My Envelope System and Budget Tools

February 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm 3 comments

So we are currently getting out of school debt.  Luckily this is the only debt we have besides the house.  Sometimes I need to do something crafty to keep myself motivated like our monster debt chart.

I recently fine tuned our budget spreadsheet and I needed a new envelope system.  I was using a coupon organizer before that worked but it was pretty bulky and my wallet was separate which was also bulky and annoying.  I also got this great sleek little purse for Christmas from Nathan’s grandparents that I way dying to use.

So I could use this I ended up just dividing up the budget into three categories (food, allowance, gas) so I could use the three slots in this purse. This was not the best idea.  I couldn’t track certain areas and I ended up spending more than i normally would.

Nathan and I have been watching the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University videos and that motivated me to get serious again about knowing where every penny of the money went.  So I came up with these modified envelopes I could use to separate things out in my purse.

Don't worry I only carry around about 6 envelopes. Just two per slot.

Each of them are labeled right at the top where I can see them

I pulled them out slightly so you can see them

So once again I’m on a detailed budget and it feels really good.  For a long time I had no idea how to do an effective budget and I also avoided using the cash only method because I always thought if I had cash on me I would just spend it.  Well it is different when I put a name to where all the cash had to go.  And now that it is in adorable little envelopes I want the money to stay there because it looks good. (dorky, but hey if it helps me hold onto my money I will do it.)

So if anyone has any questions about how to successfully do your budget talk to me!! I really feel like we have been very successful since we started and I don’t think we will ever go without a budget again because money behaves and goes farther if you can control it and not let it control you.  It takes time as a couple at first to figure things out but really it takes me MAYBE a half hour every pay period and its fun because part if it is counting cash on had and dividing it up and I just like playing with money like that 🙂

I attached a sample of the budget sheet I made up. I changed all the info on it so our actual amounts don’t get out there and hopefully you get the idea. I did a pdf so everyone can view it but I did it in Numbers on a Mac so I can’t upload the actual spreadsheet for anyone to use. It wasn’t until I was putting the explanation on the sample budget that I realized this can look really overwhelming.  It didn’t start out like this, the is the system I have come up with after about 6 months of experimenting.  If anyone has questions about the actual numbers in any area, let me know I don’t mind sharing but I thought I shouldn’t put my detailed budget out for the whole world to see.





Entry filed under: Frugal Living, Projects, Wendy's Posts.

Practice Make Progress My Original Baby

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ana Hopkins  |  February 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    You made me feel bad and guilty with your amazing system! I’d love to talk to you about it sometime. We really need to get more organized!

  • 2. Teneka  |  January 15, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Can you tell me where you got those cute envelopes from?

    • 3. Wendy  |  January 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      I made them out of scrapbook paper. Honestly they were too tight and it took a practiced technique to get money in there. For a long time I used other envelopes I cut with a cricut machine from a cards and envelopes cartridge. Now I’m lazy and I use white coin envelopes because they are clean and cheap and when one gets beat up I can whip out another clean one.


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