After a few months of being married, Eric and I quickly realized we needed to figure out a way to have some money that we could spend just on ourselves. We had an all-in mentality when it came to our finances — meaning we shared everything — so any money we spent on ourselves came from a joint account.
All our bills and debt repayment also came from this joint account. So while Eric was buying lunch every day and not worrying about the cost, I was struggling at the end of every month trying to figure out a way to pay all our bills. Of course, this led to many stressed-out arguments.
Eric figured he should be allowed to spend money without having to ask for permission. And I was more concerned with paying off debt and keeping a roof over our heads.
We needed a solution that wouldn’t make either of us feel stifled or stressed. That’s when “the fun money” was born in our household.
Many couples have a “fun money” account. Whether it’s a percentage of their income (ie. 10 percent) or a set equal amount each week, couples have figured out that fun money is a great solution to how much each individual spends.
I love to get manicures. Eric likes to go out to lunch. With our fun money, we can each spend money on our own little indulgences without it causing a big argument about how we won’t be able to afford rent each month.
Unfortunately for us, our budget was stretched out to the max for a period of time when Eric wasn’t working. We still budgeted for a fun money allowance for each of us, but it was more in the realm of $20 every two weeks. Not much for anything, but it was all we could afford, and we still found it essential to have some money that was just for us.
As broke as we were at the time, the fun money allowed us to have fun at a nominal expense and stop worrying about our budget.
Now that we’re doing better financially, we’ve been able to up the ante without going overboard.
Do you and your spouse have fun money?