You would think that as Presidents of the United States, they’d have some great perks when it comes to spending at the White House.
While that is true a lot of items are actually not covered by the job. Here’s a list of surprising items that Presidents and their families are expected to pay for on their own: (excerpt taken from Exploring History)
What do the Presidents have to pay for?
1.Laundry and dry cleaning
Yes, the President has to pay for his own laundry and dry cleaning. Wearing nice suits is par for the course for this job and yes the good news is taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill.
2.Decorating the White House
While there is a stipend of USD$100,000 for redecorating upon their arrival, the President and his family are expected to foot the bill for any amount that goes over the above-mentioned budget.
In fact, Barack Obama dug deep into his own pocket to redecorate the White House to suit his own tastes and had historical items from past presidents like desks and rugs brought in as well.
Yes, the President foots his own grocery bill too. While rent and utilities are paid by American taxpayers, groceries are definitely not. This stems from the policy that the president should be paying for everything in much the same way the average American does.
Hair cuts and hair stylists’ bills are paid by the President. Laura Bush was perhaps the most shocked about this as she paid quite a bit of money to have her hair looking a certain way all the time especially as First Ladies are frequently scrutinized from top to toe.
5.First Ladies wardrobes
A hotly debated topic throughout history is the First Lady’s outfits. As they represent an important figure in the country, they have to dress well but there is no allowance in the presidential budget for their clothing expenses.
6.No free vacations
The government only pays for official state business and nothing more. The government does cover travel (courtesy of Air Force One) and the President’s support team’s salaries but the rest of it is borne by the President.
Any holiday expense which includes food, lodging, and any out of pocket expense is paid for by the president himself.
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Photo above is from Wikipedia