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Why You Should Give Yourself a Weekly Allowance

Today we have a guest post from a reader about how she manages her finances. Enjoy!

I have been giving myself a weekly allowance for the past two months.

This was my plan with starting my new job. I only get paid at the end of the month so I had to find a way to make my money last. I am thrifty and great at saving but I knew that with my new job I had to develop new ways to work with the money I had. I looked at it as almost a challenge…which I love because it gives me something to work towards and accomplish. I also get a wonderful feeling knowing I have saved so much money!

I decided to give myself a monthly allowance of $300. I first thought $400 ($100 each week) but I talked to a friend that is thrifty as well and she said that was way too high. I settled on $300 ($75 each week). At the end of the month I get paid. I only use the $300 I take out for the whole month. I have envelopes labeled: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Savings. I put $75 in each envelope at the first of the month and that is all I have the entire month. The savings envelope is what I use to put money in when I have extra cash at the end of the week (and yes that does happen)!

I have been doing this for 2 months and it works. I always pay bills first, take out $300 cash, and the rest of my money is split between savings and checking accounts.

Weekly List:

  • Gas-I live in a small town. If my jeep compass is empty it seriously only takes $22 to fill up. Get a fuel efficient vehicle. Sometimes I don’t even have to fill up each week. I can go close to two weeks without needing gas.
  • Groceries-I only buy enough food to get me through the week. Nothing more and nothing less…of course I have essentials already in my kitchen. Each week I buy fruit, vegetables, and meat. I may buy a few additional things. I try to spend no more than $35 a week on groceries. Also, another thing to note is that I eat the same thing every day until it is gone! I meal prep on Sunday and Wednesday and I just make it work!
  • Lunch Money-I always pack my lunch but with my job I am almost bound to eat out at least once a week. Sometimes it is a conference and other times it’s an all staff luncheon at a restaurant. However, I give myself a budget. I allow myself to spend $5 if it is a basic sit down eat in place and $10 if it is a nicer restraint. I always have a lunch still at the office that I can eat if I am still hungry. Being on a budget and going out to eat a salad will become your best friend…and it’s the healthy choice (not many salads are over $10).

I am usually able to save $10-$20 at the end of each week. Sometimes I will go out and use $10 to buy a new shirt and put the other $10 in my savings envelope, it varies. Of course random additional things come up. You can also use your savings envelope if you run short during another week and need a few extra dollars. I love the joy of looking in my savings envelope and seeing how much I was able to save for the month. I am able to spend more money than that and even give myself a larger budget but I choose not to. I like the challenge of working on a small budget. Only purchasing the things I need allows me to live within my means, comfortably, and save tons!

Give it a try…pay bills first, make yourself an allowance, and save! You won’t have any regrets, I promise.

Hello! My name is TaNiqua Ward. I reside in the wonderful state of Oklahoma but I have traveled many places since I grew up with a father in the military. I graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in  2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology. I received my Master’s degree in 2015 from Oklahoma State University in Health Promotion. I currently work as a healthy living program specialist. I absolutely love to exercise! I am a certified exercise physiologist as well as a group exercise instructor. I teach group fitness classes on the side while enjoying running, reading, and just living life. I have a passion for health and everything that comes along with it! I’m always eager to learn new things about health, engage in conversation, and share the things I know.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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