4 birds with 1 stone


  1. Becca and I feel guilty whenever we buy things like candy, treats, or soda.
  2. We hate spending money, but love the entertainment of finding stuff to buy.
  3. We are awful at consistently holding Family Home Evening.
  4. We have a bunch of dollar coins from the US Mint.


  1. A $1 per day allowance paid out every Monday but only at FHE.

Becca and I came up with this idea on Monday, almost by accident, to solve a problem with Becca being bored at home but not wanting to go waste money by shopping. I grabbed a few dollar coins and told her she had $1 per day to spend on absolutely anything she wanted. Want a candy bar? She could buy it. Want a taco? She could buy it. Some craft supplies? A soda? An MP3 on Amazon? Sure, whatever she wanted, as long as she stayed within her $1 per day budget.

At FHE, we talked about how the allowance worked out, and Becca said it went well. Becca bought a piece of felt for a project she was working on, so her trip to the store was productive without being expensive.

We decided to make the dollar allowance a permanent thing, with just a few rules:

  1. We each get $6 per week ($1 per day, but not Sunday because we try not to shop on Sunday).
  2. Coins are distributed on Monday at FHE. If we don’t have FHE, we don’t get paid.
  3. The allowance is only for personal use. It isn’t used for date nights, gifts for each other, major crafts that we are working on together, educational materials (like “how to” books), etc. We could easily abuse this rule, but I don’t think we will.
  4. We aren’t allowed to get advances on our allowance. If we run out, we have to wait until FHE. No exceptions.
  5. Any money we find on the street is added to our allowance. This rule was added today because Becca found a penny. :)

Is this the perfect solution for us? I don’t know. We haven’t been using it long enough to find out.

I do know, however, that we went to Michael’s yesterday and had a blast spending as little as possible while still coming away with something useful. I also know Becca is excited to have some guilt-free vending machine money to spend when she goes back to school next week. And we are both more excited about FHE than we have been in a long time.

What do you think? Do you give yourself a budget or allowance for fun purchases?

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