02 February 2010

On Envelopes, etc.

Early this year I saw this awesome tutorial on making cute envelopes for budgeting purposes. I used this method for all of January and was very pleased with the results. It is much harder for me to spend big wads of cash than it is for me to throw everything on the debit card pell mell.

The system also makes it more necessary for me to write out my meal plans for the week and stick to my list at the store.

I like this method because I always know exactly how much money is left, and how long it has to last. It's funny how such a small thing as the method of spending can shift the pendulum from slight over-spending to slight under-spending.

In a sort of related note, check out this interesting graphic on consumer debt in the U.S. vs. other countries.


msjvd said...

I think that's a great method, but it's somewhat lower on the "points back" payout than a credit card will return, when used properly.

Considering that the average American household carries more than $8000 in credit card debt every month, I'm willing to concede that it is a system more people should try... and I like the tone of your graphic guy's blogsite.

Thora said...

I haven't done the full system, but I have done the cash for groceries (the only place I really struggle to keep it within my budget, usually). And I was amazed at the difference it made. I though I was good at budgeting, and knowing how much grocery money I had left in the budget, but actually having cash to spend, only, made me really evaluate what I was buying, and such.

Tigger said...

The "Man vs. Debt" site has some very powerful graphs. I absolutely believe it too. I think it is safe to generalize that most Americans are in some sort of debt. Whether it be for a home, education, a business, etc. Some are in debt from over buying clothing, vacations, or other things I consider a little more "fluffy"/extras than "vital to life".
I love your envelope idea. I want to start using cash for groceries again too. Thank you for posting a link to the template!
Also, thanks for the post.

The Rookie said...

That (the graphic) is just plain scary.

This is a long comment, I know, but the roommate and I had this whole conversation about how money isn't real to us at all--this supposed money we earn automatically enters our accounts on paydays, we spend it with a piece of plastic, and through simple addition and subtraction (mostly subtraction), the number rises or falls. But never is there any actual money exchanged. It is all so intangible--which I think contributes to the debt mess our nation is in (among many other factors).

Lovely envelopes, by the way.

Dansie Family said...

cute. we did it for a while but with fake money so we could keep getting cash back. it worked until we got too lazy. maybe we should try again.

Anonymous said...

Pretty envelopes. I had a friend who tried this idea for a while and found it to be very helpful.

Remind me not to move to Russia (unless I have a really really good reason to. Which, currently, I don't).