Some couples argue you’re never too old for an allowance.

Bored in your office and looking to start a lively debate amongst your coworkers? Just bring up the subject of adult allowance.

I did, and the result was a rousing good way to spend a few minutes slacking off at work. Everyone had a strong opinion – either it’s a great trick to save money or it’s downright insulting that a hard-working adult has to put themselves on an allowance like a little kid.

For the uninitiated, an adult allowance here’s how an adult allowance works…

4 Simple Steps to Avoid Overspending

  1. Set aside a certain amount of money on a weekly or monthly basis to the adult members of your house.
  2. Depending on how your budget is set up, you may need to shave off funds from your joint entertainment, food, clothing or miscellaneous expenses.
  3. Divide the money you freed up in half.
  4. Each partner’s portion can be used on eating out or getting drinks with friends, feeding hobbies or just to make purchase things you want that your partner may think are a bit ridiculous.

The truth is – like any financial trick – there are situations where adult allowance makes sense and others where it just seems kind of silly. It all depends on your lifestyle and how you spend money as a couple. You can have general allowances or break out a specific expense where you both need to spend less.

Beating a $500 Dining Out Expense

In our house, we’re pretty codependent and rarely like to do things apart, so there’s not much need to have separate general allowances for things like entertainment or shopping. We did, however, establish allowances for our work lunches.

He likes to eat out and I’m addicted to Starbucks, so at one point we realized we were spending really insane amounts of money on dining—like over $500 every month insane… and that’s not including our grocery budget. Ever for foodies, that’s excessive.

So we set up a $50-per-month work lunch allowance for each of us. The low amount helps him avoid restaurants he knows are too expensive and it’s kept me on a strict Frappucino Fridays schedule. Now even with regular date nights, our monthly dining budget is usually about half of what it was. We even feel more comfortable going to more expensive restaurants together because we know we have the money available to do it. Overspending solved.


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Meet the Author

Meghan Stewart

Meghan Stewart


Stewart is certified debt management professional and guest writer on

Budgeting & Saving, Family, News

budgeting, couples, save money

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Article last modified on April 1, 2014. Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Adult allowance — silly or savvy? - AMP.