Why You Should Try a Weekly Allowance as an Adult

The weekly allowance shouldn't end with childhood.

tightrope and money
Balancing your budget is equally important for adults and kids. Gary Waters / Getty Images

If only we had all stuck to the idea of a weekly allowance our whole life, imagine where we would be? Well, it’s never too late to use a great idea, and the weekly allowance is an idea that shouldn’t end with childhood.

Vickie Champion, a business, life, and money coach, introduced me to the idea of bringing back the weekly allowance as an adult in order to budget more effectively. (Vickie is a master at helping people improve their spending and savings habits by changing the way they think about money.) She says the following about our sometimes incorrect view that an allowance is only for kids.

"I used to have a weekly allowance when I was younger. When I went to college I gave it up under the premise that it was for kids, and now that I was a grown-up I didn’t need it. I wanted to have what I called financial freedom. What a mistake! After several years of having constant financial difficulties doing it “the grown-up way” here’s what I now know about weekly allowances."

Vickie went on to share with me the following ways that a weekly allowance can make budgeting easy.

8 reasons EVERYONE should use a weekly allowance

  1. Keeps you aware of how much is going out.
  2. Gets you out of the habit of using ATMs & Debit Cards.
  3. Makes you think twice before spending on a spur of the moment purchase.
  4. Teaches you and your other family members how to manage money.
  5. With couples, it keeps things equal, so one is not spending more than the other.
  6. Makes budgeting easier, and more accurate, by not having to track the little purchases.
  1. Helps you save lots of money.
  2. Encourages you to achieve your dreams by spending money on the things that are truly important to you.

Key to implementing a weekly allowance

The key to budgeting by using the weekly allowance concept is to determine how much you can spend each week, and act as if there is no more available.

When you hit your spending limit you are DONE.

No going to the ATM. No charging things on credit.

I’ve been doing this myself for awhile, and sometimes it means I have to wait a few days to go the grocery store. You know what? Somehow, I don’t go hungry. There always seems to be something to eat in the back of the pantry.

Using an allowance means sometimes I say no to going out with friends, or have to put off a home repair until the money is saved. That’s ok. It feels good to be in control of where my money is going.

In retirement, it will be even more important to know your weekly or monthly allowable spending amounts, and stick with it. If you overspend, you can end up running out of money too soon. 

Try budgeting through using a weekly allowance. You just might like it.