budgeting tools
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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    Default budgeting tools

    so as part of my yearly tax refund spending spree (now totaling about 100) I'm thinking of buying 3 sets of dave's budgeting envelope system. (one for me, one for my most bestest friend, and one for my big brother)

    Is anyone else using them? They look really well made and easy to use. I've had some setbacks recently that have convinced me that I need to find an easier system and I think this might be the answer.

    Advice?

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    Registered User lovestoread's Avatar
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    I have had these for several years and I love them, although now they do look a little worse for the wear.....but would recommend them highly.....I have them in the organizer which is nice because its easy to find and kept neatly.....

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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    We thought about getting them. No...correction. I thought about getting them. Ceashels said, "Why? we have perfectly good plain envelopes right here..."

    So we use standard white envelopes. Turns out they can hold cash pretty well...

    ...till the dogs eat the dining out envelope...

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    Have you tried plain envelopes? If so why do you want something different? Will the new envelopes motivate you? Are you sure the envelope system is right for you?

    Answer these questions for yourself and then decide.

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    Registered User redeme's Avatar
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    I use plain envelopes and have picked up an envelope for free here and there (banks). I write on them with marker. That way I don't have to carry all of my cash with me and can leave some at home when I don't need them. They work great, didn't cost any extra.

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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    I have tried the plain envelopes. The truth is I'm just not that neat or organized and plain envelope system just didn't do it for me. I have been using excel for my budgeting but I need something simpler and something that's more accessible so that sharing the budget information with the husband will be easier. I also don't have a system for checks- I just kind of pull one when I need it and remember that I wrote it. (I only write two a month so usually not a problem.) This system will hopefully put all those things together.

    I know it's not exactly frugal to pay for the system when I could use regular envelopes but if it can work for me where other systems have failed it will be worth it. If it doesn't work- it has a pretty reasonable resale value on ebay so I won't be out that much.

    Besides- right now I really need some motivation to get back on track.

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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    Nishu: Without the right motivation, the system won't matter, so I'm going to address the motivation issue.

    Get your @*#($ together or you're going to end up homeless and starving to death!!!!!

    How's that?

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    I tried the pen and paper method for my budgets. It worked out pretty well.

    I then converted to Excel and honestly, it's so much easier for me. I guess it's the spreadsheet setup that we have. It not only has a tab for our Transaction History, but one for each month of the year (that has a calendar attached to it) and another tab for our budget tracking system. Paying the bills takes me way less time now that I have it figured out.

    I couldn't do the envelope system. There's too much temptation to spend money in the envelopes. I keep my cash in my bank account and use my debt card.

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishu View Post
    I have tried the plain envelopes. The truth is I'm just not that neat or organized and plain envelope system just didn't do it for me. I have been using excel for my budgeting but I need something simpler and something that's more accessible so that sharing the budget information with the husband will be easier. I also don't have a system for checks- I just kind of pull one when I need it and remember that I wrote it. (I only write two a month so usually not a problem.) This system will hopefully put all those things together.

    I know it's not exactly frugal to pay for the system when I could use regular envelopes but if it can work for me where other systems have failed it will be worth it. If it doesn't work- it has a pretty reasonable resale value on ebay so I won't be out that much.

    Besides- right now I really need some motivation to get back on track.
    Then by all means buy the envelopes... its kind of like the discussion in another DR thread... the math is sometimes secondary to the psychology. If it will motivate you, keep you better organized, and help keep you on the right track then it is a good investment... especially since you have the money to pay for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
    Nishu: Without the right motivation, the system won't matter, so I'm going to address the motivation issue.

    Get your @*#($ together or you're going to end up homeless and starving to death!!!!!

    How's that?
    How very male of you, lol.

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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
    Nishu: Without the right motivation, the system won't matter, so I'm going to address the motivation issue.

    Get your @*#($ together or you're going to end up homeless and starving to death!!!!!

    How's that?
    I did not find that to be particularly motivating but I appreciate the effort.

    When it gets right down to it... It cost me 20 for the budgeting wallet and 5 for the coupon wallet. I can go overage by 20 on my grocery budget no problem, and I can blow 5 a grocery trip just be forgetting to use or bring my coupons. Really the cost is reasonable and can more than be made up in a single shopping day if it works.

    I think at this point my main problem is I'm just drowning in everything that needs to be done. Three kids, no husband, the move, the doctors appointments, homeschooling, preschool, lessons, and not to mention all the usual household responsibilities. I know a lot of you guys could handle it with one hand tied behind your back but I feel like I'm in over my head. If I can find any way to make things go more smoothly I'm going to give it a shot.

    Thanks guys.

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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishu View Post
    I did not find that to be particularly motivating but I appreciate the effort.
    Ah well, the artist is rarely appreciated in his own time.
    When it gets right down to it... It cost me 20 for the budgeting wallet and 5 for the coupon wallet. I can go overage by 20 on my grocery budget no problem, and I can blow 5 a grocery trip just be forgetting to use or bring my coupons. Really the cost is reasonable and can more than be made up in a single shopping day if it works.
    And if it helps you in the long run, I've really got no beef with it. I only mentioned the plain envelopes because it *is*a system you can construct yourself. That doesn't automatically obligate you to do so.

    I think at this point my main problem is I'm just drowning in everything that needs to be done. Three kids, no husband, the move, the doctors appointments, homeschooling, preschool, lessons, and not to mention all the usual household responsibilities.
    And sometimes, especially with major changes like a move, its better to ease off on some things. Give yourself some slack. Don't go into debt or anything crazy of course, just ... give yourself time to breathe. Take/MAKE time for yourself.


    I know a lot of you guys could handle it with one hand tied behind your back
    Me, I deal with stressful situations with humor. By the way, have you met the winking smilie? It looks like this --> and it's a symbol that, when used, means "humor intended".

    I was serious about one thing earlier tho - without the motivation the system really, really won't matter. You have to get your head in the game. If it means you ease off on some things for now and focus on the more important/urgent ones for now, then thats what you need to do.

    Here's a thought - write down on a piece of paper 4 squares in a grid pattern. At the top of the left column write "Urgent" and at the top of the right column write "Not urgent". At the left of the top row write "important" and left of the bottom row write "not important".

    Take 10 minutes and sift thru in your mind all the things hanging over your head and ask, "Is it important? Is it urgent?" then write them down in the right square. Once done, take a good look at what is in the important row. Let the stuff that isn't important and isn't urgent go completely, and let the important but not urgent stuff be put "on hold" for a while. Till things settle down and the "urgent" column is less packed.

    Hope that helps!

    G

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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    Thanks Greebo I'll try your paper thing or a variation of.

    I bought myself some wine today because you said it was okay. And a wine glass too so that I don't have to drink it from a plastic winnie the pooh cup. I'm feelin' better already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MomToTwoBoys View Post

    I couldn't do the envelope system. There's too much temptation to spend money in the envelopes. I keep my cash in my bank account and use my debt card.
    I hope you meant to say debit card instead of debt card lol.

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    I might be a little late to the discussion, but I purchased the envelope system because I needed the portability factor. I don't carry a purse, and if envelopes are going to work for me, they have to be "integratable" with my regular wallet and able to throw in my coat pocket or briefcase, or it would be a no-go for me. (I don't have a problem with purses, but I commute by bus and have to carry a briefcase for the work I do, and the extra baggage gets cumbersome.) So the cost was worth it. I don't keep regular white envelopes around anymore since most of my larger bills are paid online these days.

    It's been GREAT for organizing receipts and the cash I use for everything besides bill-paying. I started hanging on to receipts to keep myself accountable, but I always ran out of room in my regular wallet to keep them organized during my day. With the Envelope wallet - I can organize the receipts by category along with the budgeted cash, and it helps me keep an eye on categories where I could improve things.

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    I have a set of DR's envelopes that came with our FPU set. We have never used them, I just use regular white envelopes.

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