Imagine when you were a newlywed and navigating finances as a new couple. You may have started at opposite ends of the financial spectrum and aspired to find the one key to financial marital bliss! Is it possible?
I was a saver and he was a spender. It was a culture shock when $20 didn’t stay in my purse more than two days.
The wallet was always empty no matter how much I put in. My husband enjoyed Starbucks, purchasing lottery tickets, and handing cash to the guy holding a cardboard sign.
My husband was in the military and came into our relationship with nothing more than a duffel bag and a few thousand in credit card debt. His father had passed away from colon cancer when Steve was just eight years old and his mom worked multiple jobs to keep the family afloat. This meant Steve was largely raised by his two older brothers and, if he wanted to eat, he had to figure out how to cook for himself (bonus for me now, he’s an awesome cook!). His mom turned to alcohol and life was pretty rough. He was raised in situational poverty and worked really hard to change his future.
I was raised in a stable home with parents who weren’t necessarily wealthy but used their money wisely. After being awarded a full scholarship to a local community college, I decided that wasn’t the route I wanted to take. I went to work, lived at home, and saved, saved, saved. I was able to purchase a duplex at the age of 21 and lived in half while renting the other. I continued saving for the big picture.
The Key to Financial Marital Bliss!
The monthly allowance! We came up with an agreed upon amount that Steve would get once a month to spend on his monthly needs and desires with no complaint from me. No more rolling my eyes when he stopped for a $4 coffee. It was complaint free money. His to budget as he pleased.
We calculated what his essential needs were (plus a few extras) for a normal month to come up with his allowance amount.
- the nickel and dime stuff that comes up at work
- going out to lunch
- lube, oil, filters
You get the picture, anything he might need to purchase or pay for during the month that wasn’t in our regular monthly budget.
Of course, the allowance amount has changed over the years along with our budget and his commute. However, 19 years later we still say this was the best move we ever made! Our one key to financial marital bliss! AND …. wait for it … I started getting my own allowance just this year! SO. EXCITING. I love it! My own money to spend absolutely guilt free! At the same time, I have to be disciplined to say no to lunch dates and outings when the money is gone. That’s real life!
Allowances … they aren’t just for kids!