Envelopes

In an effort to reign in the spending and start an aggressive savings plan, I am tempted to start a system that makes me reliant on cash. Let me explain.

When we were kids my parents would give us money. It was our responsibility to divide the money into “giving,” “savings,” and “other” envelopes. It was a way to teach budgeting and making good financial decisions by prioritizing how you use your money. The first division of the money always went to the “giving” envelope which was then used as our offering at church on Sunday. Savings was always second and then whatever was left over was ours to spend.
Well, I feel as if I have made a budget every month, but when it comes down to the end of the month several categories of my budget just never fall into line with what I had wanted to spend. Particularly, groceries and eating out. These categories seem impossible to control. I go to the grocery store, pick up some stuff, swipe the debit card and away I go until two days later when I’m back at the grocery store, picking up some stuff and again swiping the debit card. Before you know it, I’ve spent (in my opinion) entirely too much money on food for only two people. And yet I still feel like you open the cabinets or fridge and there’s nothing to eat!
So I was thinking….If I use the envelope system and literally put cash in an envelope and only pay for groceries out of the cash envelope then when the money is gone that means I’m done. And hopefully I will make smarter decisions when using my cash as I see it quickly dwindle away throughout the month.
Already I’ve been to the grocery store 3 times this month and it’s only January 8th! $75 here, $25 there and I’m already almost 1/2 way through my monthly grocery budget with 23 more days left in the month!
What if I go to the bank and get in cash what my remaining budgeted allotment is and start the envelope system mid month? I might be too chicken to do it. But maybe it would help me get to my savings goal this month (along with no more trips to Target, WalMart, Joann Fabrics, etc).
I wonder if I could get S to do the same with the “dining out” budget? Think of the money we could save!
Do you dare me to try the grocery budget? Maybe if I can show S how much we saved then he’d be willing to try it with other parts of the budget!
Ooh, I think I might be up for the challenge (I am naturally competitive afterall!).
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