Sunday, February 3, 2013

Budgeting with the NEW Envelope System Wallet

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New to cash only budgeting??  Don't worry!  There are many ways to use this budgeting system to make it work for you!
I found my way to the cash-only budgeting method by author and budgeting guru, Dave Ramsey.  Studies show that you spend less when paying with cash versus credit cards, debit cards and checks.  Forget clipping coupons!  Making this simple change will curb your unplanned purchases and help you be a frugal and intential shopper.
My husband and I share the household and family expenses, but a MAJORITY the descretionary spending fell into my hands...birthday parties, Christmas gifts, haircuts, groceries, gas, clothing, school money, etc.  As a new wife, I was enjoying having so much money at my mere disposal.  Over the years, my credit card bill became larger and larger, until I wasn't able to pay it off each month.   
A couple of years ago, when I was not such a young wife anymore and now worried about the financial future of two children as well as a husband's exasperation at my lack of discipline, decided to take control of my spending.
I sat down and divided my month's worth of spending into categories.  My categories are very simple, though others have quite complicated categories.  My categories include groceries, car, gifts/entertainment, clothing, health/beauty.  I looked at my checking register and credit card bills to determine approximately how much I spend the the following areas, the determined how much I NEEDED to spend in those categories!  Cash was divided and placed into paper envelopes.  There a couple of rules to follow here:

 1. You can only use grocery money for....GROCERIES
2. You may not pass money from one envelope to another!
Those were not easy rules to follow.  I quickly solved that problem by only carrying an envelope that contained money I was allowed to use for that particular trip/day.  Such as, "car" went with me all the time (in case I needed gas), but I only carried the "health/beauty" when we were going to get haircuts or pick up medicines for a sick child. 
As time went on, I became an expert at my cash only adaption.  But the paper envelopes really got on my nerves.  Since I love to sew, I designed my first Envelope System Wallet two years ago. 
I have recently designed the Envelope System Wallet to be even more user friendly!
1. Outer wallet is large enough to house up to 6 envelopes, check book, small notepad.
2. Three fabric envelopes are included with the wallet in a coordinating fabric.  Each envelope will be labeled with the category of your choice.  Envelopes are not sewn in so that you are free to remove them!
3.  Large front zippered pocket.  I found that I rarely EVER removed my zippered pouch from the old design.  It holds change, cards like drivers license, social security, etc.  This new pocket spans the entire length of the wallet and I was able to even place a check book in it (without large cover).
Thank you for stopping to have a look around!  If you would like to make your own fabric envelopes, you can click HERE for a sewing tutorial.  Don't sew or don't have the time?  My Envelope System Wallets are for sale in my ETSY SHOP.   I would love to hear from you!
Here are a few articles/videos about cash-only spending:
The Girl Creative