If you follow the CTF forum you know that many there are Dave Ramsey fans. I am no different. I love his envelope budgeting system and get-out-of-debt plans (I dislike his investing advice). Because my husband’s paychecks are unpredictable thanks to late-paying clients and my income varies widely, we have a very carefully crafted budget. We are both committed to making it work for our family.
We are debt-free except for our mortgage. We use the envelope system to track our weekly spending money for food, gas, household needs and the like. The money for bills we pay monthly/quarterly stays in the checking account (along with a $200 cushion in case I make a math mistake) and the money for long-term projects such as saving for a car or new siding for the house goes into our savings account along with our emergency fund.
The problem with using the envelops system is that it’s hard to find a wallet that works with it and is durable. While looking for wallets for both of us online, I found a cash envelope system using an envelope template by Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs. I made these up in short order.
It only took a few minutes to cut them out and glue-stick them together. I used a brightly colored, heavy-duty card-stock meant for scrapbooking so it would be more durable and easy to spot in my purse but you could use any papers you like. The ones with the printed scrapbooking papers are pretty.
I’m going to attach a few together as she shows in her post for the envelopes I carry with me all the time and use it in place of the checkbook slot in my wallet. I’m still looking for a good solution for my husband, who uses a traditional bi-fold men’s wallet. He’s an engineer with an amazing gift for math so I hand him his money in one lump and he’s able to keep up with it in his head and can tell me what he spent on which category without a problem. I don’t have that ability so I must use the envelopes. 🙂
Our agreement is that if you go under-budget in an area, that money is yours to do with as you’d like. So my husband scrapes extra out of his budget and does things like surprise us with an extra treat. He took us to The Soap Shed and Rio Doce Mine last week out of that hidden savings. I take what I can scrape out of my regular budget and put it towards a new-to-us vehicle, since saving for that is my priority.
I printed it at 60% and used a light-weight paper for my kid’s envelopes to go into their spend bag- they have three mini bank bags labeled spend, give and save. They now have labeled envelopes for each of their spending goals. My kids like to save money for yearly activities for which they want to have spending money and we’re teaching them how to budget while they’re young.
[boilerplate plate = “sig” search = “replace” usequery=”anything”]
Great post! My husband and I, too, got out of debt, besides the mortgage, using Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball system a la The Total Money Makeover. We were also able to save money for a down payment on our house following his advice. However, after moving in, we ended up spending all of our emergency fund on household needs (replace some appliances and other necessities), then had to replace the transmission in our vehicle, and financed a new business venture, and *sigh* now we’re back up to $10k in the hole!!! Many of our friends are currently taking the Financial Peace University course, and now with you blogging about this, I think the Lord may be nudging us to get back on track with a sound budget and cash-only spending plan.
Thanks again KerryAnn!
Not near as pretty, but I have had success using snack-sized baggies. They fit bills well, and are durable. I write on them with a permanent marker, and use a coupon wallet for different categories.
KerryAnn Foster says
That’s a good idea. I didn’t think about something like that. Now that I’m out of that paper, I might have to try something like a snack baggie to fill in the gaps as the envelopes wear out.
KerryAnn Foster recently posted..Get Real: Oatmeal? AGAIN?
We’re going to start a cash-based budget very soon. I’m thinking of organizing myself with envelopes and if I like it, I’m going to make some of these: http://www.etsy.com/listing/59503207/six-fabric-cash-envelopes-for-paper I don’t think it would be hard to make if you have basic sewing skills and a straight stitch machine.