It will also ensure that any other money left over is transferred into your savings account out of sight and mind.

IMPORTANT: Your allowance must be COLD HARD CA$H. Giving up cash leaves a sting that you just don’t get from swiping a card or punching in numbers. If you don’t do so already . . . Try and get in the habit of the physical act of using cash . . Be connected!

MY PLAN

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My allowance will start at $20 per week. This may seem like a lot, or it may seem too little but I’m not exactly sure how things will go just yet. This seems like an ok place to start and if I need to tweak down the road, I certainly will!

This money must be taken out each week and kept in my wallet. For some reason if I have money left over, it will stay there as rollover dollars. If there is a good chunk left over by the end of the month which I doubt there will be, it will be deposited into my Balancing Val Account.

This money is meant to be used for fun stuff, on things I enjoy. Any other basic need (i.e toiletries ect.) will not be a part of this unless I got a good rollover going on or the circumstances allow.

So what can I do with $20?

PLENTY! . . . .

* I can see 2 movies

* Go out to 1 decent dinner

* Go out to 2 decent lunches (lunch specials rock!)

* Try out a new beer flavor

* Buy ingredients for a new recipe

* Buy 1-4 Starbucks drinks (tea is not that expensive!)

* Buy a new clothing item or a few accessories

* Test out a new makeup/perfume/lotion/nail polish

* Buy a new kitchen tool or accessory

* Get some takeout and rent a movie

* Cover most or all of a race fee

Are we noticing a trend here? A mostly food related list perhaps? . . .

Actually, this shouldn’t be that bad! ;)

I plan to start this in December as I will have a better idea of what is going to be spent then. Stay tuned for Step #3!

What would you do with a $20/wk allowance? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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6 Responses to Balancing Money – Step #2

  • Audrey says:

    I completely concur with the trying a new beer selection!

    Also, a suggestion for everyone out there who is a latte drinker: go to Starbucks and order a misto in the same flavor that your would a latte (it’s called a cafe au lait in the real world). It’s essentially half coffee-half milk. Because the amount of caffeine in the beans decreases with the longer they are roasted, there is actually almost as much caffeine in a misto as a latte, has less of that burnt taste (I hate it, but I know some people love espresso), and it’s half the price.

    I agree with most of your list because what I like to do now is go out with friends and have a good time. For us, that usually centers around food and drinking. If I wanted something for myself, I think I’d have to save some of my allowance every week for a bigger purchase. I think next I want a tripod for my camera.

    I’d typically include trips to the museum and the zoo on my list as well, but I recently found out that all bank of america card owners have access to a program called “Museums on Us” (http://museums.bankofamerica.com/). I can get free admission on the first weekend of the month to the zoo and several museums in my area. Yay free stuff!

  • When I was drinking dairy cafe au laits rocked–I could order a huge drink for far less than an 8oz latte.

    I would probably add a book or magazine to a list of things to buy.

    I have a love/hate relationship with cash. I can almost spend it easier and faster than using the debit/credit card. (Probably because I have to account for the credit/debit purchase, but can easily hide the cash purchases.)

    • Val says:

      I gotta look into those! Did you ever try it with soy milk?

      That’s an interesting look at the debit purchases. With me, swiping a card just doesn’t feel like I’m using hard earned money.

  • I do the same thing with cash!