"How much allowance do you get?" What? You mean how much money do I give my kids?" No. Don't you get an allowance?"

You don't hear much about grown men and women getting an allowance but that may be the best way for you to control your spending. We set up our household that way decades ago. Still my wife and I both get an allowance that we can spend as we wish. Obviously there was a time when allowances were cut out and we had to find funds for anything special.

We've never categorized our expenses as necessary or discretionary as a way of maintaining a budget unless we were considering a major purchase. Instead we used allowances to put limits on what we can purchase personally.

Another useful thing we've used the allowance mechanism is to "set aside" money for tithes. By literally doing what the apostle Paul suggested we are able to be more faithful to support the church and ministries of the church. By the way each person is also individually responsible for tithing on that allowance.

If your expenses are out of control and you see unnecessary spending using allowances is a simple way to put your family on a budget without a lot of "budget" paperwork. Setting aside allowance is as simple as distributing the allowance when you get paid either setting them aside in the checkbook or by cash. You could also do your children's allowances the same way.

Here's a couple of other things you might want to consider in keeping a balanced budget.

Think over any major purchase for a certain period of time. There's rarely a purchase that demands you make an immediate purchase. Keep a track of credit card charges and always pay your credit card balance off at the end of the month. If you can't pay enough that your balance goes down each month. Keep an eye on holiday and seasonal spending. Don't go in debt over it. Use your allowance if you can't control yourself.

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