Thoughts on Thursday: Cash Envelope System

One thing that is really important to me is my finances.  I want to make sure we have enough money for the things we need, a bit of money for some things we want, and lots of money saved up for BIG things we want (like fancy vacations and a house).  I’ve been big on budgeting since my husband and I got married four years ago, but with my recent job change, I’m even more aware of how much we’re spending and whether each purchase is wise or not.  My new job also does not offer direct deposit, so I will be going to the bank every two weeks, which gives me an opportunity to try something new.

 

When I first began reading about how to budget your money and make good financial choices, one suggestion I saw over and over again was that you should use a cash envelope system.  Basically, have an envelope for various categories (grocery, date nights, bills, etc.) and put a set amount of money in each envelope at the beginning of the month.  For the rest of the month, the only money you have for that category is what’s in the envelope.  That seemed like a good idea for someone who had no control over their spending habits, I thought, but I knew how to use my debit card responsibly.  Plus, I didn’t want to stop by the bank all the time to withdraw cash.

 

Now…maybe that’s a good idea. My grocery spending has gone up (not on purpose…but I just seem to always be over my $50/week mark), and some of our date night and ‘fun’ spending has gone over the past several months, too.  The cash envelope system would certainly keep me accountable.  I’m also thinking that utilizing my Filofax for such a system would be functional and fun.  I know they sell little plastic envelopes, but I’m going to test out the system first using just paper envelopes we have here at home (no more extra spending!).

 

I’ll try to keep you updated on a) how the system works for me, and b) how my Filofax looks with the redesigning I have in mind!  Any tips you have on using a cash envelope system would be most welcome!

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