Monday, September 28, 2009

Enveloped

I've always been responsible with my limited income, but two weeks ago I adopted the old-school Envelope Method of budgeting. Each week I withdraw a set amount of cash and divide into the following envelopes: Food/Household, Eating Out, Gas/Transportation, Clothing, Entertainment, Fabric/Sewing. The idea of the system is that you'll think about each and every purchase you make more purposely than if you were using your debit card. You can dip into other envelopes for a purchase if needed, but when the cash is gone... it's gone.

So far, it's been great. It really has opened to my eyes to how many thoughtless purchases I make at Target, the grocery store... really anywhere. I now know exactly where my money is going. HOWEVER, being extremely anal and OCD and Type A, the system has caused some issues and "that girl" moments. For example, last week at Target I picked up a tank top (Clothing Envelope), protein bars (Food/Household) and blank CDs (Entertainment). I had the cashier ring each up separately, so I could pull from each individual envelope. Yes, I'm a rule follower. I know the other patrons behind me were none too pleased about having to wait as each transaction was complete. Nor were they smiling as I apologized profusely for the myriad of envelopes scattered across the register. Even when I explained that it was part of my budget. Sigh. Oh well. My bank account is thanking me.

19 comments:

Rachel H. said...

We definitely need to start something like this!!

Blissfully Enamored said...

way to go! i have heard that that is the best method ever....gosh...i have got to start something! way to go! stick with it! :)

Lindsay said...

thats a great idea! glad it's working for you!

Elle said...

Ooohh... I'm planning on starting a budget again so I can figure out exactly how much I NEED to live on and to save as much as possible for medical school... I've never done the envelope idea, but I like because I sure to hate to hand over cash!

Jennifer said...

We started a budget a few months ago, and I'm not quite as strict, but we do have allowances. It has been so great, and we've been able to save more and actually spend without feeling guilty!

Brittney said...

Aw, too cute! I am OCD too!! Go girl with your budget skills. More tips would be greatly appreciated! I am tight as well, right now.

Black Labs and Lilly said...

I'm starting a whole new budget regiment on 10/1. The envelope method is part of the plan, and I am sure I will end up being "That Girl" more then a few times over the coming weeks!

THE Stephanie said...

LOL... I totally do the same thing! That is, when I'm following my envelope system and not cheating. Dang Dave Ramsey!

BTW, guess what I got for my bday this weekend? The Magic Bullet! PD & PB Inspired :)

Southern Champagne Wishes said...

Sounds like a great plan. Everyone I've heard talk about says it really works. And, those people behind you just need to learn a little bit of patience. I've been behind people who have taken up way more time than that writing a check!

Nutritious is Delicious said...

Great idea. I should totally start withdrawing a certain amount of $$ and when it's gone, it's gone!

Ashley Lauren said...

I just started something similar this week!!! Only I have to keep it more simple, for now at least. I took out cash last night for my groceries and lunch and once it's gone, it's gone! Once I get used to it I'll expand into other areas :)

holly-lynn said...

i have a similar method, but use a notebook to keep track of how much money i have left in each 'department'. i find myself spending more when i have actual cash in hand :)

Lindsey said...

What a great idea! I need to try this since our budget is NOT working!

Lexilooo said...

I need to do this too, I've heard such good things about this method! I know I am such a frivolous spender and really need to get better!

QueenBeeSwain said...

this is so smart and I am so proud of you for having the gumption and follow-though to hold yourself accountable!

keep on kickin' rear!

kHm

The Shabby Princess said...

I really need a system like that. Can you be my budget overseer? I'm buying clothes like it's my job (why isn't it my job?)!!

Red Lipstick Style said...

Sounds like a good plan! (now my jaded, fraud analyst side has to make a statement:) - I hope you don't carry too much money with you...there are those that may see those lovely envelopes and want them for themselves. Please be careful ;-)

by the way, I log my purchases in categories to see how much I am spending, and the clothes page always has far to much (as do the 'bunny' and 'home care/decor' pages! but, I haven't logged since mid Sept... ;(

Gleatie said...

That is definitely the Dave Ramsey method of budgeting! Do you listen to him? I used to listen to him everyday on the way home from work when I was living in the States! I laugh a little at you ringing things up separately! :) I just found your blog from The Pink Chick's blog. I'm hosting a giveaway right now on monogrammed grocery bags if you want to come over and enter! www.gleatieanddeaner.blogspot.com

Lis said...

That's such a great idea!!! And I hate it when people behind u act like that!! I actually had a cashier get snippy with mr yesterday because I was using a bunch of coupons - um sorry I'm saving money but it's not costing her a darn thing!! Goodness!!! :) good for you for saving money!! :)