Thursday, March 14, 2013

An "Envelope System" for the Modern Spender

I wish I could say I have my shit together.  A lot of things I do:  Me and my Mr are doing amazing,  I love our life-style moving around a lot (no we are NOT military), household, relationships, etc.  Things I don't:  My crafts (a bit disorganized, but hey you can't contain the creativity) & The Budget. Like most people I use my debit card; for EVERYTHING.  I also read a lot of articles/blogs/Dave Ramsey, on the envelope system.  In fact I just started a new board on Pinterest for Money Advice - yes it get it's OWN board!  I wish it would work for me, but I don't feel comfortable carrying that much cash for the month around with me, nor am I able to really plan how much might be needed.  So I continue in my old ways, swiping my debit card and over-spending only to be saved by the next weeks' paycheck.

I am always looking for better ways to budget and look at ours WEEKLY, but yet I can't seem to get it under control; UNTIL TODAY.  I think I have found a "system" that will work for me.  It all started because I pinned something, then decided to follow 4 other boards dealing with money advice, which lead me to board surfing and I came across this idea from Melissa over at A Bowl Full of Lemons.  To be honest, I didn't even read the blog post :| (oops) but I got this amazing idea, carry budget categories with me!  The printables are no longer available for free so I had to get creative.  I am fairly savvy with Excel, I use it for my budget and have played with all sorts of options.  It really wasn't too hard.  I played around with the cell size, margins, page layout (4X6 index card), etc until I got them to fit on my pretty note cards I couldn't pass up at Staples.  (There's a hint of my color obsession again.)

I created my categories based on how I spend money:
Groceries/Restaurant (I put these together because at the end of the month, if there isn't money left to go out to eat, clearly we would have plenty of food to eat at home)
Household/Personal Care (this would be my Target shopping, and Pampered Chef - being a consultant  I tend to add my commission back INTO my business)
Henry & Percy (These two are the loves of our lives and we tend to go crazy at the pet store on toys and treats, we need to budget in vet visits (shots next week!), boarding, food, and yes - more toys)
Discretionary (Everyone needs to have money they can blow on the little things that make them happy, helps keep you focused if you're paying off major debt {Like us-Thank you Student Loans.}  This can be $10, whatever might make you happy)
Entertainment (For us, this is our social fund - Drinks with friends, impromptu bowling and beer, movies, etc)
Gas/Maintenance (We are down to one vehicle with no payment [my Mr has a work truck] and this is my around town, visit friends, run errands and travel to see family-fund)

Yes, you could hard write these out and they would work just as well.  I was pretty proud that I was able to get them printed on the note cards, damn near perfect.

There you have it, my 6 categories.  I have suck a positive feeling about my new habit.  It won't take but a few moments back at the vehicle, or at home, to stay up-to-date on these modern-day-spender envelopes. 

Off to dinner to celebrate my new Budget! :)


  1. Maybe not easier but we have more than 1 checking account. Same as your papers but the bank does the bookkeeping part for us!

  2. This is for our overall budget.. We have all of our bills & loans already budgeted but they don't change. We don't stick to a budget when just checking the account. I am giving this 31 days. I heard it takes 31 days to form a habit-here goes nothing.