Several months ago I started using cash envelopes for budgeting purposes. With using cash comes the change, and lots of it. Instead of giving a merchant exact change, I want change back! So I can feed the pig!
Princess Pin Pin
My portly friend was getting even more portly, so I took her down to the local coin counter and got just close to fifty bucks out of her! Cha-ching! If you didn’t know, pin money was money set aside for the purchase of incidentals (i.e. silk stockings or a new hat). I decided that my pin money is going to be used to purchase something trivial, or something just fun in general. A piece of jewelery, a book, or a subscription to a rather expensive magazine.
Yep, this quarter’s allotment will be purchasing a subscription to Somerset Workshop ~ The Art of Mixed Media and Paper. It’s six issues for thirty-three bucks!!
There is a rather nice sense of anticipation in this long awaited purchase.
It’s been a while since I posted on my finances. I have moved onto a new job and for the most part is going well. The suck is losing 10.5 hours out of my last paycheck due to sickness and a 341 hearing for my bk. Thankfully, it did not affect my overall budget! It took a bite out of what I call my “spending money”. Essentially, all the bills were covered and I still have enough set aside for an upcoming haircut.
I still keep a lookout for blogs that have some great money ideas. I came across The Nest Effect on Pinterest recently. She has posted her reflections on using cash envelopes and has created a spreadsheet system that follows the principles that Dave Ramsey mentions in his book. Check it out!! She sells some of her spreadsheets on Etsy and has many free printables!!!
Folder has monthly spending plan, plus a calendar for upcoming payments recurring payments or items to budgeted for over time)
I am coming up on month three on the cash envelopes system. With a recent change in employment and preparing for the bankruptcy, my envelopes were bare this month. It was awesome to even have the resources available for the filing fee!! Even though it made the rest of the month pretty tight, the money was there when needed.
In my road to financial serenity, I have to work on my money clarity and not being vague about where my goes and where it comes from. I re-vamped my spending plan to allow for some adjustments to the envelopes, to allow for some savings, and budgeting smaller items as they arise. I am incorporating as many of the tips and tricks I find from my financial blogs I read and going to some old-fashioned ink & paper techniques that keep me focused on my money clarity.
Of course, any chance to make something using paper always makes me happy!! New envelopes are being made for categories I had not originally planned for, i.e. books and/or movies. The cash envelopes seem to be a every evolving system and seems to grow as you do.
What are you tips are tricks for budgeting??Do you have a pen and paper method of accounting for you bills?? Everything done online?? A mixture of both??
I have incorporated the cash envelopes for a couple of months now. I would say that this month was the best I have done thus far. Meaning? I didn’t take the cash to spend it one something it was not intended for!!!
I am a drunken sailor when it comes to have any bit of extra cash…even if it is just a dollar, I will find something to purchase. It feels like a monumental accomplishment to have something left over at the end of the month. This is one baby step I am happy to get to.
Observations from this challenge. Leave room for adjustments. Leave the envelopes at home. Again, leave the envelopes at home. I think that worked the best for me. I was able to save the cash for the specific reason it was set aside for. Also, it will allow me to set aside the money for upcoming obligations i.e. car registration. This contribution to the savings account makes me very happy.
I will check in again at the end of May to see I did with the next installment. Here’s an inspiring article on using cash envelopes.
It has been a week since I implemented the cash envelopes. So far so good. A couple of observations I have are 1) kinda awkward carrying all the envelopes around 2) tracking expenditures is tricky. By the weekend, I had created a log for each envelope so I could keep track of how much was still in the envelope and how much I spent. Also, since I generally plan out my errands in advance, I took only that specific envelope with me. I just stuck the receipt in the envelope once I was done with the transaction. It made recording it so much easier.
There is a comfort in knowing that I have cash on hand. There is also a greater sense of accountability. I did find myself digging into one of the envelopes to pay for things that was not designated to be spent. Lesson learned. I can’t beat myself up about it, just adjust and move on.
Along with making the envelopes I also signed up for Manilla and Mint.com. Manilla is an online site that pulls all your bills (i.e. cell phone, cable, and subscriptions) and gives you one central location to pay all your online bills. It emails out reminders and keeps you alerted of any discrepancies in your bills. You tell it what accounts you have, give them your log in for that particular company and then when the bill is due, you can pay it at the Manilla site. Along with that, I added Mint.com. This site is for all my banking needs, plus keeping tract of my retirement and other assets.
Give it a try and let me know what you think
Baby steps, it’s all about the baby steps. I have my new and highly improved spending plan completed. I utilized the budget forms found on Dave Ramsey’s site. I re-vamped my personal spending plan to include the envelope system for items like hair cuts, clothes and dining out. I have it to the penny on each pay period. Granted, the figures are based on a basic, non over-time paycheck.
I also made new cash envelopes from a printable I found through Pinterest. Check out this site for the download. I made them using my papers on hand. Printed out a nice font and glued the label unto the envelope. These fit perfect into a little clutch I carry in my purse.
Payday is just a couple days away. This new budget will be put to the test!!