The "b" word (budget) doesn't have to be a bad word.
A budget simply means that you are telling your money what to do. A budget doesn't mean you can't have fun, but it ensures that you don't over spend. That is where the envelope system comes in handy. I know, I know, you are thinking that you will follow your budget and you will just use your debit card not spending over your set amount of money. This is how I thought at first too and after about 6 months of figuring out a budget that was pretty much perfect for my husband and I, we became successful with using our debit card and staying with our budget. This is good right? It's acceptable at best, but once we truly embraced the envelope system our money became even more efficient for us. I still had the same amount of money to spend each month, but I started realizing that I was getting more out of the money and I thought more about each of my purchases. The following are the envelopes I use monthly:
- Groceries: This includes all food, bathroom, makeup, and mostly anything you can buy at Target
- Gas: I budget for 4 tanks a month because I travel a lot for work.
- Out to Eat
- Miscellaneous: This covers all of those unexpected expenses. It's just a little buffer, such as doctor bills, a flat tire, field trips, haircuts, it's a catch all really.
Now, for the envelopes! We highly recommend that you check out Dave Ramsey's site and check out his very affordable envelope systems that you can buy. Here we have made our own (we also both own his envelopes and wallets!) with some of our favorite Dave Ramsey quotes. You can print them and use them to start your own budget envelope system and then check out Dave's site for so much more information to help you along your way. We are just Dave Ramsey enthusiasts who want to help others get on the right track as well.
Top open envelopes:
Side open envelopes:
Print your envelopes on cute scrapbook paper or just plain paper you have laying around. If you choose scrapbook paper try to stick to soft patterns. Cut your envelopes out, glue the sides and fold. Fill with your budgeted amount for your category and track what you use. You can tuck in the flap or use washi tape to keep your envelopes closed but resealable. Use them in your wallet just like your would cash. When the money is gone it is gone. It is that simple. Happy budgeting.
Update: We will be posting these printables in another format this week due to some difficulty printing. Stay tuned or shoot us your email address if you can't wait!