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cheles2kids

Still working out the kinks

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by , 06-06-2009 at 11:06 AM (1583 Views)
Okay, so some things seem to be much easier when working within the budget perimeter, others, not so much.

A couple things that I've noticed that seem to be easier is that having a category or budget for every expenditure, puts alot less stress on having to worry about where that extra money is coming from.

Like for instance, this week I had to buy my 14 dd. daughter a new bathing suit.
Having a 'clothing' category solved that problem.
I knew that I had that money put aside specifically for items like this.

So I didn't have to worry about whether or not it would cut into paying another bill or whether or not I was going to have enough grocery money for the month.

What a relief not to have to think of where that money needed to come from.


On the downside, it's seemed a bit 'awkward' in trying to remember the amounts to put back into each envelope.
Take for instance, on Thursday, I had to take 16 ds. to go take his driver's permit test (which he failed by 1), then I had to go to Wal-mart and pick up a few groceries and buy 14 dd. a bathing suit.

All 3 of these fall into different categories:
Driver's permit~Misc. (remember how I said that I *really* needed to add this category?)
Groceries~Well, of course the grocery category.
14 dd.~Clothing

So I had 3 different amounts of money to take with me and to keep up with at the store, so instead of putting it into 3 separate envelopes, I put it all into one.
I won't do that again.

Once I got home I had to do some calculating and recounting to make sure that each envelope that the correct amount returned to it.

So, from now on, I plan on taking an envelope for each amount of money that I'm planning on spending.
That way I can just pop the 'change' right back into the correct envelope.

It sounds really confusing & frustrating, but really it's hasn't been that bad.
There's just those few kinks that need to be worked out in order for the system to work the best for us.

Oh & another thing. I've found that we have made more trips to the bank these past few weeks than normal.

I'm hoping once we get a few months into this, that won't have to continue.
Because we get paid 3 times within about a 1.5 weeks of each other and for now, we are having to stagger how much we need to take out for the cash envelopes and then we have to leave so much in our account to cover our monthly bills.

I'm hoping that by the end of August that we will have enough left over in each envelope category that we can make one or two lump sum withdrawels and be done with it for the month.

As I mentioned before in another post, and above here, in this post.
Having a miscellaneous category is a very important category.
Right now, we only have $15.00 going into it, but for those unforeseen expenses that aren't covered under any other category, it will be helpful to have.

At some point I want to up this amount to $25.00 each month.

Ooo, and another thing that I hope with kind of straighten itself out, in the clothing category.
Whenever I make an online purchase, this gets tricky.
Because right now, the only option we have is to make yet another trip to the bank to deposit money to cover that transaction.

So at some point, I think either leaving 1/2 of my budgeted money in the bank and having 1/2 in cash will work.
Or either, at the end of each month, whatever money is left over for that month, just making a deposit into the checking account in order to build up a 'reserve' so to speak to fall back on, in case I do have to make any online clothing purchases.

Right now, I'm really not sure which one will work better for us.
But I will try to report back next month and let everyone know how we decided to work it.

Wow! Only 6 days into the month & I've already had 2 posts pertaining to working within our budget and using the cash envelope system.

I'm encouraged though that as the month goes by things will begin to fall into place.

I'll keep everyone posted!

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!!

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Updated 06-06-2009 at 11:44 AM by cheles2kids

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Comments

  1. hollyhill's Avatar
    Thank-you for taking the time explaining the whole system and all the tricks you are learning... I am in the process of trying to set up a similar system and reading about yours is helping a lot.
  2. Debbie-cat's Avatar
    I like your system. If it would have been me though, when I got to Walmart, I would have just asked them to ring the bathing suit in separately from the groceries. That way you could just pop the change back into the clothing envelope right away. Keep up the great work! I love hearing how it is working out for you.
    Updated 06-07-2009 at 08:56 AM by Debbie-cat
  3. madhen's Avatar
    I've been reading a couple of books about living on less, and there is no getting away from the fact that a budget is MANDATORY if you are to ever get a stranglehold on your money. Your experiences are definitely inching me closer to trying one. Right now, I'm just trying to work out how much I have to spend every month on groceries. Trying to do that with every OTHER aspect of my life is daunting!
  4. cheles2kids's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie-cat
    I like your system. If it would have been me though, when I got to Walmart, I would have just asked them to ring the bathing suit in separately from the groceries. That way you could just pop the change back into the clothing envelope right away. Keep up the great work! I love hearing how it is working out for you.

    That's funny that you should mention that, because that's exactly what I did.

    I went through ahead of Mike and paid for the clothes & then we paid for the groceries seperately.
    I still had to do some calculating though, 'cause I ended up having to break a $20.00 bill for the $2.00 fee to pay for 16 ds. to take his permit test.

    But yes, keeping things seperate I think makes much more sense.
  5. cheles2kids's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by madhen
    I've been reading a couple of books about living on less, and there is no getting away from the fact that a budget is MANDATORY if you are to ever get a stranglehold on your money. Your experiences are definitely inching me closer to trying one. Right now, I'm just trying to work out how much I have to spend every month on groceries. Trying to do that with every OTHER aspect of my life is daunting!

    I know what you mean, Madhen.
    Ultimately what I had to do was to sit down and figure out which categories that we needed and then begin dispensing our income into those categories.

    I'm thinking we may end up a bit short on our grocery category this month, but I'll wait and see and then adjust that amount for next month.

    It does seem daunting, but I've found knowing exactly where (categories) and how much to spend has also helped be become much more accountable to myself and how I shop.

    Just this morning I went onto ebay and ordered some school clothes for 16 ds., instead of going out and paying full price at a retail store somewhere.
    It not only saves me on the amount that I pay, but also on gas, driving time (wear & tear on my jeep) and also on my overall personal time.

    I can be here at home making lunch or preparing dinner while shopping, instead of being out away from home & most likely also spending money on eating away from home.

    So I think once you begin to implement a budget your whole outlook begins to look differently.

    Good luck to you on getting started on trying to begin your budget. I really do think it will be much easier on you once you get into the swing of things.