Anyway, the way my mom managed the household finances would make Dave Ramsey quiver with glee. First of all, she budgeted by area - groceries, clothing, entertainment, savings (of course). Second, she withdrew cash and put cash in the aforementioned divided budget envelope binder thing. I don't know where she got them, but apparently when she found a time warp five and dime that sold them, she would snatch up several because the manila envelopes inside wear out with use. Mom would follow the budget pretty closely; when the envelope was empty, there wasn't money for that item until the next payday.
My parents started giving me an allowance when I was about 5. I would mostly save it for vacation spending money. That continued right up through high school, where it constituted walking-around money (not that I ever did much exciting walking around). I never held a regular, part-time job during the school year. I collected seasonal income mostly working at summer camps. In my last semester of high school, my mom calculated how much of the amounts in the budget envelopes would get spent on (or saved for) me and my brother. Then she took that sum and gave it to us with the caveat that we would now pay for everything but room and board. We'd cover our own entertainment and clothes and savings.
When she did that, she provided us each with our own budget envelopes. My wife discovered mine while cleaning out our clotted filing cabinet over the weekend. It still has the entries from the $55 I received from my parents every two weeks that last half of senior year. Here's the breakdown:
$25 - savings
$5 - Norway
$8 - clothing
$8 - tithe
$9 - miscellaneous
A few notes:
- I - like most people - went to Norway with a brass band in May of my senior year of high school.
- Just writing that out, I'm wondering if my parents instructed me that the money I received was after-tax or something like that because a tithe on $55 would be $5.50, not $8.00. I guess I was just precociously pious and generous.
- Interestingly, my brother, who received the same allotment, set aside $16 per week for clothes. We all referred to him as a "clothes horse" in this period.