For the most part, my wife and I are pretty frugal. But, we both have our weak spots when it comes to spending. I spend way more money than I probably should on brewing beer. My wife has a soft spot for anything that could be turned into a crafting project. Fortunately, we haven’t joined our checking accounts just yet – giving us each a little bit of space when it comes to our personal spending.
For those that have merged bank accounts, this idea from Clark Howard is worth sharing. Clark Howard suggests creating an allowance for each of you – and make it private. If you have a joint checking account, set up private checking accounts for each of you – without giving your partner access to it. Then, set up a budget that you each agree to – such as $100/month. This $100 will transfer from your joint account to your private accounts automatically each month. Spend this $100 on whatever you want – without approval or knowledge from your partner. (Technically, your partner already approved the budget – just not the particular item!)
It doesn’t matter if this transfer is for $10 or $1,000 a month. It also doesn’t matter if the transfer is on the 1st of the month or on payday. The technical details aren’t as important as getting a little bit of autonomy and privacy from your partner – to splurge.
Clark Howard’s idea is a year-round project. So, every month you’re entitled to $100 (or whatever amount you choose to spend). But, with the holidays in full swing, now may be a good time to consider giving such a strategy a shot. Your monthly budget could go towards gifts for your friends and family for the holidays (or maybe even a holiday gift for yourself – like a five-gallon glass fermenter to make even more beer).
See? I told you it was a quick tip!