Money Blown

While I received a lot of positive comments on last week’s post, “What’s Your Relationship With Money?”, I also received more negative comments than in the last 3 years combined, including some very personal dings at me. Why? It seems some people see ‘blow money’ as money blown.  I stand by my belief that blow money is important and here’s why.

Blow money is simply my term for my and Martin’s personal allowances. It could just as easily be called allowance money, retirement enjoyment money, don’t want to be on my deathbed with regrets money, bucket list money, hobby money, exercise money, good health money, leisure money, entertainment money or anything else I decide to call it.

In life, I’m a planner. We also planned money for an occasional new car. We planned money for vacations. Some people may see those items as wasted money. When Martin and I reviewed our retirement resources and budget with the financial planners, it included a line item for personal allowances. If calculating our numbers showed us having enough money to take us into our nineties, blow money, inflation and all, there is no reason to forego a personal allowance.

Money blown

Money blown?

Martin spends most of his blow money on bicycle and motorcycle gear. As someone bicycling 80 to a 100 miles per week, he’s put nearly 8,786 miles on his current bicycle. Yes, he loves bicycling so much he keeps a log of the miles he does each week, weather and any other conditions, which affect his time.

Money blown or money well spent

Money well spent

He is in such great physical shape, with a resting heart rate of 52 beats per minute, that a medical doctor friend once joked, “With a heart like that, you’ll live forever!” We all know that’s not true, but it points out just one of the benefits of bicycling. Money blown on bicycle gear? It’s cheaper than a heart attack, which can easily run into the six figures and kill you! I love my husband and want him to stick around as long as possible. Money well spent.

Much of my blow money is spent on my gardens. I never met a plant I didn’t like _ well, maybe poison ivy. Not only does gardening keep me in good physical condition, the garden is my goto place for stress relief. After a tough day at work, there was nothing like coming home to a beautiful garden to relax or dig in the dirt. When I’m tending my gardens, I feel like I’m doing God’s work, taking care of nature and providing a place for birds, bees and butterflies to flourish. I also spent $300 on the Clemson University Master Gardener Program, so I could learn more about gardening and pass that information on to others in my community as a Program volunteer. Money blown on gardening and volunteering? Money well spent.

Money well spent

Money well spent

I also spend my blow money on an occasional lunch out with friends. While some may see this as a waste of money to eat out, I see it as nurturing my relationships with my support group. As we age social interaction becomes increasingly important at a time when we may have fewer opportunities to socialize.

According to the Rochester University Medical Center, the benefits of strong social ties include:

1. Potentially reduced risk for Alzheimer’s, some cancers, cardiovascular problems and osteoporosis;

2. Lower blood pressure; and

3. Reduced risk of mental health issues such as depression.

Many of the people I socialize with are long time friends, but some are also more recent friends encountered in art and writing classes _ more blow money expenditures. Money blown breaking bread with friends? Money blown taking classes to open new neural pathways and meet new people? Money well spent.

Money well spent

Money well spent

As we age, keeping our bodies strong, our minds sharp and our social network alive are important not only to our longevity but also our quality of life. Martin and I live an amazing retirement life filled with activities we enjoy, good friends, old and new, and a healthy, happy marriage. While we enjoy a lot of activities together such as hiking, cooking and art, we are not joined at the hip. We go our separate ways for many other activities and blow money helps us do that without infringing on joint items in our budget. We have no disagreements over money!  Money blown on a harmonious relationship?  Money well spent.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a budget line item that includes a personal allowance, even if you are single. As one of my wise readers pointed out, a budget gives us the permission to spend without the fear of spending too much. After all, what’s the point of saving all this money if you don’t get to enjoy your retirement? I personally don’t want to be at death’s door and say, “Gee, I wish I’d taken that art class or gone out to lunch with my friends more often.”

Money blown? Money well spent!

35 comments on “Money Blown

  1. Firmly agree! My husband spends his blow money on golf & I spend mine on shopping, lunches with friends and vacations. It’s a must in retirement. We’ve all worked our whole life for this luxury.

    Like

  2. I agree with you 100% on both columns. As long as you are prepared for the future, the money you have earned is meant for you to enjoy.

    We continue to travel, and hope to soon reach our goal of visiting each state. This is an amazingly beautiful country, beyond our wildest imagination. As I look out the RV window and see the peach sands covered with blue green flowers of the Utah desert, I drink in the beauty and give thanks to be fortunate enough study the majesty of the towering mountains that border the sand. Wasted money? I don’t think so.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, I enjoyed your comments re money on April 2 and your response to people’s comments. I am the “saver” in our marriage; my hubby is more the spender. I am struggling with our financial future even though our financial advisor says we should be OK until we’re 99!! We both are holding part time jobs in retirement….mine is for more financial security (along with something to fill my time)…my hubby’s is to fill his time (he doesn’t care about the money). Because of retaining a financial interest in a 3 generation family farm, it is hard to have a budget. We never know what income/expenses we will have year-to-year. I don’t mean to be a skin-flint; I just don’t want to outlive our financial resources.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    Trudy

    Like

  4. My CFP has given me an “allowance” for a new car every 8 years. It’s my option to decide to renew a vehicle or “blow it” assuming my car has few miles and in great condition. Ultimately, it’s your decision!

    Like

  5. Dear Kathy, I couldn’t agree with you more. When I first retired, I panicked about “running out”, even though I have good savings, pension, SS. My financial planner had to shake me to set me straight. I am a widow, so I don’t share “Blow Money”, but I have my own line item for that money, and if I remarry I will share that line item with my new partner/spouse. A good friend of mine died a few weeks ago at 73; she was late stage 4 cancer and it was too late to get her home so she could die in peace. That was it for me; I now treat every day as a gift to be opened, and if “Blow Money” helps fund the party, I say go for it.
    Kathleen

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Although I feel it’s important to set aside an allowance for myself, I don’t think I care of the term “blow money”… I would much rather call it discretionary funds, or just allowance. Blow money (IMO) means you can throw it away on useless items/activities, whereas discretionary funds/allowance would mean (again, IMO) you might think twice before “blowing” it. I think of it in terms of the day… if I blow the day, to me it means I’ve wasted the day doing nothing very productive.

    Like

  7. Loved this post. I’ve always followed a budget and continue to do so in retirement. And of course, in order to enjoy retirement, we planned for ”entertainment” or blow money. Going out to breakfast every now and then, art workshops, lunch out with friends once or twice a month and little day trips are all activities that give us happiness and make life interesting. It doesn’t have to be much, and it depends on each person’s budget, but no one should live on ”paying bills” alone!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Illigetimi non carborundum. (Don’t let the bastards get you down.)

    I enjoyed your post on what you call “blow money” (I call it “mad money”). Everybody who can afford it should set some money aside to just spend without consequences. I’m going to do that with $100 from my federal tax refund. I have a lot of pent-up demand from being broke for a long time. Now I can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy this small amount of freedom!

    Your posts are great! Keep them coming. And forget the trolls.

    Rin

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Agree! Agree! Agree! And the one thing about budgets and finances, as you pointed out, is that one can always changes the allocations. For example, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to nice half season tickets to our local NBA team. (It’s the team that LeBron came back to, the team that wants a championship!) We went for several years, and then this year when we reviewed our budget, we decided not to renew our seats. Blown money or money well spent? For the first years, it was money well spent- time to share something fun and exciting together. Now, we are ready to save that money and see what else life brings. Thanks for a good follow up to your earlier post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This makes a lot of sense to me. One of the features to “blow money” would be the flexibility of it. Some months one might spend the money on coffee and lunch dates, and other times on art supplies or new running pants. I think part of the key is that it is a budgeted amount just like apportioning $30 for the water bill, only it could go for different items or activities at different times. Each family will have its own amount and time frame – $100 per month per person, $25 total for the week, whatever fits the needs and priorities in the family.

    You explained it very well. Thanks!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  11. Kathy having spending money, blow money, play money, nit nat money is crucial for happiness during retirement as long as bills are paid and basic needs are met. Our blow money is used for eating out at least once or twice a week, electronic gadgets, gym membership and our grand baby . You only have one life to enjoy!! You go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Almost 50 years ago, when we got married, we prepared the first of many budgets. We included an item called ‘allowances’ which was the ‘blow’ money for each of us allocated on a monthly basis. This was money to be used for personal items — lunches, courses, and frivolous spending of all types — no questions asked; no explanations required.Through good times and tough years, we have always kept the ‘allowances’ line item. I can’t imagine living without my ‘allowance’. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Nobody leaves in a hearse with a bank account attached!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. From across the pond, I say hear, hear. However, we did decide to spend a chunk on a camper van/small motorhome (RV). They are nowhere near as big as the ones manufactured in the US. The camper van was always going to be the source of our main holiday, travelling around the UK and Europe. It’s much cheaper than hotels, we exercise a lot more when staying in it, walking and cycling. We also visit museums and National Trust properties, to develop our understanding of history and culture. We also make new friends whilst away. So I echo you, it’s been money well spent. BUT just like you, we’ve planned and saved for this!

    Like

  14. Kathy,
    Great article. I too have a cycling addiction. My retirement gift to me is a fully supported Coast to Coast ride next March. I’m using my unused leave payment. Can’t wait.

    We are also on a 39 day cruise of the Pacific this year. We’ve worked our whole life for this. You can’t take it with you.

    Like

  15. Kathy – I agree with you 100% – I love my “fun money” or “splurge money”. It is great as you get to do fun things, but you have a limit on it so you don’t go crazy. We budget $100 a month for clothes which I love to buy and $50 a month for my grandkids (not birthdays or Xmas presents – just for EXTRA FUN stuff I want to send when I feel like it) and I spend probably $50 a month on lunches out with friends. I scrimp in other areas that I don’t care as much about. I haven’t worked since 1986 so we only have my husband’s pension so it isn’t like we are rolling in dough – but I want to enjoy things NOW and LATER, not just LATER. Ha. I can’t believe people gave you negative comments on such a basic happiness rule. Sure, I could give these things up if the economy collapses, but why live a cheer less life until that happens?? We have always saved 10% of our income since day one of our marriage and have no debt, so I feel we are responsible with our money. At our age, I’m starting to spend more on experiences rather than “stuff”. I’ve decided not to buy any more jewelry with my clothes money– but that was a personal decision because I have ENOUGH for a lifetime and WANT LESS, but if I change my mind I will. Wahahahaha!

    Renee

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Kathy,
    I read your blog regularly and feel every article provides food for thought. Great to see you tackling that feared topic of money. We all tread our own path but it’s so interesting to hear how others are travelling.
    Many thanks
    Jacky

    Like

  17. Kathy I am so sorry you felt any need to justify your blow money. It’s nobody’s business! So glad you have figured out how to enjoy this time of life to the fullest. If we can’t do that at our age then when can we. It’s unfortunate that others are seemingly jealous 😕

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh for cryin, out loud…some people! It doesn’t make a dang bit of difference what you call it! It doesn’t even matter if you blow it “frivolously!” Heck, I cut up perfectly good fabric and sew it back together! Some would call it such a waste! The point is that you have saved AND SPENT carefully, making a point to spend on items and experiences that give you joy! You have made certain that your encore voyage will be well funded. Life is for LIVING! You’ve written two excellent posts! Ignore the haters! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you to all of my readers for the great comments and support on this post. I follow the Nora Ephron school of thought when it comes to the trolls, not only trolls of the blogging world, but the world in general. Ephron once said, “My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next.” During an interview, Ephron explained that her parents taught her to write about what was bothering her. So, that’s what she did. And, that’s what I do. I get a lot of ideas for posts from the trolls_ just before sending them to spam land. The funny part about this story is that this post, to date, provided my highest viewing day ever! How’s that for lemonade out of a few lemons?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I am surprised to say that I have more money in retirement that I ever imagined. I could be off spending; but at the end of the day I get much more pleasure from the :free” things. Like a good book from my library, a walk in the desert and home made meal. The people who seem to get into trouble are those who place too much value in keeping up appearances instead of investing in their passions.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m a firm believer in planned self-indulgence. By your standards, most of my budget is for “blow money”! I have separate line items in my budget for gardening, entertainment, educational expenses (like my Master Gardener course), and “miscellaneous” spending that just doesn’t fit anywhere else. I realize that I’m lucky to have substantial retirement savings that make these expenditures possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Kathy, I loved your post. Money should be enjoyed. As someone who did have a heart attack last year I can tell you this. You do not lie in a hospital bed and think “gee I wish I had saved more”. Many years I have worked caring for 6 children each day in my home.I made a decent wage and saved some. My husband is still working and bringing home a decent wage.I want to spend some and vacation or buy a lunch out ect..You seem to be doing exactly whats right for you and that is great. Enjoy your life.

    Like

  23. Oh Good Grief. I did not read your last entry until now, and do consider an RV on occasion. Having said that, everyone gets to spend money however they want! My necessities (piles of good quality fabric and travel) would be someone else’s frivolity. Having money to use as you see fit is a huge part of retirement. Like another poster (I think), I don’t actually have “blow money” but rather I add extra to my grocery account and break down the categories even further….restaurants, quilting, happy hour. The end result is the same. Why are people so negative?

    Like

  24. i agree. i’ve enjoyed your experiences because it’s not just money in your view of retirement. and yes, part of retirement is to spend money on things you both enjoy. congrats on “blowing” your money – cathy

    Like

  25. I love your blog! Money pushes a lot of buttons…..We have so many money related retirement resources but few , such as yours, that address the other 90% of leaving full time work. I am a worrier and it helps to hear from other people, as to how they are handling things. We adopted late in life. So I am 61 and have a 13 year old. Wouldn’t change a thing.

    Like

  26. Well written Kathy, thank God we have been given the opportunity to share times and things we enjoy and the ability to choose wisely.

    Like

  27. Sounds like your relationship with money is much like ours.
    My husband and I have had “allowances” for the last 30 years. It started with me feeling guilty to purchase clothes when we had babies. My husband thought that was crazy. The allowance was born!
    Must work well, both of our kids have the allowance system in their family budgets-along with a “retirement” account for each of them. It seems to keep everyone happy and moving forward. No questions asked when something is desired.
    We earned, saved and are in line for a very long and well funded retirement. It is good.

    Like

  28. Kathy… I cannot believed I missed this post. As I read it, I was saying yes, Yes, YES! I’m thinking the trolls are jealous of your happiness (some people can be). You’ve saved, and you are spending wisely. And, that is words from a saver! Spend on the things that bring you enjoyment; that is why you saved. Its a cliche, but true – you cannot take it with you.

    Our previous life-stage budgets actually listed motorcycles, water craft, the theater and clothes as line items! As long as the savings kept going up first, I was OK with doing my share to keep the economy afloat. To me – it was about priorities.

    And I want to be your new best friend – gardening, lunch with friends, hiking, cooking and art…. all the things I would also spend that money on!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s