In Japan, women usually control the purse strings, and men are given a monthly allowance that they use to buy lunches, go drinking, and purchase daily items. My wife’s brother recently had his spending money cut, so I’ve been interested in the topic of how much people get. I found this interesting article on the subject, so I’ve translated it below. It’s from an online technology and lifestyle blog called Maikomi jaanaru and is based on a survey by Shinsei Financial.

Salarymen’s average total spending money decreases by 5,000 yen from last year to 40,600

Shinsei Financial released the results of the “2010 Salariman Spending Money Survey” on June 8. It was conducted on 1,000 salarimen between the ages of 20 and 50. The average amount of spending money decreased for the third year running, and salarimen are cutting back on things such as buying bento boxes and eating out, making efforts to maintain their lifestyles and increase their savings.

Salarimen’s average spending money decreased by 5,000 yen to 40,600 yen, going down for the third year in a row. 56.8 percent reported that they had not had pay increases between last year and this year. The number who “received no pay raise” outpaced those who “received a pay raise” last year, and the trend has continued.

When it comes to how allowances were spent, the average year’s amount is 500 yen, but last year it decreased sharply by 90 yen. It has been dropping continuously from 710 yen in 2001, and this year’s amount was the lowest in 10 years. When asked how many times they brought their own lunch in a five-day period, the number who answered that they brought lunches from home, refraining from eating convenience store lunches, going to the employee cafeteria, or eating out, increased from 1.3 times last year to 1.5 times this year.

The number of times salarimen ate lunch out decreased from 1.1 last year to 0.9. Going out eating and drinking after 5 PM decreased from 3.3 to 2.9 times per month, the third year in a row it has gone down. The price paid for drinks decreased by almost 1,000 yen this year to 4,190. Shinsei reported that “The long deflationary spiral seems to have affected the amount spent on lunches and drinking, and at the same time, it can also be said that salarimen’s desire to save money may also have increased greatly.

The original article is here.