Envelope system - What do you use it for?
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  1. #1
    Registered User mikandmari's Avatar
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    Default Envelope system - What do you use it for?

    I'm thinking of trying the envelope system. I know I would use an envelope for groceries. I'm wondering... what are some of the other things that you use envelopes for?

    Does it work?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I use it for groceries, my daughter's inline speed skating practice fees. My FI uses it for his gas (I get my gas at Sam's so I have to use my debit card), and our fun $ is in cash.

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    Registered User Hoosier Momma's Avatar
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    We have:
    Groceries
    Gas (put in on a WM gift card and save 3 centes per gallon!)
    Church offerings
    Blow money for the kids
    Kids' clothes
    Miscellaneous cash (often dh has to use bank card for work purchases, then he gets reimbursed from petty cash. We take that $ and put it in here.)

    Blow $ for each of us just goes into our wallets (I put mine in a special compartment to keep it separate from other cash).

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    Registered User pkellyc's Avatar
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    I used it for years I think before it had a name.
    This is how it worked for us.

    The only money in my checking account was for bills.
    Savings was our savings. Long term and short term different accounts.

    Envelopes were for everything else.

    Groceries- I really had to watch this one
    Gas- somewhat flexible and did not budget to the penny
    Entertainment- if there was enough left over in those days, this included eating out. It was also our blow money.
    Miscellaneous- was for brownie dues, church, piano lessons and that type of thing
    Secret stash from DH- this envelope was taped behind a mirror in my living room and I think the name is self explanatory. I must say I did not hoard this money for myself it was always used for the good of the family.

    As for clothing I shopped in the spring and fall as needed, DH has always worked overtime so we bought clothing as we could afford it.

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    Registered User Bournecrazy's Avatar
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    i used them for different things i am saving for, i write little notes on the front to say whats its for, the date it needs to be saved by and the total needed, ive used it for my holiday, dentist bills and the others in my sig, to me i find it easier to see how much i have for each, i also seal he envelope when i have the amount i need in there s i dont go into it or someone cant take the cash without me knowing. i try not to keep too many around due to the amount of cash in them

  6. #6
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    I use mine for everything - groceries, gas, haircuts, oil changes, pet food, clothes. Every week the cash comes out and is divvied up to each one. I have a max $ on each envelope and if its full, the extra goes in misc.

    When we need things like furnace filters or a new car battery, I reach in the misc envelope and its like money from heaven

  7. #7
    Registered User Frugal Nurse's Avatar
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    When I first needed to learn to control spending I used the envelope system.

    $$ for items that were fixed were deposited into the checking account. I made sure I had enough to cover all the expense.. first(don't forget that annual escrow).

    The envelopes were essentially the leftover cash after the bills. The flexible spending amounts. The stuff that will cause you to overdraw if you're not watching it in your account.

    First: Grocery allotment
    Second: Auto gas
    Third: lunch money for kids at school
    Fourth: free cash spending allotment
    Fifth: anything leftover from the month was placed here- and put in a savings account.

    It worked. I learned to control what I was spending.
    Once the grocery allotment was gone... it was gone. You had to wait until the end of the month to fill the envelope. I learned to exercise due dillegence in spreading out the purchases so that I had $$ for bread and milk on the last week. KWIM?


    I never touched the checking account unless I was paying a bill for which it was earmarked for.

    A new bill added? take out more from your envelopes to cover the increase in the bills.


    Most important. It is SOOOOOOOO hard to spend that cash. you really think twice about it. And many times, you just decide it's not worth it.

    Savings account skyrocketed. That's a plus!
    No OD fees. Another plus.

  8. #8
    Registered User TheRootedNomad's Avatar
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    We use it mostly for bills that AREN'T due monthly, for specific savings, and cash allotments for the month.


    non-monthly bills
    (I put a portion of what the bill will be in each month. Then it's all there when the bill comes due. I try to stay one month ahead. That was hard to get the extra month stashed but now that its there it's no problem.)
    Garbage
    Water
    Car insurance
    OPC
    Paper


    Cash
    (I try to put a portion of the months worth in each week and stay a month ahead. I've got this screwed up at the moment due to overspending. It draws my attention pretty fast.)
    Gas
    Groceries
    Extras


    Savings
    (I put money in either weekly or monthly and let these build only slightly and then transfer them to somewhere harder to get to. These categories frequently change.)
    trip fund for BILs upcoming wedding
    Christmas fund
    GG


    Groc. December: $239/$300
    Investments 2014: $/$12,000
    Mort. Prin. : $1358/$8,456
    Christmas '14: $/$1,000
    Vacation '14: $/$1,500

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    Registered User CTOAIWB's Avatar
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    I so need to do this. I have known about it for years but in all honesty, I think I enjoyed lying to myself too much. You motivated me though. I am going to MAKE myself do it starting on the 1st!!

  10. #10
    Registered User mombottoo's Avatar
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    I am using it for groceries & residual spending (gas, eating out, etc).
    "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon
    "Infinite goodness has wide arms." Dante

    Change & Penny Challenges:
    Penny : $11.63
    Change : $66.20

    Grocery Challenge:
    Grocery $400 avg. per month: $122.58/$400 April
    Running Total: $1,243.92

    2014 Coupon Savings Challenge:
    $312.47

    Savings Challenge: $/$3,000 to be put into other acct. when goal is met

    2014 Fling Challenge: 63/2014
    20 Wishes Challenge: 10/24
    2014 Backwards 52 week Christmas Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
    To date: $637.00 - $53.84 = $583.16

  11. #11
    Registered User Frugal Nurse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTOAIWB View Post
    I so need to do this. I have known about it for years but in all honesty, I think I enjoyed lying to myself too much. You motivated me though. I am going to MAKE myself do it starting on the 1st!!
    I'm holding you accountable.

  12. #12
    Registered User knitnmom's Avatar
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    We've actually done this for years, sometimes were really good, and other times we "borrow" from another envelope- that's bad. It's time to be good again though. With the increase in everything- we have to really pay attention and behave.

    Ours are:
    Grocery
    Entertainment
    Misc
    Medical-prescriptions, copays
    DH work money
    Clothes

    Then I have separate savings accounts set up like envelopes in my ING.
    Tami
    www.RibbitStitch.etsy.com


    52-week Challenge: 12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52
    2014 Grocery Budget Challenge
    2014 Emergency Fund Challenge 780.74/2000.00

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