Can you believe that it's August already? It was like it was just the other day that we were enjoying the days of July...ahhh.. memories. Since it is the beginning of the month and the beginning of the week (Double Whamo!) I decided to take you on a walk with me through my monthly money management system.
But Joanna, isn't this a blog about food? Why yes, yes it is, but Hubby ain't huntin' for dinner and we have to budget right to get the most bang for our buck at the grocery store. Am I right or am I right?
Last year during mine and hubby's engagement, we took couple's counseling at our Church. Our pastor is so amazing and we learned so much, including how to manage our money. He taught us about Dave Ramsey's Envelope Management System. Truth be told, I have yet to master this system. This year, Hubby and I really want to buckle down so we can save up for a new house and some rugrats.
So, Mr. Budget, we meet again. Let's be friends and work as a team, instead of you pooping on my head this time. Ok? ::puppy dog eyes::
What is this infamous "Envelope System"?
It's a way to control your spending to the very last penny and get you to not spend beyond your means. When you use your debit card, you are essentially "swiping blindly", which is extremely dangerous for Mr. Budget, especially if you don't write your purchases down afterwards.
What do I need?
Besides a lot of will power, you will need a budget sheet, envelopes (DUH), and your cashola.
I created my own budget sheets on Microsoft Word according to the bills we have. I suggest that you make your own to accommodate to your own spending as well. Some of you might not have stupid association dues to pay, so it wouldn't make sense for you to have it on your sheet.
The first page has all of our household bills that we pay online. We do not have envelopes for these things because we pay them online, not in cash.
**Helpful Hint** After you pay your bill online, write down your confirmation numbers and date you paid it, just in case. If you lose the bill, you'll still have proof you paid it!
The second page has all of our miscellaneous items that we pay in cash from our envelopes.
I've also added pocket dividers to hold any bills.
And at the very end, I have a paper folder to hold any receipts or bills I might need at the end of the year for tax purposes.
To fill your envelopes, first decide how much you want to budget in each category. Then, when you go to the bank, take out ONLY what you budgeted for and put them into your envelopes. I fill these up at the beginning of the month and once you've spent everything from that envelope, that's it! Once it's gone, it's gone. There are no re-fills!
You can dip into other envelopes, but that's on you. If you want to use grocery money for shopping at Target, then you better have a good explanation for your hubby as to why you're eating ham sandwiches for dinner again. Essplain yourself, LUCY!
I know, I know. This is where your will power comes in. Most of your spending will need to be pre-planned so you can remember to take out cash from that envelope. You have to really ask yourself if you need to buy that RIGHT NOW and if you don't have that cash on hand, the drive back home to get it will really put it into perspective for you.
In a Nutshell
- Don't spend beyond your means and don't spend beyond what's in the envelopes
- Think about your purchases beforehand
- Stick to your budget and the pay off will be GRAND... hopefully a HUNDRED GRAND! teeheehee
- Stay organized and be diligent with writing your purchases down.
- Stay strong my friend.
- Try to win the lottery.
As much as I want to hope that it'll help for you... I hope that it works for us, too. I'll update you guys at the end of the month. Hopefully by then, I will have saved enough money to move to the hills of Malibu. ::crosses fingers::
- Share your best budgeting tip!