Everyone Needs Some Blow

Blow Money that is, seriously I am not that kind of guy and I don’t know why you would even think that. A buddy of mine had been using the phrase blow money in refence to individual discretionary spending money and the term just stuck. Essentially your blow money is the money you and your spouse have allocated to each other as independent spending money with no restrictions.

I am all for open relationships, joint checking accounts, and discussion. –I just realized that is two comments now in this post that could be taken completely wrong.– Either way there is something to be said for sharing the financial burden. Along those same lines there is something to be said for having the freedom to do what you want. That freedom to do what you want is where your blow money comes in. This isn’t money for you to go out and pick up an eight ball, at least I hope it isn’t. blow money is the money you have allocated to each spouse to do with as they please. If you have a crazy Starbucks habit you should be feeding it with your blow money.

My wife and I each have our own checking accounts which we use for our spending money. We take it a little further than just true blow money since we include our gas purchases in with our recreational spending. What we have done is allowed separation between personal discretionary spending and our joint finances. There are multiple ways you can go about setting this money aside, our’s uses physical accounts but yours doesn’t have to.

If you utilize the envelope or all cash system set aside a set amount of money into Husband and Wife envelopes. The money you place in those envelopes is for the discretionary spending of the identified spouse. This way if you want to pay $50 for a video game you just do it no worries, no fights, no discussions. The real trick to making it work is to have a firm grasp on delayed gratification. The amount of money you are setting aside for discretionary spending probably isn’t some exorbitant amount of cash so you will have to save for a while to make those big purchases.

The best way to look at these types of discretionary spending accounts is as allowances for adults. You have set specific saving/spending goals and in order to achieve them you need to limit the amount willy nilly spending. By agreeing to keep all discretionary spending within the blow money allowances then you are effectively curbing the unnecessary spending. Just like with children the allowance give you much more specific ownership of the funds. This sense of ownership will generally lead to you thinking more about your purchases before you make them as the expense will directly effect your personal account. In my case it helps me to cut back on things like eating out, especially when there is something specific I want to save up and purchase.

Do you have some blow money or do you just lump your discretionary spending in your budget?

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1 Thirtysomething Finance November 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

I’m not married, Kyle, but I’ve thought about this issue for when I do get there. I’m also a bit more anal rententive and further along with PF issues than my girlfriend (in fairness to her, I have student loan and mortgage debt that she does not have). That said, I’d imagine we’d set up this kind of system once we’re “there.” We might set up a joint discretionary spending account (for meals, entertainment, and various other random things we do together), but I can’t see any way other than to budget for individual discretionary spending. Glad to know it works for you!

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