Love and money are often at odds, but when my husband and I created our first household budget, we found romance in the most unlikely place -- our monthly allowance.
It was late January and I was buried under a pile of Christmas bills when I decided we needed to do something definitive to take control of our monthly spending. After reviewing several months of past expenses from our financial software and consulting the budgeting chapter of The Foolish Workbook, I pulled together The Budget. The Budget allocated money for rent, groceries, dry cleaning, insurance, and a little for savings. The remaining dollars went to a small fund for dining out and an equal monthly allowance to cover miscellaneous expenses for my husband and me.
So where is the romance? Well, during our first week on The Budget, my husband and I went to dinner. When the check came, instead of pulling out the credit card, he paid the bill in cash from his allowance. At that moment our regular ordinary dinner out was instantly transformed into a date. A real date. The kind of date we had when we were in college, when taking someone out was a big deal because everyone was so broke.
That he would choose to spend part of his small monthly allowance to treat me to a night out was incredibly sweet and romantic. Especially since I knew that paying for dinner meant he would have to brown bag it for lunch a couple of more days that week.
Now, when my husband brings me flowers, they come with more meaning and romance than they ever did when they came from our joint checking account. And when I pick up a night at the movies, it feels a little more special too. Who would have thought that romance would blossom from a "his" and "hers" allowance?