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How much do couples around here who are doing primarily joint finances allot to personal spending money for each person, and what expenses must come out of that amount?

I just love questions with no correct answers.

First of all, congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

We were both working when we married ages ago, and from the beginning we put everything into one checking account. DH used to take $300 out of the account and put it into our safe at home. Whenever the money was gone, he put more in. That worked well for a time and I think we used the cash for gas and lunches at work and other minor expenses.
Anything big we always discussed.
Over the years, we have alternated as to who managed the checkbook and paid bills, but I have done that job for probably the last 5 or 6 years.

I have been a SAHM for the past 15 years and am now an emptynester SAHW.
I get $100 cash back each week at the grocery. DH is only comfy with about $40 in cash at any given time. I frequently have 5 or 6 times that amount. Neither of us are very spendy. When DH is going for a haircut he writes a check with the tip included so that doesn't come out of his cash. I shop for my own clothing and most of his as well.
He tends to buy a lot of new and used books which creates a space problem but that is a story for another day. Also he takes his lunches to work most of the time. I think he spends $10 a week for breakfast as he goes on T and Th to a men's breakfast before work. We put gas on a cc so his $40 can last 2 weeks sometimes.

Maybe it is that we've been married long enough that we really seem to function as one unit when it comes to finances. That doesn't mean we always make the best decisions, however.

I assume we would continue the same way when I go back to work. It helps that our house and cars are paid for and that we have other assets. If your budget is really tight, you may have to do some tough negotiating to work our your individual spending limits. Also don't consider what you decide to be set in stone: evaluate your needs periodically-- I would suggest every 3 or 4 months for the first year or two.

Molly--prefers being married
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