{ spending hiatus - month 4: week 2 - the cash envelope system }

This week I'm back on track with the spending hiatus and since I don't have anything to confess, I thought I'd answer some questions I've received about the cash spending system I've been using. I've written before about using the cash envelope system...I did buy the Dave Ramsey wallet thing specifically designed for this purpose and it was the ugliest wallet I had ever laid eyes on so I returned it and made my own envelopes with some I had for about .29 cents and stuck them in my uber-cute Sherpani Wallet. There are also some homemade cash envelope options here and here.

Anyway, I've gotten lots of questions about my system... I am not an expert and you will note I still have credit cards. But, I can tell you that it has helped me plan out our purchases and stick to a budget way better than before. I simply decide what our budget for groceries, family excursions, household supplies, garden items, etc. is for a given month (varies due to our travel & work plans) and withdraw that money from the bank and allocate it into the appropriate envelopes. This month we are home for the most part but do have one trip to Moab planned, some company coming into town and some back to school expenses so I have the following cash envelopes:

Week 1 Food
Week 2 Food
Week 3 Food
Week 4 Food
Home & Garden Items (dog food, garden supplies, laundry detergent, etc.)
Family Fun (company in town - hot springs, drinks with girlfriend, Moab Trip, outdoor movie night & mini golf, date night)
Back to school expenses (school supplies, some new outfits & sneakers for sam & back to school lunch out with her)
Babysitters (I have lined out a babysitter for date night)

{ additional notes: Then I put the receipts back into the envelopes to enter online at a later date. I also sometimes take money from one envelope and swap it around which sort of feels like cheating but i figure its okay as long as i'm not withdrawing more cash or charging to a credit card. }

Simple Mom has written some great articles on this subject that you can read here.

And because this is a brain blog, here is a great article entitled Your Brain on Shopping.

Do any of you do the cash envelope thing? How does it work for you?

Here's another pic of the Sherpani Wallet that I have (it fits passports too!)


Anonymous said...

We met with our new financial planner a few weeks ago and it was quite eye-opening (not in a good way!). I remember trying the envelope system many years ago when my husband and I were first married. I guess it didn't stick then. Sounds like it's time to try again. Your blog is an inspiration! I keep thinking about your quote from a while ago about a "mindful life rich in experience". I have it written down on my momME weekly planner and keep carrying it forward in the notes each week!

LobotoME said...

hi lisa! i know it is really eye-opening meeting with a financial planner...but good to at least start to get on the right track! yes, that's our motto: {a mindful lifestyle rich in experience}!
have a great day! J :)

LobotoME said...

Hi Jana - thanks for your email! yes, i love the wallet and it fits the feed me notepad & other lists perfectly! J :)

paula said...

we do dave too:) Oh and I have my own wallet too, his are so ugly.