Blow money, allowance money, personal spending; whatever you call it, this little allotment can make a huge difference in your budget when used properly.
What is an adult allowance?
An adult allowance (or blow money) is a small amount of cash in the budget that can be used for ANYTHING. Anything at all.
Let’s say that I want to buy some fabric to make myself a new beach bag, just for fun. That purchase wouldn’t really come out of household spending. It’s not something our family requires. Not like toilet paper, which is totally allowable under that category.
I don’t need a new beach bag, I just want a project to sew. The fabric for that bag comes out of my personal spending.
See how that works?
Some examples of how we’ve spent our adult allowance:
- Mrs. Loving
- Blog expenditures (I can’t justify spending it out of another category until it’s profitable)
- Hippy Project Supplies (beeswax, special oils)
- Mr. Loving
- Video Games
- more tech
Why is a personal spending category useful?
1. An Adult Allowance Inhibits “Miscellaneous” Inflation
Having an allowed amount for blow money keeps us from buying a frivolous goodie and then accounting for it from a category that doesn’t really fit. Budgeting for blow money keeps “miscellaneous” spending down.
Miscellaneous spending eats up a budget fast, doesn’t it?!
2. Blow Money Allows for Frivolous Spending
Maintaining a personal spending allotment also allows for individuals (or spouses) to indulge in frivolous spending… within limits.
Wanna add to your pez dispenser collection? Go for it! Just remember to keep it within the bounds of the blow money budget. You’ll quickly discover that creating a more specific budget with a personal spending category allows for more freedom than when you just spend cash willy-nilly.Does your budget have room for a pez collection? It should. Here's why (and how). Click To Tweet
From the outside a budget can appear restrictive, but you’ll find that this system really helps you to feel like you can really have some fun with money.
3. A Personal Spending Allotment Fights Frugal Fatigue
Adding an adult allowance spending category really helps with that feeling of fatigue that can come when you’ve been working so long to pay off debt. Even just a few dollars of disposable spending can help you to feel in control and reduce fatigue.
Why should I include this category in my budget?
Be honest: if you don’t allow yourself a little bit of “extra spending”, aren’t you just going to do it anyway? Or, will you resist, but feel really grouchy about the whole budgeting thing?
No, I’m not giving you permission to overspend like a crazy person, but giving yourself a small budgeted amount to be spent however and whenever can reduce the amount that you’d otherwise spend impulsively. Adding in this category is like corralling a herd of wild ponies. Unrestricted, they’d bust out, eat all your prize petunias, trample your strawberry patch, and leave horse nuggets all over the yard.A budget is like a herd of wild ponies. Keep 'em corralled! Click To Tweet
You being the frugal family that you are, I’m sure you’d scoop up those nuggets for the compost pile, but wouldn’t you have rather just avoided the whole crazy situation in the first place? Good.
That’s why you need to budget for an adult allowance. Just trust me, I’ve cleaned a yard full of horse nuggets. It’s no fun.
Do you include a personal spending category in your budget?
This article was shared at Frugal Crafty Home, Frugal Friday, & these fine websites.