Do Away With Debit?

Julie and her husband are at an impasse when it comes to blow money. Julie wants to get rid of their debit cards altogether. How much blow money should they each get a week?

QUESTION: Julie in Nashville and her husband are working on their budget, and they're at an impasse when it comes to blow money. Julie wants to get rid of their debit cards altogether. How much blow money should they each get a week? Dave says they don't need to do away with the debit cards but shouldn't use them for blow money.

ANSWER: The whole idea of doing this is to start winning with money where you haven't been. That entails doing something different than you've done before. That would include how much money you blow on a particular category.

Number one, he should keep his debit card, and you should keep yours because you're going to do away with all your credit cards. You would not use the debit card, though, for this transaction. Instead, I would have an envelope called "His Blow Money," and put the amount of cash in there per pay period that we finally agree to. This is not a savings account; this is what we call pocket money or blow money.

Why don't we try it and agree that this month and next month are trial periods? Then we're going to sit down and discuss it again. I think yours is too low and his is too high. Pick a number, but this is not a permanent thing. You can change this.